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Northern exposure // STAR CHAMBER

The 14-year-old Tampa Bay Chamber Orchestra will start an extraordinary weekend of music at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 with a program featuring world-renowned cellist Scott Kluksdahl.

Two days later, on Nov. 17, the center will host the Florida Orchestra. (See companion story on this page.)

The chamber orchestra's performance in Pasco is among the first outside Hillsborough County in several years, said John Hyer, executive director. Other performances are planned for Pinellas County later this season.

"I think it is important to emphasize that the TBCO does programs completely different from a regular symphony orchestra," said Hyer, who was manager of the Florida Orchestra from 1991 to 1993. "Therefore, our concerts really compliment one another."

The chamber group is much smaller, and its presentation is much more intimate. The sound has been described as sweet and elegant.

The Nov. 15 program includes three movements from Rossini's Sonata No. 1 in G Major; five sonatas in the form of a suite by Scarlatti; three tempos from Vivaldi's Concerto for Cello, Opus 9, No. 3 in D Major; Puccini's Crisantemi; and Respighi's Antique Airs and Dances.

The piece by Vivaldi will feature cellist Kluksdahl, professor of violin/cello at the University of South Florida and recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at Tanglewood, as well as top prizes in national and international competition.

Kluksdahl has performed with major orchestras and unaccompanied in Carnegie Hall, and will perform this year in Tel Aviv, Rio de Janeiro, Washington and France.

The orchestra is directed by Richard Cormier, who was founding conductor of the St. Joseph (Mo.) Symphony and the Cormier Chamber Orchestra of Kansas City.

The Tampa Bay Chamber Orchestra is the only fully professional chamber orchestra in Florida and has received accolades from critics and music lovers throughout the state.

The group will perform for Pasco students the morning of the 15th, featuring violins, viola, cello and bass doing songs by Scarlatti, Mozart and others.

At a glance

Tampa Bay Chamber Orchestra at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15. Admission is $15. Call the orchestra box office in Tampa at (813) 307-0098 or River Ridge box office at (813) 836-7486.