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Sponsored content: Beethoven gets the party started for Florida Orchestra's 50th birthday

"Every bit of it has such rhythmic drive and power. It's just sort of this magnetic pulse."

That's how Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis describes Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and its jubilant feeling of dance. It's a fitting centerpiece to the orchestra's Birthday Bash Weekend, marking its official incorporation 50 years ago, on Nov. 2, 1967.

Expect festive touches all weekend, from the lobby into the concert halls in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Tickets start at just $15, with free Classical Kids tickets for kids and teens.

Joining the celebration is French-Canadian pianist Alain Lefevre, who makes his TFO debut on his specialty, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4. He's one of the few pianists who performs the original 1926 version. The concert kicks off with Bartok's Dance Suite, a collection of folk songs from around the world, "almost like the United Nations," says Francis, who is conducting the concerts.

Come join the party to celebrate 50 years of your Florida Orchestra with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.

If you go ...

The Florida Orchestra: Beethoven's Symphony No. 7

• Fri, Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Straz Center, Carol Morsani Hall

• Sat, Nov. 4, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater

• Sun, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall

Tickets: $15, $30, $45

Free Classical Kids tickets for kids and teens available in advance, with adult ticket purchase.; (727)892-3337 or 1-800-662-7286