Both the Florida Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra are in the market for a new music director. That means, at least theoretically, that guest conductors are potential candidates, and two of them will be on the podium with the orchestras this weekend.
Cristian Macelaru leads the Florida Orchestra in a program of repertory standards, anchored by Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, Scottish. Macelaru, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has already been seen in performance by members of the orchestra's music director search committee who traveled to Canada in September when he conducted the Orchestre Metropolitain Montreal. His program also includes the overture to Wagner's Flying Dutchman and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, with Orion Weiss as the soloist. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall of the Straz 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, $30, $45. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.
In Sarasota, concerts this weekend are being conducted by Anu Tali, an Estonian making a return engagement with the orchestra. Fittingly, her program opens with a work by Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, his Overture No. 2. Joyce Yang is the piano soloist in Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, and Prokofiev's ballet score Romeo and Juliet winds up the concert. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Van Wezel Hall. $30-$84. (941) 953-3434; sarasotaorchestra.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic