Seeing live music can be a transcendent mind-body experience, akin to getting a tattoo underwater, or making out during an eclipse. Transcend boredom with today's Groupon: for $50, you get two tickets to any Florida Orchestra Masterworks or Pops concert (up to a $134 value). Concerts are performed at one of three Tampa Bay area venues: the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa; the Progress Energy Center for the Arts—Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg; and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
Masterworks concerts combine the power of a full-symphonic ensemble with the note-work of acclaimed guest musicians and conductors to perform diverse baroque, classical, and contemporary selections. Take in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (Jan. 28–30), the only concerto inspired by Russian nesting dolls, or activate the Gershwin portion of your brain with his blues-heavy Concerto in F (Feb. 18 and 20). Modish music fans may opt to attend a concert in the Pops series, which regales listeners with snap-inducing versions of their favorite jazz, rock, Broadway, and big band tunes. Upcoming shows pay tribute to "The One and Only Louis Armstrong" (Jan. 7–9) and the hip-shaking hits of The Copacabana, arranged by Grammy-winner Victor Vanacore (April 8–10). You must redeem your Groupon at least 24 hours in advance of your chosen performance. Getting your tickets early ensures you'll be assigned the best available seating and gives you time to design sparkly I Heart Violas T-shirts for you and your date. Check out the 2010–11 season calendar for a list of all performance dates and locations.
The Florida Orchestra has received a lot of press from the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune.
Florida Orchestra has delighted ears across the Tampa Bay area for 44 seasons filled with time-tested masterworks and sprightly pops concerts. Created in the 1968 merger between the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Tampa Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra ties the two sides of the bay together into one musical tradition. The ensemble has continued its program of outreach ever since, which has recently included cultural exchange programs with Cuba, collaborations with local institutions, and the tradition of allowing one lucky child to sleep inside a tuba during each performance.