Florida Orchestra goes Gershwin
Sylvia McNair is featured in the Florida Orchestra's first pops program of the season, a multimedia concert called "Here to Stay — the Gershwin Experience." McNair, an opera soprano who has transitioned into singing pop and jazz, will perform Gershwin classics such as Summertime and But Not For Me. Also on the program, led by guest conductor Sarah Hicks, are pianist Kevin Cole, tap dancer Danny Gardner and archival photos and film from the Gershwin family. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday at Morsani Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $15-$45, with $10 tickets for students, educators and military. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.
Since 2003, Nancy Rubenstein has worked on "Music Reborn: A Celebration of Jewish Composers," a project that seeks to preserve the legacy of composers whose music was suppressed by the Nazis. Many of the composers, such as Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, died in concentration camps. Rubenstein, a pianist and Tampa native living in Pittsburgh, is joined by a pair of Czech musicians — Father Vit Fiala, a Franciscan monk on cello, and violinist Ivan Zenaty — in her fourth concert from the project at the Carollwood Cultural Center. Their program includes Schulhoff's Violin Sonata, a Serenade by Robert Dauber and other works. Some of the composers are still living, Rubenstein says. "The common thread is their Jewish heritage, which in many cases influenced their writings." The performance is at 8 p.m. Saturday. $18-$24. (813) 269-1310; carrollwoodcenter.org.
Pianist Grigorios Zamparas, an assistant professor of music at the University of Tampa, gives a recital of Debussy, Ravel, Chopin and the Busoni transcription of Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major at 2 p.m. Sunday at the school's Sykes Chapel. Free. (813) 257-6100; ut.edu/sykeschapel.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic