LOCAL TALENT: MINA MIJOVIC
One of this area's reservoirs of music is about to get a boost. Pianist Mina Mijovic stars in a trio of concerts next week by the Tampa Bay Symphony, titled Dances, Dreams and the Danube. She will solo in Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, and it should be a treat.
Mijovic, 21, grew up in Belgrade, Serbia, and entered her first piano competition at age 5. Mijovic entered college at 14, then graduated from Belgrade's University of the Arts at 19 with a master's degree.
She came to the United States in August and is earning a second master's degree, in piano performance, at the University of South Florida. Mijovic is the winner of the Young Artist Competition sponsored by the symphony.
She likes playing Liszt because of the way the composer's work can be challenging and sometimes carries themes from one movement into the next.
"It requires pianists to be well prepared musically as well as technically," Mijovic said.
You can catch her on YouTube going back a decade or so, playing challenging work by Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Joseph Haydn and others. She wants to work as a concert pianist but also branch out into pop and other crossover opportunities.
To get there, she said, "I guess I have to work on myself, give my maximum. Hopefully it will work out."
The Tampa Bay Symphony, with more than 80 classically trained volunteer players, is led by music director and conductor Mark Sforzini, also the executive director of the St. Petersburg Opera.
The orchestra will also play The Blue Danube, the celebrated waltz by Johann Strauss II, and the suite from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
Concerts area at 4 p.m. Sunday at the arts auditorium at St. Petersburg College's Clearwater campus, 2465 Drew St.; 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg; and 4 p.m. May 1 at Ferguson Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $20. (727) 827-8087. tampabaysymphony.org.
FROM SHOWER TO STAGE: SING OUT!
As the end of his first season with the Florida Orchestra draws nearer, Michael Francis is turning to yet another untapped resource: you.
On Tuesday, the music director is leading the orchestra in a first-ever community-based concert. I recently attended the rehearsal for Sing Out! Tampa Bay at the Mahaffey Theater, the stage packed with volunteer singers. There were no auditions for what is essentially a public sing-along. If you missed the sign-in earlier this month to sit behind the orchestra, you will not feel left out in the auditorium. Songs include the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah, Yankee Doodle Dandy, God Bless America, Battle Hymn of the Republic and Amazing Grace. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mahaffey, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. "Pay what you can" collection; $10 parking. (727) 892-5798. themahaffey.com.
SWEET SEASONS: CAROLE KING'S 'BEAUTIFUL'
In 1959, 16-year-old Carole King went to Broadway to become a songwriter. Baby boomers know the results by heart. For years part of a songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin, she broke out with Tapestry, her 1971 album that sold 10 million copies. Now the touring musical based on King's life, Beautiful, is coming to Tampa. The show follows King's personal and professional highs and lows, and her friendship with the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and runs through May 1 in Morsani Hall at the Straz Center. $70-$155. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
BOLD MOVES: HABANA COMPAS
If you've ever tapped your foot to the joyful, energetic rhythms of Spanish, Cuban and African-Cuban dance, be aware that an acclaimed Cuban dance troupe is passing through on Friday. Habana Compas Dance has already appeared in Turkey and France. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday in Ferguson Hall at Straz Center. $35-$65. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.