Sometimes it helps to have a visual, especially when telling a story. Enter Geff Strik, The Florida Orchestra’s first-ever visual artist-in-residence.

For TFO’s upcoming performance of Strauss’ Don Quixote, Strik started with the musical score, covered with handwritten notes from Music Director Michael Francis and 29 sketches. When he picked up his paintbrush, he used only one 10-by-5-foot canvas, painting each scene on top of the other—the earlier works hidden underneath.

But they’re not totally gone. The whole process was captured through video and carefully crafted into a 42-minute, high-definition art film synchronized to the music, which Maestro Francis will conduct live on stage for only one weekend, October 11-13. The concert also features internationally acclaimed cello soloist Maximilian Hornung as well as Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (a rare performance of the Mahler version).

TFO’s commitment to this kind of innovation, collaboration and accessibility is why TFO named Strik as its first-ever visual artist-in-residence. Strik is an acclaimed French artist who now lives in St. Petersburg.

“Innovation is a key part of what we do. It’s in our DNA,” said Mark Cantrell, TFO president and CEO. “We believe no other American orchestra is doing anything like this at this level. We are leading the way, giving audiences new ways to engage with the music.”

TFO has more upcoming multimedia concerts, including:

National Geographic Live JANE In Concert (Nov. 2): Based on 100 hours of unseen footage, the revealing documentary of Jane Goodall and her chimpanzee research plays on the big screen while the orchestra performs the score by Philip Glass LIVE at the Straz Center.

Deep Field: A Cosmic Experience (Nov. 8-10): Composer Eric Whitacre leads TFO for Deep Field, his own fusion of live music and Hubble space video, featuring The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. It’s a stellar night of live music including works from Bernstein and Copland. Free tickets for kids and teens in advance.

For details and tickets, visit

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