Hey Tampa Bay.. Julian here with great news for all music and concert lovers out there: The Florida Orchestra (TFO) announced programming and artists for its 2010/2011 morning Coffee Concert series under the direction of Alastair Willis, now in his third season as coffee series conductor at TFO.  The orchestra will continue to offer a seven-concert series of familiar symphonic favorites at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m., as well as a new three-concert series being added at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m.  This new Clearwater series is presented by the Herman Forbes Charitable Trust. 

Programming for the Coffee Concerts covers favorite themes and movements from such well-known works as Bernstein’s West Side Story, Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Gershwin’s  Porgy & Bess, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Soloists on the series include TFO’s Principal Clarinetist Brian Moorhead, performing the second and third movements from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, and the 2010 Sphinx Competition Winner, violinist Gareth Johnson, playing the second and third movements of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.

Taking place in a relaxed setting with a casual format, the conductor talks to the audience about the music and the composers during the performances.  Prior to all concerts, complimentary coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts are served in the lobby of the hall, and pre-concert conversations by the conductor and various orchestra musicians are offered in the concert hall one hour before curtain time.  The 7-concert series in St. Petersburg starts at $134, and the 3-concert series in Clearwater starts at $58.  For more information or to purchase a series package, call The Florida Orchestra Ticket Center at 727.892.3337 or toll free at 1.800.662.7286, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.floridaorchestra.org.

All of the Coffee Concerts will be led by Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis, whose talents regularly place him in front of such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony and San Diego Symphony, among others.  He has also occupied a variety of conducting posts, including resident conductor of the Seattle Symphony, assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops orchestras and music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Seven Concerts – October through May
Progress Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater
Thursday Mornings at 11 a.m. in St. Petersburg

Three Concerts – January, March & April
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Wednesday Mornings at 10 a.m. in Clearwater

For programming, schedule, and tickets click HERE! So treat youself to some really good music for breakfast! I'll be back with more news and updates around Tampa Bay area events and fun stuff to do in Tampa Bay!