One year after the coronavirus brought the world to a standstill, The Florida Orchestra (TFO) has hit a milestone filled with hope: TFO has now performed more than 50 concerts for live audiences at the Mahaffey Theater since October, all following CDC guidelines for health and safety.
Earlier this month, the orchestra performed a concert full of Serenity, conducted by Music Director Michael Francis.
“We have experienced 12 months unlike anything before,” Maestro Francis said. “As we move forward together with optimism, we wanted to curate an event that gives our community a chance to pause and reflect. This Serenity concert is a haven: a serene musical space for peace, beauty and contemplation.”
The public was also able to watch the Serenity concert via livestream.
“Considering a year ago we had no idea when we’d be able to perform live again, this 50-concert milestone is an amazing feat—especially as many orchestras across the nation remain dark. We owe so much of our success to the unwavering support of our Tampa Bay community, the passionate dedication of Maestro Francis and the musicians, our strong board of directors and tireless staff,” said TFO President and CEO Mark Cantrell. “We still have a full slate of concerts in this remarkable season that will continue to bring comfort, joy and healing to Tampa Bay and beyond.”
An artistic gem in Tampa Bay for 53 years, the orchestra returned to the stage for in-person audiences on October 31, 2020 after an eight-month hiatus. TFO also began to offer select concerts for free via livestream and on demand. So far, more than 21,000 screens across the country have tuned in.
The 2020/21 season continues through May. Highlights of the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series include Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Jeffrey Multer, Dvorak’s New World Symphony with guest conductor Thomas Wilkins and a one-of-a-kind Soundwaves concert featuring TFO Percussion. Highlights of the Raymond James Pops series include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue performed by Stuart Malina and Fly Me to the Moon featuring Charles Lazarus on the trumpet. The morning coffee series explores music by Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev and more.
To keep each other healthy and safe, all concerts follow CDC guidelines, including mandatory face masks, spaced seating in pairs and extensive testing for musicians. Visit floridaorchestra.org.