By Kelly Smith
This holiday season give the gift that doesn’t come from the mall. Make the moment matter, with musical experiences that last well beyond the holidays; all local, from your Florida Orchestra.
Early gift: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (Friday to Sunday, December 2-4)
Hint: You should keep this one for yourself. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is known as extremely demanding, but it’s in good hands with TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer, who steps into the spotlight as soloist. Also on the program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, his first major work after the oppressive years of the Stalinist regime. All under the baton of popular returning conductor Joshua Weilerstein. Tickets start at $15.
For the family: Holiday Pops (Friday to Sunday, December 9-11)
This is the ultimate family tradition, which is why these concerts are so popular. Don’t worry, this year there five performances, including two matinees. Fill your season with the joy of holidays past and present, including Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, What Child is This, Winter Wonderland and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells, featuring vocalist Doug LaBrecque and the Lumina Youth Choir. Then sing along to your favorite carols. Conductor Jeff Tyzik will be your very merry host. Tickets start at $15.
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (Friday, December 16)
Just in time for the holidays, the Triforce has granted every gamer’s wish. Journey back to the land of Hyrule to celebrate 30 years of the beloved Legend of Zelda video game franchise, which will be performed live by The Florida Orchestra, along with big screen video. This will be one night only at the Mahaffey Theater. Costumes welcome. Tickets: $25, $35, $50, $60, $75, $95.
Perfect fit: CDs and gift certificates are available.
TFO’s Holiday Pops Live CD features Sleigh Ride, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Rag, Carol of the Bells, Gospel Hallelujah and more. All recorded live with The Florida Orchestra and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and just $10. If you just can’t decide, gift certificates for concerts are available in any amount.
The Florida Orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Masterworks and Pops tickets are $15, $30 and $45. Buy at floridaorchestra.org or 727.892.3337 and 1.800.662.7286.