When beloved maestro Thomas Wilkins returned to conduct Gershwin this week, it was like coming home – and not just because he still lives in Tampa Bay. Read about the former TFO conductor and this weekend’s concerts on the blog.
About Kurt Loft
Freelance writer Kurt Loft's vast knowledge of The Florida Orchestra and classical music comes from his 27 years as a critic at the Tampa Tribune, from 1981 to 2008. He continues to attend Florida Orchestra concerts and write for various media.
Entries by Kurt Loft
Composers often use the orchestra like a giant paintbrush, splashing colors across an imaginary canvas, evoking ideas and images through a bundle of instruments.
To say the earth will tremble this weekend when The Florida Orchestra stages Verdi’s Requiem seems a bit dramatic. But that’s Verdi for you.
In the summer of 1981, I had the privilege of an invitation for lunch at the St. Petersburg home of Irwin Hoffman and Esther Glazer. It was a hot day, and soon after greeting me at the door, the couple offered a pitcher of lemonade and sandwiches ─ and a genuine curiosity about the 25-year-old journalist sitting in their living room.
You know you’re getting old when you find in a desk drawer a ticket stub to the opening of The Florida Orchestra’s 1981-82 season.
Eighteen years ago, I spent an afternoon at the Brandon home of Michael Ippolito, where he sat at the piano talking about his newly composed Rhapsodie Pathetique. He played a passage and looked at me, confidently. “I’m the piano,’’ he said, “and the orchestra is the world.’’
Dorothy Hindman isn’t your typical classical composer. Her music is fearless, post-modern, tightly wound, sometimes digital, punctuated with punk, and always ear-opening. Music critics describe her compositions as visceral, profound, spectral. Some works cascade into a state of entropy, like a swirling black hole in deep space.
It’s not every day that a classical composer sits down and writes a piece of music about your home town. But that’s what Daniel Crozier did with his newly minted Splendor Fountain, his homage to the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater area.
Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and December performances of Handel’s Messiah. The world’s most famous oratorio appears every holiday season, with hundreds if not thousands of productions by professional and amateur groups around the world.
A pair of natural wonders of the classical music world come to life this weekend when The Florida Orchestra performs the most popular works of Max Bruch and Franz Schubert, featuring Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer.