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Conductor David Cole

Nir Kabaretti is an extraordinary talent at the helm of a great instrument, one with a name too provincial for its breadth and reach: the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. Both Maestro Kabaretti and his talented second, the conductor David Cole, can read nine scores for nine instruments at once (they can speak several languages, too — although not at once). Both men can unite artists who hail from the corners of the world: Asia, Europe, New York, Miami and the Gulf Coast. And they do it all with grace, humor and a passionate devotion that inspires everybody. That was never more clear than when Mr. Cole stood in to become became Santa Clause, the icon of Christmas. He led public rehearsals in December culminating in a sumptuous holiday performance. Bravo, Maestro Santa, and encore!

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