From Rock To Rachmaninoff For Florida Orchestra Finale Month

By Kelly Smith

The Florida Orchestra season is winding down in May, but not quietly. In fact, it’s a packed month of spectacular shows, from The Police Experience rock concert to tango to Rachmaninoff. And don’t forget mom; especially if she loves Star Wars.

The Police Experience – Friday, May 6: One of the best tribute bands ever joins the master musicians of The Florida Orchestra for one incredible night of rock. Get the greatest hits of The Police, including Roxanne, Walking on the Moon, Every Breath You Take, Message in a Bottle, Don’t Stand So Close to Me, and more. Christian Baldini is the guest conductor, at the Mahaffey Theater.

Free Pops in the Park Concert – Sunday, May 8: It’s Mother’s Day. Show mom some love with a picnic under the stars with your Florida Orchestra performing music from Star Wars – The Force Awakens, the Beatles, Dvorak, Strauss and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s explosive 1812 Overture. Bring plenty of canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s annual food drive. This Pops in the Park will take place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

Bonus performance: See a shortened version of the program at a free pop-up concert in Countryside Mall in Clearwater at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

Tango Caliente – Friday-Sunday, May 13-15: At this finale concert for the Raymond James Pops series, fall under the spell of the dance of romance with famous tango classics such as La Cumparsita, Oblivion, Volver and more by Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel and others. All of this with fiery tango dancers, a vocalist and a bandoneon. Concerts are conducted by Jeff Tyzik.

Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 – Friday-Sunday, May 21-22: Season finale features the rich, lush melodies of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3, along with Bernstein’s movie music from On the Waterfront, the 1954 film starring Marlon Brando. The Tampa Bay Times Masterworks concert opens with the TFO premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body, inspired by medieval chants. Ask about free Classical Kids tickets for ages 5-18.

Masterworks and Pops tickets are $15, $30 and $45 at floridaorchestra.org or 727-892-3337 and 1-800-662-7286. Rock tickets are $30, $50, $65. The orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.