Did you know The Florida Orchestra performs more than 130 concerts a season? Many of them are free or cost little. And that is how the season wraps up in May, with a mix of stellar concerts in the concert hall and in the community.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (Friday and Saturday, May 3 & 4): Mahler’s spellbinding Symphony No. 1, ‘Titan,’ is framed by Steve Reich’s unusual Music for Pieces of Wood and Andrew Norman’s ridiculously virtuosic percussion concerto Switch, featuring Colin Currie. Switch was written especially for Currie, who has said he feels like “being trapped inside a pinball machine” when performing it on instruments stretched across the stage. Michael Francis conducts. Tickets start at $18; free tickets for kids and teens in advance.
Free Pops in the Park (Friday and Sunday, May 10 & 12): This spring TFO performs concerts in two parks, Coachman Park in Clearwater (May 10) and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa (May 12)—perfect for Mother’s Day. TFO Assistant Conductor Daniel Black directs film scores, Broadway hits and symphonic favorites with a grand finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and a patriotic salute. All free. Bring a blanket, picnic and plenty of canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest.
Inside Shostakovich (Thursday, May 23): Michael Francis blends humor, smart analysis and live orchestra demos to take you on a journey through Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, ending with a performance of the entire symphony. You will never listen to music the same way again. Admission is pay what you can at the door at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg.
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (Friday-Sunday, May 24-26): TFO’s 51st season wraps up with Tchaikovsky’s dashing yet graceful Violin Concerto, a highly demanding piece that shows the virtuosic skill of TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer. The concert ends on Shostakovich’s heroic masterpiece, Symphony No. 5. Michael Francis conducts. Tickets start at $18; free tickets for kids and teens in advance.
The Florida Orchestra performs regularly at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
The orchestra offers affordably priced tickets to a variety of concerts; prices vary.
See www.FloridaOrchestra.org or call 727-892-3337 and 800-662-7286.