By Henry Adams
From Rachmaninoff to rock, Stravinsky to Star Wars, and Mozart to the Mambo Kings, The Florida Orchestra’s upcoming 2014/2015 season offers an exciting mix of concert series as well as a dazzling array of special concerts, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pop star Ben Folds and three “big screen” concert events with live orchestra: a film journey of mighty humpback whales in Ocean Voyagers, an animation showcase called Pixar in Concert and the classic film Singin’ in the Rain. With performances in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, concertgoers always have a live orchestra experience nearby and lots to choose from on Tampa Bay Times Masterworks, Raymond James Pops, Rock Concerts and morning Coffee Concerts.
Among the many musical offerings on the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, a host of guest conductors will lead the orchestra in such favorites as Beethoven’s joyous Symphony No. 8, Dvorak’s soaring Symphony From the New World, Brahms’ monumental Symphony No. 4, Tchaikovsky’s lush Symphony No. 4., Orff’s explosive Carmina Burana, Rimsky-Korsakov’s seductive Scheherazade and Holst’s powerful musical portrait of The Planets.
Under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, the Raymond James Pops series offers an entertaining mix of music styles showcasing The Florida Orchestra. The season opens in October with a fiery musical fiesta of Latin favorites with the Mambo Kings, followed by a tribute to timeless big band hits made famous by The Rat Pack. The annual holiday pops offers festive seasonal favorites and carols, and January greets the new year with hits from Broadway and Vienna. The series continues with Denzal Sinclaire singing his way through the Nat King Cole songbook, and then it is an out-of-this-world night of music from Star Wars and more. The series continues with hits from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and vocalist Hilary Kole’s tribute to Judy Garland. The series wraps up with a spirited Memorial Day weekend of marches, patriotic tunes and more.
With concerts from October through May, the orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Although single tickets for next season go on sale in August, the orchestra has nine concert packages on sale now for next season, or subscribers can even select their preferred concerts with a Compose Your Own series. For more information, visit www.floridaorchestra.org or call 727-892-3337 or 800-662-7286, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. -3 p.m.