“The Florida Orchestra has been planning its 50th anniversary season all year and the party is on. The theme is celebration,” writes Andrew Meacham in Wednesday’s (3/15) Tampa Bay Times. “Highlights include a jubilant opening concert, Carmina Burana … with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay; Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet paired with West Side Story, as the world marks 100 years since the birth of Leonard Bernstein … and the orchestra’s first performance of Verdi’s Requiem since 2002…. Michael Francis, 40 … will be entering his third year as music director. ‘Some of these pieces that he’s picked are really virtuosic, that give the orchestra a chance to basically show their stuff,’ said orchestra spokeswoman Kelly Smith…. James Ehnes will perform a violin concerto written for him by Oscar-nominated film composer James Newton Howard (Pretty Woman, The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight)…. In perhaps the splashiest move of the season, the orchestra has commissioned an original work, as yet untitled but inspired by Florida. Composer Michael Ippolito was born and raised in Tampa, and counts folk and jazz music among his influences…. The orchestra will perform the world premiere of Ippolito’s work as part of Dvorak’s New World Symphony concert.”

Posted March 16, 2017