ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida Orchestra recently announced a full schedule of concerts for the third and final phase of its reimagined 2020-21 season running mid-February through May.
After a successful return to the stage in October, the orchestra will continue to offer concerts for a live audience ranging from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue exclusively at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg following CDC guidelines for health and safety. TFO also will continue to offer live-stream and on-demand video for free so everyone has access to the music during the pandemic.
“As many orchestras remain dark during the pandemic, the Florida Orchestra is doing what once seemed impossible: performing live concerts safely at the Mahaffey Theater,” said Mark Cantrell, Florida Orchestra president and chief executive. “Months ago, we could not have anticipated just how powerful and moving this season would be. In an uncertain world, this music has anchored us with comfort and hope, and we are proud to bring our community together for the final phase of our reimagined 2020-21 season.”
Under the leadership of Michael Francis, music director, highlights of the premier Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series include Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Jeffrey Multer, Dvorak’s New World Symphony with guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, a Beethoven & Haydn concert with TFO’s Robert Smith on trumpet, and a special concert for these tumultuous times themed Serenity. Two Masterworks: Soundwaves concerts — a silver lining of splitting the orchestra into smaller ensembles for safety — will feature Mozart’s Horn Concerto with TFO’s David Smith and Mozart’s Gran Partita. Highlights of the Raymond James Pops series include Broadway Sings, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue performed by Stuart Malina, and Dan Black & The Brass Cats, led by Daniel Black, TFO resident conductor. The morning coffee series will explore music by Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev and more.
All health and safety measures will continue for Phase 3 concerts, including mandatory face masks that cover the nose and mouth, spaced seating in pairs, extensive testing for musicians and frequent sanitizing of equipment and seats. Concerts will be shorter with no intermission only at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts/Mahaffey Theater with 25% capacity. The protocols developed in conjunction with the Mahaffey Theater have worked so well that TFO believes this is the best way to provide maximum safety during the pandemic.
For full flexibility, the orchestra has announced its 53rd season in three phases. Since the third and final phase will continue limited seating for the safety of patrons, TFO will accommodate season ticketholders first. Remaining tickets will go on sale Feb. 3.
Free live-streaming concerts
From the safety of home, anyone can watch select concerts via live stream or on demand. It’s free and easy to register. Visit FloridaOrchestra.org/livestreams.
So far, about 16,000 screens across the country have tuned in for concerts. To support this new service, TFO is encouraging donations so we can continue to offer digital concerts with no barriers during the pandemic and beyond. For Phase 3, these concerts will be available for viewing on any device.
- Serenity — Saturday, March 13, 8 p.m.
- Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Jeffrey Multer — Saturday, April 10, 8 p.m.
- Dvorak’s New World Symphony — Saturday, May 1, 8 p.m.
- Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto — Saturday, May 29, 8 p.m.