Make us your home page

Pianist Jeremy Denk changes Florida Orchestra program a week before concert

Pianist Jeremy Denk is the Florida Orchestra's featured soloist this weekend. Photo by Michael Wilson

Pianist Jeremy Denk is the Florida Orchestra's featured soloist this weekend. Photo by Michael Wilson

Jeremy Denk Plays Ravel, a Florida Orchestra concert, was to open this weekend at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

But due to a phone call to the orchestra late Friday, the concert has a new title: Jeremy Denk Plays Mozart. Denk's manager called around 4:30 p.m. Friday to request the programming change, citing the celebrated pianist's busy schedule not allowing for adequate preparation time. Denk was originally to play Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, a piece played with just one hand.

"The Ravel was a new work for him," said orchestra general manager Edward Parsons, who negotiated the request with representatives of Denk and guest conductor Karina Canellakis. "He wanted to give our audiences the best quality performance that he can."

The parties reached a resolution hours later. Denk will play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20. Soloists sometimes cancel appearances due to illness, but it has been at least a decade since someone switched out a concert program this late in the game, Parsons said.

"Obviously it's a less than ideal situation for everyone," he said, "so there were discussions about what would be the best piece to do that is in both of their repertoires so that everyone feels comfortable."

A winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship who performs regularly with the country's top orchestras, Denk is renowned for playing Mozart, and Piano Concerto No. 20 is one of the composer's most popular. The orchestra will issue refunds to ticket holders who expected to hear Ravel, but Parsons advised against it.

"Jeremy Denk plays Mozart better than just about anybody," he said.

Contact Andrew Meacham at or (727) 892-2248. Follow @torch437.

Pianist Jeremy Denk changes Florida Orchestra program a week before concert 10/17/16 [Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2016 5:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot


    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  3. Actor John Heard dies at age 72


    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  4. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.


    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)

  5. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game


    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]