Itzhak Perlman, violin superstar at The Florida Orchestra.

The Florida Orchestra (TFO) shared the stage with a living legend, violin superstar Itzhak Perlman, in a sold-out, energized Mahaffey Theater on March 11. Music director Michael Francis conducted a magical night of world-class entertainment to celebrate 55 years of Florida’s premier orchestra, at home in Tampa Bay.

The fundraiser — postponed from October 2022 by Hurricane Ian — was worth the wait. Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, superstar Perlman joined the orchestra to perform a night of curated film music as only he can, including the Theme from Schindler’s List, which he performed for the Academy Award-winning film; As Time Goes By from Casablanca; the love theme from Cinema Paradiso; music from Out of Africa; and more.

The concert was a resounding success in celebration of Florida’s largest professional orchestra, and the only arts organization that bridges Tampa Bay. The net proceeds benefit TFO’s high standard of artistic excellence onstage as well as robust education and community programs all year long, including free TFO Strings for Kids violin classes, youth concerts and more. Nonprofit TFO exists to inspire, unite and educate as it builds community through the power of music.

The Florida Orchestra extends special recognition to honorary chairs Montserrat and Emmanuel Cerf, and thanks for the generosity of Perlman’s sponsor, the Cerf Family; presenting orchestra sponsor PNC Bank; maestro sponsors Mark and Marianne Mahaffey and Mahaffey Apartment Co.; and all VIP sponsors and patrons who help make everything TFO does possible.

The Florida Orchestra’s season continues through May. Tickets are on sale now at

About Itzhak Perlman

Beloved for his charm, humanity as well as his talent, Perlman has received 16 Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Genesis Prize. Perlman has also received multiple distinctions from U.S. presidents, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2015.

For more about Perlman, visit

About Michael Francis

In his eighth season as music director of The Florida Orchestra, Francis has raised artistic excellence to new heights, strengthened the audience’s connection to the music and reinvigorated TFO’s community and education programs. The internationally acclaimed conductor also is the music director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and principal conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany.

For more about Francis, visit

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