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Live recordings of TFO concerts start this week on Classical WSMR radio

Here is your chance to hear some of The Florida Orchestra’s most talked about concerts this season if you missed them live at the Mahaffey Theater.

Live recordings of nine full concerts from our extraordinary 2020/21 season will air for free on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 FM radio and stream online at, thanks to The Florida Orchestra’s partnership with the station. The concerts, all recorded live at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, will be hosted by Russell Gant and broadcast at 8 pm Thursdays starting this week (July 22) through Sept. 16.

These concerts are not available on video. Most are TFO’s new Soundwaves concerts, part of the premier Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, and feature TFO’s own virtuoso musicians as soloists in a kaleidoscope of music the orchestra doesn’t often get the chance to perform, a silver lining of splitting the orchestra into two smaller ensembles for safety. The Florida Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis, is one of the few orchestras in the nation that performed for live audiences safely during the pandemic – 86 concerts in all.

You will hear special moments from this unusual season – a thank you to the Tampa Bay community for your unwavering support during these challenging times, in conjunction with WUSF Public Media and Classical WSMR radio. The broadcasts also are made possible by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Jay’s Fabric Center. Special thank you to the Florida Orchestra Musicians Association and to the American Federation of Musicians Local 427-721 for making these recordings possible.

First up on Thursday (July 22) is Michael Francis conducting Legends from the Americas, featuring TFO Principal Bassoon Joshua Baker in a celebration of groundbreaking composers from North and South America. Don’t miss the surprise encore: Maestro Francis on double bass! (See full program below). Each broadcast will be available on demand at for 45 days after the airdate.

Here is the schedule of the Thursday evening broadcasts, subject to change. For the story behind the works, free Pre-concert Conversation videos are available by clicking the individual links below.

July 22: Legends from the Americas
Michael Francis, conductor; Joshua Baker, bassoon

Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer; Piazzolla’s Serie del angel; Arturo Marquez’s Danzon No. 4; Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring (original version for 13 players).

July 29: Brass with a Beat
Daniel Black, conductor

Jim Parker’s A Londoner in New York; Bach’s Sinfonia; Jan Koestier’s Symphony for Brass; Gabrieli’s Canzon; George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. 

Aug 5: American Heroes
Michael Francis, conductor; John Shaw, percussion

Adolphus Hailstork’s American Fanfare; Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1; Steven Stucky’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary; Joseph Schwantner’s Percussion Concerto; Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.

Aug 12: A Noble Pairing
Michael Francis, conductor

Jean Baptiste Lully’s Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme paired with Richard Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. 

Aug 19: The Intimate Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Michael Francis, conductor; Madison Leonard, soprano

A stellar arrangement for just 14 players, arranged by Klaus Simon.

Aug 26: From Telemann to Mozart
Jeannette Sorrell, conductor & harpsichord

Telemann’s Concerto Polonois and Overture Burlesque; Gretry’s Orchestral suite from Zémire et Azor; Mozart’s Symphony No. 33. 

Sept 2: Mozart’s Horn Concerto
Daniel Black, conductor; David Smith, horn

Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes; Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3; Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1. 

Sept 9: Mozart’s Gran Partita

Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 featuring TFO woodwinds; no conductor.

Sept 16: Beethoven & Haydn
Daniel Black, conductor; Robert Smith, trumpet

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Overture; Ravel’s Le Tombeau Couperin; Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. 


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