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The lean season // Orchestra offers a wealth of talent despite cash woes

The Florida Orchestra's 1990-91 schedule is an interesting blend of poverty and daring. The orchestra is cash poor, and the lack of a big-name international soloist shows it. But rather than let this be a disadvantage, music director Jahja Ling has scheduled a season peppered with challenging and enjoyable works and soloists who, though they lack significant name recognition, are top-flight musicians likely to spark some exciting music.

Ling himself will conduct nine of the 14 subscription Masterworks concerts, though he is leaving the opening concert of the season to a guest conductor. After pushing the orchestra this year with big works like Petrushka and Mahler's Symphony No. 9, Ling has selected tough pieces for his third season as music director.

Here's a list of wide-open, orchestra-testing works that should send musicians running to their practice rooms and music fans to the performance halls: Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 (Sep. 26, 27 and 29), Bruckner Symphony No. 7 (Jan. 22-24), Mahler Symphony No. 6 (March 6-9, 1991), and the Strauss Don Juan, Bartok Miraculous Mandarin and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 (May 8-11, 1991).

There are a number of interesting works from American musicians next season as well: Morton Gould's House Warming and Gershwin's Concerto in F (Sept. 12, 13 and 15), James Hirt's Time Spirals (Sept. 26, 27 and 29), Irving Fine's Toccata Concertante (Jan. 4-6) and Stephen Albert's River Run (Feb. 19, 21 and 23). Local composer Alexander Rudajev's Concerto for Soprano Saxophone will premiere Oct. 23-25.

The few guest conductors are well chosen. The Florida Orchestra will likely be the country's only full-time orchestra to have two women conductors lead subscription concerts during its season.

Catherine Comet, who led the orchestra in a terrific performance of the Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in 1988, will open the season Sept. 12, 13 and 15 with a program of Gershwin, Gould and Kalinnikov. Joann Falletta, music director of the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic (that's San Francisco Bay) will conduct Oct. 23-25.

John Nelson, who appears with the orchestra in an all-French program Feb. 5-7, is former music director of the Indianapolis Symphony and one of Ling's early conducting teachers.

Ling also draws on his connections with the Cleveland Orchestra to pull several soloists from that ensemble. Cleveland concertmaster Daniel Majeske will play the little-heard Concerto in D for Violin by Austrian composer Erich Korngold Sep. 26, 27 and 29, and a Cleveland trio will do the Beethoven triple concerto Jan. 4-6.

Soprano Sylvia McNair is supposed to be soloist in music by Mozart and Brahms Dec. 4-6, but don't count on it. McNair has canceled Florida Orchestra appearances twice before. Cellist Carter Brey (March 27, 28 and 30, 1991) and Stephen Hough (March 6, 7 and 9, 1991) are both youngish and well-respected performers of great musical insight if not name recognition.

All in all, the 1990-91 season is a distinguished and quirky collection of music that is both crowd appealing and intellectually satisfying. It's not a season we would see if the orchestra had more money. But it is a season that indicates Ling's ambitions for the orchestra and the orchestra's own increased standards.

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA MASTERWORKS CONCERTS All performances begin at 8 p.m. First performances on the Florida Orchestra's Masterworks Series

Dates: Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater (REH), Wed., Sept. 12; Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa (TBPAC), Thurs., Sept. 13; Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg (BFC), Sat., Sept. 15 Conductor: Catherine Comet With: Jeffrey Siegel, piano Program: Gould House Warming , Gershwin Concerto in F for Piano, Kalinnikov Symphony No. 1 Dates: (REH) Wed., Sept. 26; (TBPAC) Thurs., Sept. 27; (BFC) Sat., Sept. 29 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Daniel Majeske, violin Program: James Hirt Time Spirals , Korngold Concerto in D for

Violin, Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 Dates: (REH) Tues., Oct. 9; (TBPAC) Thurs., Oct. 11; (BFC) Sat., Oct. 13 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Whitney Crockett, bassoon Program: Vivaldi Concerto for Bassoon No. 29 , Villa-Lobos Ciranda das sele nolas, Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements, Beethoven Symphony No. 5 Dates: (BFC) Tues., Oct. 23; (REH) Wed., Oct. 24; (TBPAC) Thurs., Oct. 25 Conductor: Joann Falletta With: Claude Delangle, saxophone Program: Turina Danzas Fantasticas , Rudajev Concerto for Soprano Saxophone (WORLD PREMIERE) , Ibert Concertino De Camera, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition Dates: (REH) Wed., Nov. 14; (TBPAC) Thurs., Nov. 15; (BFC) Sat., Nov. 17 Conductor: Edward Cumming With: Eduardus Halim, piano Program: Debussy Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, Chopin Piano

Concerto No. 1, Hindemith Mathis Der Maler Dates: (BFC) Tues., Dec. 4; (REH) Wed., Dec. 5; (TBPAC) Thurs., Dec. 6 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: The Master Chorale; Sylvia McNair, soprano Program: Mozart Exsultate Jubilate, Brahms German Requiem Dates: (TBPAC) Fri., Jan. 4; (BFC) Sat., Jan. 5; (REH) Sun., Jan. 6 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Stephen Warner, violin; Stephen Geber, cello; Carolyn Warner, piano Program: Fine Toccata Concertante , Beethoven Concerto in C for

Violin, Cello, Piano, Dvorak Symphony No. 7 Dates: (TBPAC) Tues., Jan. 22; (REH) Wed., Jan. 23; (BFC) Thurs., Jan. 24 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Young Uck Kim, violin Program: Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5, Bruckner Symphony No. 7 Dates: (BFC) Tues., Feb. 5; (REH) Wed., Feb. 6; (TBPAC) Thurs., Feb. 7 Conductor: John Nelson Program: Faure Pelleas and Melisande Suite, Ravel La Valse, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique Dates: (REH) Tues., Feb. 19; (TBPAC) Thurs., Feb. 21; (BFC) Sat., Feb. 23 Conductor: Edward Cumming With: Alexander Markov, violin Program: Stephen Albert River Run , Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1, Brahms/Schoenberg Quartet in G Minor (for Orchestra) Dates: (REH) Wed., March 6; (TBPAC) Thurs., March 7; (BFC) Sat., March 9 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Stephen Hough, piano Program: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 , Mahler Symphony No. 6

Dates: (REH) Wed., March 27; (TBPAC) Thurs., March 28; (BFC) Sat., March 30 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Carter Brey, cello Program: Tchaikovsky March Miniature from Suite No. 1 , Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante, Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 Dates: (REH) Wed., April 24; (TBPAC) Thurs., April 25; (BFC) Sat., April 27 Conductor: Jahja Ling With: Lorin Hollander, piano Program: Mozart Symphony No. 40, Sibelius Symphony No. 7 , Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 Dates: (REH) Wed., May 8; (TBPAC) Thurs., May 9; (BFC) Sat., May 11 Conductor: Jahja Ling Program: R. Strauss Don Juan, Bartok Miraculous Mandarin , Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4