By Kurt Loft
Eric Whitacre is an anomaly among composers, a creator of otherworldly choral works whose YouTube following ranks with rock stars. A conductor, Grammy winner, motivational speaker and curator of virtual musical projects, he is among the most vocal artists working today.
For his concert with The Florida Orchestra on Friday to Sunday, November 8-10, he conducts his 20-minute piece for chorus and orchestra that complement the film Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe, a collaboration among Whitacre, two production companies and NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute. The film will be shown on the big screen as the orchestra and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay perform live.
“I spent much of my career writing choral music, but not as much for orchestra, so with Deep Field I tried things I’d never tried before,” Whitacre said. “I was already a space nut, and this gave me access to all these physicists and astronauts, so I got to meet some of my heroes.”
Tickets start at $18 with free tickets for kids and teens, in advance, in the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series. Concerts take place in Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater.
TFO has two more unusual concerts in November:
The Florida Orchestra and Conductor Brent Havens perform Windborne’s Perform The Music of The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards 1969 (Friday, November 22 at Mahaffey): A rock band and vocalist Tony Vincent join the orchestra to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Rolling Stones iconic albums, Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed. Brent Havens conducts. Tickets start at $35.
Ghostbusters In Concert (Saturday, November 23 at Mahaffey): Who ya gonna call? The Florida Orchestra, of course, who will perform the iconic score live while Ivan Reitman’s 1984 comedic masterpiece plays on the big screen. Peter Bernstein conducts. Tickets start at $28; $10 discount for kids 18 and under.
For details and tickets, visit FloridaOrchestra.org.