LISTEN LIVE

The Florida Orchestra

USF

Five world premieres will mark The Florida Orchestra's five decades of music-making in the Tampa Bay community. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The Florida Orchestra's 2016-17 season wraps up May 19-21 with a trio of concerts featuring works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sclafani.

Now the first two names might even be familiar to people who don't know anything about classical music. But the third isn't that well known - at least not yet.

The Florida Orchestra

Classical music to some people conjurs up images of large music ensembles in ornate concerts halls. The Florida Orchestra is trying to change that perception by performing in the community. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

To borrow from the old adage about getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes a lot of practice to be a great classical musician.

But to become a great conductor, there’s not too much a would-be maestro can do, according to University of South Florida masters student Brent Douglas.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Saturday's gala concert in St. Petersburg featuring Michael Feinstein wraps up a busy week for The Florida Orchestra, which is spending a few days on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.

AJ Mast

This Saturday, (January 30th), Michael Feinstein will perform with The Florida Orchestra lead by new Music Director Michael Francis at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. It is the orchestra's Gala fundraising event.

Tim Redman

The Florida Orchestra has begun its 48th season, and the orchestra has a new music director. 

Tim Redman

This weekend, Michael Francis will take the stage with The Florida Orchestra as its new Music Director. For the concerts to open the Masterworks season, Francis chose Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, which will feature Valentina Lisitsa.

Francis said his idea was to present "two true epics," adding that they represent "very much the start of an American journey."

This Saturday (11/8), the Florida Orchestra dives into the Blue Ocean Film Festival. It will play Grant McLachlan's score for the movie "Ocean Voyagers" while the film is playing at the Mahaffey Theater.

"Ocean Voyagers" tells the tale of a mighty big mama, 40 tons of humpback whale and her baby boy. The story is narrated by Meryl Streep and was created by Feo Pitcairn. 

MarcoBorggreve

This weekend, concert goers can get better acquainted with the new Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis. This will be the first time he'll conduct the orchestra since he was named its music director this past June.

Marco Borggrave

The Florida Orchestra has named Michael Francis its new Music Director. He's 37-years-old, English and a double bass player. 

Courtesy of lightcolorsound.blogspot.com

In its 100-year anniversary, stories about the monumental work abound.

National Public Radio is featuring several stories about The Rite of Spring and even holding a video dance contest to observe the occasion (deadline for entries is Tuesday, May 28). 

You can hear Stravinsky's magnum opus on Classical WSMR's Evening Masterwork, this coming Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. 

And this past weekend, The Florida Orchestra closed out its season with The Rite of Spring

Courtesy of The Florida Orchestra

The Florida Orchestra is hosting an extended stay by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.  It's part of the Florida Orchestra's multi-year cultural exchange. 

Late this year, the NSOC will be coming to America for its first U.S. tour.  And while it will perform in many places, the musicians will be in the Tampa Bay area a little longer, for master classes and for a joint Chamber Music Concert at Tampa's Historic Cuban Club.   Read more about it here.