By Kelly Smith
True love is wild, crazy, and passionate. Just like Beethoven with The Florida Orchestra. In fact, there are a lot of concerts to love in February, from a special FINAL FANTASY video game show to A Valentine’s Pops to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. And just like chocolate, you can never get enough. Here are the sweetest picks:
Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY (Saturday, February 6): Featuring one of the most popular video game franchises ever, your favorite characters come to life on the big screen as the orchestra performs live, under the direction of Grammy winner Arnie Roth at the Mahaffey Theater for one night only. Tickets start at $25.
A Valentine’s Pops (Friday to Sunday, February 12-14): Come for date night. Take your sweetie to a night of romantic music from The Beatles, Love Story, West Side Story and even Star Wars. Stuart Malina will be conducting and playing piano, and Maren Weinberger on vocals. What is not to love?
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 (Feb. 19-20): Popular pianist Shai Wosner returns for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, as Michael Francis conducts this Tampa Bay Times Masterworks concert. Also: American Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Appalachian Spring, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 6.
Ravel & Brahms (Friday and Saturday, February 26-28): Michael Francis is joined by pianist Javier Perianes for his TFO debut on Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G Major. Also: Brahms’ groundbreaking Symphony No. 1, and Andrew Norman’s colorful Unstuck. Don’t forget to ask about free Classical Kids tickets for ages 5-18 for this and all Tampa Bay Times Masterworks concerts.
Masterworks and Pops tickets are $15, $30 and $45 at floridaorchestra.org or 727-892-3337 and 800-662-7286. The orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.