Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Florida Orchestra season finale features Ravel's 'Daphnis et Chloé'

Joshua Weilerstein, assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, will return this weekend to conduct the Florida Orchestra's season finale. On the program is Haydn's Symphony No. 60, Takemitsu's Toward the Sea II, and Ravel's ballet Daphnis et Chloé. And all three works are premieres for the orchestra.

You may know the famous Weilerstein family: Joshua's sister, Alisa, is an award-winning cellist, his mother, Vivian, is a pianist on faculty at the New England Conservatory, and his father, Don, played violin with the Cleveland Quartet for 20 years. Joshua, only 26, has made a name for himself as one of the most sought-after young conductors.

The program for this season's finale is sure to please, and each work is in a very different vein. The Haydn symphony, Il Distrato, was originally the incidental music to a French farce; the Takemitsu piece, featuring principal flutist Clay Ellerbroek and principal harpist Anna Kate Mackle, was written at the request of the Greenpeace Foundation for the Save the Whales campaign; and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, described by Stravinsky as "one of the most beautiful products of French music," was commissioned by the Ballets Russes.

Try to get there an hour early for the preconcert conversation, which will include a special performance by the Master Chorale under the direction of James K. Bass.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. There is no performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286.

Jon Carter, Times staff writer

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