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Florida Orchestra plays on

In store for the 40th anniversary season: 15 masterworks programs and more trouble with access to performance halls.

Published April 1, 2007


A matched pair of celebrated Canadian soloists bookend the Florida Orchestra's 2007-08 masterworks series. Louis Lortie plays the Grieg piano concerto to open the orchestra's 40th anniversary season, and James Enhes is featured in the Beethoven violin concerto to wind things up.

Music director Stefan Sanderling will be on the podium for 11 of the 15 masterworks programs. Other conductors include violinist Pinchas Zukerman, who will lead Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and play a Mozart concerto; and Gunther Herbig, former music director of the Detroit and Toronto symphony orchestras. Pianist Stephen Hough returns as the soloist in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Latvian violinist Baiba Skride debuts with the orchestra in the Glazunov concerto.

Two orchestra principals will be featured in new works: James Wilson in a horn concerto by David Rogers the orchestra's artistic administrator; and Dee Moses in John Harbison's Concerto for Bass Viol. Robert Helps' Symphony No. 2, which the orchestra commissioned and premiered seven years ago. It is paired on a program with the Faure Requiem, featuring the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. The chorale also performs Carmina Burana.

The masterworks schedule has eight works never played by the orchestra, including Bartok's suite from The Wooden Prince; Dutilleux's Tout un monde lointain, featuring French cellist Xavier Phillips; Messiaen's L'Ascension; and the Shostakovich Symphony No. 15 and Bruckner Symphony No. 9, both conducted by Sanderling.

The orchestra's pops series includes a tribute to Broadway composer Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls), featuring his daughter, Emily, as one of the vocalists; and a program with the Gatlin Brothers. Pops conductor Richard Kaufman opens the season with a 100th anniversary tribute to John Wayne with music from his movies, such as True Grit, The Alamo and The Comancheros.

The orchestra plays in three principal venues: the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa. The problem of lack of access to the halls continues. Three masterworks programs will not be performed at TBPAC, and four others will be in the center's smaller venue, Ferguson Hall. One masterworks program will not be performed at Mahaffey. Subscribers are offered alternatives for the programs not scheduled at TBPAC and Mahaffey.

Subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 27. (813) 286-2403 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; www.floridaorchestra. org.

John Fleming can be reached at (727) 893-8716 or



Oct. 4-6: Grieg: Piano Concerto; Mahler: Symphony No. 1; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Louis Lortie, piano. Oct. 19-21: Mozart: Piano Concerto TBA; R. Strauss: Ein Heldenleben; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; TBA, piano. Nov. 10-11: Faure: Requiem; Helps: Symphony No. 2; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Master Chorale. Nov. 30-Dec. 2: Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain; Glazunov: Violin Concerto; Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Baiba Skride, violin.

Jan. 4-6: Mozart: Symphony No. 41; Sibelius: Symphony No. 1; Gunther Herbig, conductor. Jan. 19-20: Messiaen: L'Ascension; Bruckner: Symphony No. 9; Stefan Sanderling, conductor. Jan. 25-27: Dutilleux: Tout un monde lointain; Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Xavier Phillips, cello. Feb. 8-10: Harbison: Concerto for Bass Viol; Orff: Carmina Burana; Christoph Campestrini, conductor; Dee Moses, double bass; Master Chorale. Feb. 29-March 2: Bartok: Suite from The Wooden Prince; Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Jean Louis Steuerman, piano.

March 7-9: Debussy: Petite Suite; Rogers: Horn Concerto; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; James Wilson, horn. March 15-17: Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; TBA, piano. March 28-30: Falla: La Vide Breve; Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concerto; Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Pedro Halffter, conductor; Jason Vieaux, guitar. April 12-14: Elgar: Serenade for Strings; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3; Schubert: Symphony No. 5; Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and violin. May 17-18: Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 2; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Stephen Hough, piano. May 29-31: Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Brahms: Symphony No. 1; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; James Ehnes, violin.


Sept. 28-30: John Wayne movie music; Richard Kaufman, conductor; Thomas Demer, fiddle. Oct. 26-28: Frank Loesser tribute; Richard Kaufman, conductor; Emily Loesser, Debbie Gravitte, Don Stephenson and Ron Raines, vocalists. Nov. 16-18: Tito Puente Jr., vocalist and percussionist. Dec. 7-9: Holiday music. Jan. 10-13: Gatlin Brothers; Feb. 1-3: Gershwin program; Richard Kaufman, conductor; Michael Kim, piano. Feb. 22-24: Motown hits with the Contours. May 23-25: Patriotic program and Leroy Anderson tribute; Richard Kaufman, conductor; Daniel Rodriguez, vocalist; Nelson Kole, piano.

[Last modified March 29, 2007, 13:09:40]

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