ST. PETERSBURG, FL – In one of the most anticipated moments of its 55th season, The Florida Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Michael Ippolito’s Violin Concerto, which was composed for TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer and commissioned by Music Director Michael Francis and TFO. Maestro Francis will conduct three performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 2-4, 2022) at the Straz Center in Tampa and the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg in the Hough Family Foundation Masterworks series. Tickets are on sale now at FloridaOrchestra.org.
The 25-minute concerto continues TFO’s unique collaboration with Ippolito, an award-winning composer and Tampa native who was inspired by The Florida Orchestra growing up. TFO also commissioned Ippolito to compose Triptych, a major work inspired by natural Florida that commemorated TFO’s 50th anniversary in the 2017-18 season. It debuted to rave reviews. Last season, Maestro Francis conducted the world premiere of Ippolito’s a la fenestra, a short work that connected an ancient poem to our shared experiences during the pandemic.
It was Triptych that led to the new violin concerto. Ippolito got to know Multer, a Juilliard-trained violinist who has performed all over the world, and Multer was impressed with Ippolito’s style. Their interest led to larger discussions with Maestro Francis. (For more on Multer, visit FloridaOrchestra.org)
“As TFO continues our commitment to music as a living art form, we’re excited to give life to this violin concerto, which will feel home-grown in Tampa Bay,” Maestro Francis said.
“It’s important to commission new music because it’s a vital part of the creative process. This is how we find the next great gems,” said TFO President & CEO Mark Cantrell. “It’s also how we reflect today’s world. We are not just historians. Orchestras provide a bridge between the past and the future through great musical works and the stories they tell.”
Ippolito is a graduate of Brandon High School near Tampa and has been crafting music since he was a child. He went on to study at the Juilliard School in New York and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has won prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Juilliard and ASCAP. His music has been performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra and many more. Today, he is associate professor of composition at Texas State University. (For more on Ippolito, visit FloridaOrchestra.org)
Ippolito structured the Violin Concerto as a heroic narrative in two parts, influenced by the stories and lessons of ancient Greek epics and mythology. The first movement is titled Rhapsodos (Song-Stitcher), in which the solo violin is the storyteller who embodies the hero. The second movement, titled Moirai (Spin-Measure-Cut), refers to the fates – the three sister goddesses who determine the destinies of all mortals: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. In the final moments, the soloist attempts to defy fate.
The non-profit Florida Orchestra is the largest orchestra in the state and the only arts organization that bridges Tampa Bay. TFO exists to INSPIRE – UNITE – EDUCATE as we build community through the power of music onstage and in our schools and community. TFO will perform more than 100 concerts this season in venues throughout Tampa Bay, including a wide range of classical, popular, film, rock and family-friendly music. Next up is the very merry tradition of Holiday Pops in the Raymond James Pops series, which also includes blockbusters such as Harry Potter vs Star Wars and the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album. Maestro Francis leads the Hough Family Foundation Masterworks series, which includes Gershwin’s An American in Paris, featuring the Marsalis Tuba Concerto (Jan. 6-8), Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (Jan. 21 & 22) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Jan. 28 & 29). The orchestra’s 55th Celebration concert featuring legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman will be March 11 at the Mahaffey Theater. Tickets for all concerts are on sale now at FloridaOrchestra.org.
About The Florida Orchestra
The Florida Orchestra (TFO) is recognized as Tampa Bay’s leading performing arts institution, the largest professional orchestra in Florida, and one of the most vibrant and innovative orchestras in America. It celebrates its 55th season in 2022-23. Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis, TFO performs series of classical, popular, and morning coffee concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as free Pops in the Park concerts. The orchestra is dedicated to connecting to the community both in-person and virtually, with family and youth concerts and other educational programs. For tickets and information: FloridaOrchestra.org. The Florida Orchestra is a non-profit 501(c)3 EIN: 59-1223691 CH#1830. To learn more how you can support the power of music in building community, contact: email@example.com To donate now: FloridaOrchestra.org/donate
An inherent risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus/Covid-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Covid-19 is a highly contagious disease that may result in personal injury, severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and persons with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. Please visit the CDC’s website for its current guidance on people at increased risk for severe illness and other people who should take extra precautions. By attending a performance of The Florida Orchestra, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19. Please help keep each other safe.