Pre-Concert Conversations

Get the real story behind the composers and their music, straight from the conductor and guest soloists. Starts one hour before each Masterworks concert in the theater. Included free with each concert ticket.

Masterworks Pre-Concert Conversations sponsored by Smith & Associates.

Beethoven's Emperor Concerto

From the first note, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto is heroic, magical and touching, composed when he was profoundly deaf. Listen deeper to this famous piano concerto and Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony with Music Director Michael Francis and General Manager Ed Parsons.

Dvorak's New World Symphony

Catch up with former TFO conductor Thomas Wilkins, who will conduct two works influenced by Black and Native American music: Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Coleridge-Taylor’s Hiawatha Ballet Suite — written just five years apart. All in this virtual Pre-concert Conversation.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer demonstrates key moments of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto for this weekend’s concerts. Plus, learn more about the remarkable Florence B. Price, who persevered against prejudice to be recognized as a composer. Note: This weekend’s concerts are now being conducted by TFO Resident Conductor Daniel Black, due to unforeseen circumstances.

Beethoven & Haydn

Despite Beethoven’s sour reputation, his Symphony No. 1 is proof he actually had a sense of humor. Resident Conductor Daniel Black sits down with General Manager Ed Parsons to explore Beethoven, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s rare Overture, Haydn’s lyrical Trumpet Concerto and much more. 

TFO Percussion

Know your paradiddles from your boobams for this week’s TFO Percussion concert. Principal Percussionist John Shaw and General Manager Ed Parsons bring you up to speed in this fun Pre-concert Conversation. 


This concert of serene music was created as a “pause button,” to reflect on the past 12 months as we move forward with hope. Music Director Michael Francis talks about how he put the program together with General Manager Ed Parsons.

Mozart's Gran Partita

A 13-musician TFO ensemble will perform Mozart’s Gran Partita without a conductor — just like in Mozart’s day. How does that work? General Manager Edward Parsons sits down to chat with Acting Principal Oboe Mitchell Kuhn.

Joseph Beverly will be playing a unique instrument during this weekend’s concerts: the basset horn. Learn more about this rare instrument and hear Beverly perform a brief passage from the piece in this video.

Dan Black and The (TFO) Brass Cats

No flux capacitor needed! Just trombonist Ross Holcombe, who arranged the Back to the Future theme for brass. And find out why he may have piccolo envy this weekend.

From Telemann to Mozart

There’s so much that sets Baroque music apart. Specialist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell and General Manager Edward Parsons talk about what to watch and listen for at this weekend’s concerts, which contain some real blockbusters from their time period.

Mozart’s Horn Concerto

What’s a Mannheim rocket? And why did Mozart leave little notes to the soloist in his horn concerto? Resident Conductor Daniel Black and General Manager Edward Parsons tell all about this weekend’s Soundwaves concert, Mozart’s Horn Concerto.

Beethoven's Symphony No. 4

Key in on moments of brilliance in Beethoven’s joyful Symphony No. 4 and find out why Ravel’s Piano Concerto sounds a bit like Mozart combined with Gershwin. Join Music Director Michael Francis and General Manager Edward Parsons in this online Pre-Concert Conversation.

The Intimate Mahler: Symphony No. 4

A special Soundwaves concert distills the essence of Mahler’s intimate Fourth Symphony in a version for just 14 players. Join Music Director Michael Francis and General Manager Edward Parsons.

Rachmaninoff on Paganini

Music Director Michael Francis and General Manager Ed Parsons talk about this weekend’s concert, which features Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, pianist Natasha Paremski on Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Ravel’s Mother Goose Ballet.

Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony

Go deeper into the power of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony and the poetry of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in this Pre-concert Conversation video. TFO musicians perform excerpts, with key insight from Michael Francis and Ed Parsons.

A Noble Pairing

Michael Francis and Ed Parsons tell the story of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which uses lively and virtuosic music to poke fun at the noble class. Double the fun with two versions, by Lully and Strauss, in this weekend’s Soundwaves concert, A Noble Pairing.

Tchaikovsky & Vivaldi for Strings

Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer sits down with General Manager Ed Parsons to talk about the pieces on our program, Tchaikovsky & Vivaldi for Strings.

American Heroes

The American Heroes concert is full of great fanfare. Music Director Michael Francis and General Manager Ed Parsons take you through the pieces with musical examples.

Come inside John Shaw’s studio for a tour of the unusual instruments you’ll hear in the Schwantner Percussion Concerto, part of the American Heroes concert.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40

Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina and General Manager Ed Parsons discuss this weekend’s program, which includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and his Concerto for Flute and Harp featuring TFO’s Clay Ellerbroek and Anna Kate Mackle.

Brass with a Beat

Resident Conductor Daniel Black and General Manager Ed Parsons go online for our popular Pre-Concert Conversation to talk about this weekend’s Soundwaves concert.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7

Learn to listen deeper to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Jessie Montgomery’s Strum and Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta.

Legends from the Americas

Get to know our fun new Soundwaves concerts. Maestro Michael Francis takes you through Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Joplin’s The Entertainer, and Piazzolla’s Serie del angel with a special message from Principal Bassoon Joshua Baker.