By Henry Adams

Florida Orchestra 2 Photo JM LennonWith concerts starting in October, The Florida Orchestra’s new season is just around the corner.  In addition to the proverbial “something for everyone” including concerts from Rachmaninoff to Rock, Mozart to Mambos, Beethoven to Ben Folds and Carmina Burana to Christmas carols, the orchestra has announced British conductor Michael Francis as its new music director designate. Francis will be moving into the community shortly, and he and his wife are expecting their first child this December.  

 The Florida Orchestra offers several concert series, the main ones being the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks and the Raymond James Pops, which between the two offer 23 fantastic concert experiences to choose from. However, if you are not partial to one of the fixed series packages, the orchestra actually encourages you to build your own series with a Compose Your Own package. 

This allows you to mix and match any combination of three or more Masterworks and Pops to fit your tastes and calendar. If you love piano concertos, you might pick Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Saint-Saen’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3.  For fans of classic pop songs, you might want to pick “Vegas and The Rat Pack,” “Nat King Cole Songbook” and “Judy Garland Tribute.”

If you want some classics and pops, maybe the perfect mix in Orff’s choral extravaganza Carmina Burana, “Star Wars & More” and Holst’s The Planets with big screen images shot by the Hubble Telescope.  Whatever your tastes might be, live music is always nearby with concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, and Compose Your Own is affordable at just $25 per ticket when you order three or more concerts.

The orchestra also offers a wonderful morning concert experience with its Coffee Concert series in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.  In addition to leading the orchestra, Tony Award winner and Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina is an animated host of this series, sharing fun and insightful commentary about the music, and is even the piano soloist at times.  Concertgoers enjoy complimentary coffee and doughnuts prior to curtain time for these varied programs of familiar favorites by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Rossini, Rachmaninoff, Mozart and more.

Find out about the orchestra’s many Masterworks, Pops, Rock, Coffee and Special concerts from October through May in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.  Most concerts offer affordable single-ticket prices of $15, $30 and $45. For a free season brochure or to order a series package or single tickets, visit or call 727-892-3337 or 800-662-7286, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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