In the Wings | John Fleming

Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeff Multer to lead piano trio at St. Petersburg's Palladium Theater

It's a good week for chamber music, with Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeff Multer featured in a concert at the Palladium Theater. Multer leads a piano trio — along with cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park, musicians from New York who are married to each other — in the second of six programs in the Encore series.

"I think we're the best-kept secret in the Tampa Bay area," said Mark Sforzini, artistic director of the chamber music series, now in its ninth season. This year's series has a French theme, ranging from works by Ravel and Debussy to lesser-known composers such as Florent Schmitt.

So what distinguishes French music from other kinds? "I think you could say that a lot of French music is like impressionist painting," said Sforzini, a composer and former principal bassoonist with the Florida Orchestra. "I hear that in the way the instruments play fragments of things that come together as a beautiful whole."

Multer and friends will fulfill the French theme with Ravel's great Piano Trio in A minor as well as works of Debussy and Couperin. They'll also play Beethoven's first published work, the Op. 1, No. 1 Trio.

The concert is at 7:30 tonight, followed by discussion with the musicians, coffee and dessert. $10-$20. (727) 822-3590; mypalladium.org.

For more chamber music, check out the Borealis Wind Quintet, which is in residence this week in Tarpon Springs, working with students at Tarpon Springs High School and giving a concert. The group has four CDs to its credit, including one that was nominated for a Grammy, A La Carte. They'll play works of Nino Rota, Vincent Persichetti, Jean Philippe Rameau, Eric Ewazen and others at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. $20, $22. (727) 942-5605; tarponarts.org.

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Wicked fans will be interested in "Defying Gravity: The Music and Lyrics of Stephen Schwartz and Friends," a concert in Sarasota. It features Wicked composer-lyricist Schwartz, at the piano, with singers Liz Callaway and Scott Coulter. They'll perform songs from Wicked, Godspell, Pippin and other Schwartz musicals at 7 p.m. Sunday at Van Wezel Hall. $40-$55. (941) 953-3368; vanwezel.org.

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In another Broadway concert, Mandy Patinkin will be at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center on Saturday. He and pianist Paul Ford will dip into the songbooks of Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers and other musical theater composers at 8 p.m. in Morsani Hall. $25-$63.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; tbpac.org.

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Carol Edgerley is the new executive director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. She was previously executive director of the Mahaffey Theater Foundation and marketing director for Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8716.

Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeff Multer to lead piano trio at St. Petersburg's Palladium Theater 02/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 7:30am]

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