Aldo Lopéz-Galiván piano The Florida Orchestra, Rhapsody in Blue, Mahaffey Theater, January 5, 2019

The Florida Orchestra is back. From Friday to Sunday, September 27-29, Music Director Michael Francis opens his fifth season with concerts that reflect Tampa Bay in a melting pot of music flavored with Latin, European and modern influences.

Returning Cuban pianist Aldo LópezGavilán—who did a knockout performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue last season—takes the piano for one of the most famous concerti of all time, Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Used in films and comedy sketches, you will know it instantly from the opening timpani roll.

Another pop culture favorite on the program is Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. Its dramatic crescendo is so maddening and so exhilarating, audiences jump to their feet every time. Rounding out the concert is Beethoven’s Leonore Overture, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture and Mothership by 2019 Grammy-winner Mason Bates.

“As the most-performed young American composer, Grammy-winner Mason Bates is a Beethoven of today,” said Maestro Francis. “This piece is perfect for the opening concert because it symbolizes all cultures coming together under one Mothership.”

The Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series opens from September 27-29 with concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Be sure to join the free Pre-Concert Conversation one hour prior. Kids and teens ages 5-18 get in free with Classical Kids tickets, which are available in advance.

Just a week later, the Raymond James Pops series opens with Revolution: Music of The Beatles – A Symphonic Experience on Friday to Sunday, October 4-6 in Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater. It is a ticket to ride through the history of The Beatles as told through their hits and Grammy-winner Jeff Tyzik’s arrangements based on the original Abbey Road recordings.

The concert will feature hundreds of rare photos from the Beatles Book Photo Library and a stunning video along with top vocalists singing hits like Penny Lane, Get Back, Here Comes the Sun and Hey Jude.

The Florida Orchestra performs regularly at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets for the Masterworks and Pops concerts start at $18, plus fees. Visit

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