Magical music, lousy marketing
I had my soul stirred Thursday evening at the Opening Night performance of the Florida Orchestra commencing the 40th season of this Tampa Bay treasure. Acclaimed Canadian pianist Louis Lortie played the Grieg Piano Concerto magically—making music that was beyond beautiful set in the perfect acoustics of the Performing Arts Center’s Carol Morsani Hall. Music critic John Fleming liked the evening’s Mahler Symphony, too.
“You could spend a lifetime inside the Mahler symphonies and never really get to the bottom of them. The chance to hear one live doesn’t come around all that often, so it was disheartening to see Morsani Hall less than half full for the performance.”
Disheartening indeed. It’s a crying shame.
Although the ochestra’s concerts are better attended on the weekends, a Thursday night season-opener is no excuse for the sparse turnout when the Lightning’s opening night drew a large crowd just blocks away on the same evening. Our superbly talented orchestra deserves a bigger audience, but I don’t think they’re doing a very good job getting the word out, so I’m here to help with that.
You can still catch the season’s first Masterworks program of classical music, with the same Grieg piece that so stirred me, on Sat. Oct. 6, 8:00 p.m., at Mahaffey Theater, in St. Pete; or Sun. Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
If you’d like to hear the orchestra playing more popular tunes under the stars, bring the family, some folding chairs and a picnic supper to any of these FREE concerts, all starting at 7:00 p.m:
October 11, Coachman Park in Clearwater
October 12, Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa
October 13, Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg
October 14, River Tower Park in Sulfur Springs, Tampa
For a doubly rewarding experience, bring canned goods to the Vinoy Park Concert for the Tampa Bay Harvest food drive.