The Florida Orchestra debuts on WEDU-PBS television this Friday (Dec. 18) at 9 pm with Inside the Music: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, a special broadcast recorded live at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Music Director Michael Francis will be your guide before a performance of the full symphony in honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth this week.
The hour-long program in partnership with WEDU showcases Maestro Francis’ popular Inside the Music series, which he brought to the concert hall in his first season with the orchestra in 2015/16. He uses unique insight and musical demos in a down-to-earth, casual setting to help audiences listen deeper to some of the most important masterpieces in history. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 also was performed as part of the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series this season.
“Although music can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge, the opportunity to understand what Beethoven had to overcome – and what was happening in the world around him – helps us find deeper meaning in our own lives today. This WEDU partnership with The Florida Orchestra is a chance to share the truth behind this masterpiece with more people,” Maestro Francis said. “You will never listen to this symphony the same way again.”
The broadcast premieres at 9 pm Friday (Dec. 18) on WEDU. It will be the first time a Florida Orchestra concert will air on Tampa Bay’s PBS station, and it is made possible by the generous support of William and Suzanne Garth, Charlene and Mardy Gordon, Barry and Judith Alpert and Family, and the Hough Family Foundation.
For 53 years, The Florida Orchestra has endured as an artistic gem in the Tampa Bay community. In October, TFO was one of the first and largest arts organizations to return to the stage in Tampa Bay after an eight-month hiatus, with strict new health and safety measures in place. This week TFO has multiple live performances of Classical Christmas (Dec. 16, 17 & 20), which also will be live streamed for free Dec. 20 at 5 pm. All concerts are at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. TFO just announced concerts in the next phase of its reimagined season in January; tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, Dec. 21.