The first concert of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra’s 2013-2014 season begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in the mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center in Niceville. Tickets are on sale for $22.50 each adults and $16 each for active duty military or youth ages 18 and younger.

The “Austro-Hungarian Journey” concert includes a performance by Wideman International Competition Gold Medal winner Asiya Korepanova of Russia, an acclaimed pianist who will perform Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. The orchestra will also present music of the Waltz King, Johann Strauss, Jr., Overture to Die Fledermaus, followed by a suite of Hungarian dances arranged by Zoltan Kodaly. The concert is sponsored by Physicians of the Okaloosa County Medical Society. The soloist sponsor is Healing Arts Acupuncture & Massage, Dr. Tzong Jiunn Wu and Chun-Hsin Chang.

Music director and conductor Jeffrey Rink leads the orchestra for his seventh season and the NFSO’s 27th year of musical fare since the orchestra was established in 1987. The NFSO performs in residence at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College where a custom orchestral shell provides an optimum acoustical experience for symphony patrons.

Both season subscriptions and individual tickets for all concerts of the NFSO’s 2013-14 season are on sale from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office. The season package is $115. Tickets for The Rat Pack is Back, a special NFSO fundraising event which appears March 8 direct from Las Vegas, are $37 each.  See the NFSO website at or call the Box Office at 850-729-6000.

On Nov. 16, the “American Impressions” NFSO concert features sounds of both American and European composers. Guest artist Jeff Midkiff of Virginia will perform the regional premiere of his acclaimed, folk-inspired Concerto for Mandolin “From the Blue Ridge” — a fascinating reflection of bluegrass-based themes that combine with sophisticated orchestral sounds, a touch of swing and jazz and some foot-stomping, toe-tapping rhythms that are just great fun to hear. At the November concert the NFSO will also perform Charles IvesÂ’ Central Park in the Dark, and Antonin DvořákÂ’s famous New World Symphony.

The annual “Holiday Pops” concert, an NFSO tradition, promises to be an inspired and entertaining evening on Dec. 13. The annual “Stars of Tomorrow” performance on Feb. 7 will highlight some of the most talented young musicians in our region, winners of the annual Northwest Florida Symphony Guild Concerto competition, and will also include the rare opportunity to hear George Frideric Handel’s most popular instrumental work, Water Music, performed live.

On March 8,  the NFSO hosts a special fundraiser and highlight of the season — The Rat Pack is Back! This smash-hit show, now in its 14th year in Las Vegas, has crisscrossed the country, recreating the music that shaped an era. Relive the great songs and terrific voices of the original Rat Pack — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop — as this tribute show is performed by some of the world’s most talented impressionist entertainers joined by the NFSO in “big band” mode.

The NFSO will close the season on April 12 with a “German Spring Celebration,” beginning with a performance of Robert Schumann’s “Spring” symphony, as well as Overture to the Beautiful Melusine, Mendelssohn’s musical depiction of the story of the Little Mermaid. The stage will be filled to capacity as the NFSO concludes the evening with Beethoven’s majestic Choral Fantasy, featuring virtuoso German pianist Alexander Krichel, the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale and six guest vocal soloists.