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For Florida Orchestra, a permanent concertmaster

Jeff Multer has been named concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra.

Multer, acting concertmaster since the season began, fills a position that has been vacant since 2004 when Amy Schwartz Moretti left to become concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony.

Multer, 40, plays first violin in the Elements Quartet in New York. He has been concertmaster with the Colorado Symphony, the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and the Breckenridge Music Institute in Colorado. A runner, he has completed four marathons.

He was house-hunting in St. Petersburg last weekend while playing in masterworks programs that included Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. He's playing this weekend in the orchestra's pops concerts with Patti Austin in an Ella Fitzgerald tribute.

AMERICAN STAGE SUCCESS: American Stage had one of its biggest hits with Dial "M" for Murder, which closed a five-week run Sunday. With 4,110 tickets sold, the Fredrick Knott thriller was the fourth main stage production to top 4,000 tickets in 27 seasons at the St. Petersburg theater. The other top-selling shows, in descending order, were Anna in the Tropics, Proof and A Couple of Blaggards.

OPERA COMPETITION SATURDAY: The Florida Suncoast Opera Guild awards some serious money at its 26th annual competition for young professionals and college students from Florida on Saturday at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. First prize is $3,000, and six other contestants receive cash.

About 30 singers audition for judges from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The top seven will give a concert of arias at 7:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of winners. Judges are Rosalia Maresca, Tito Capobianco and Edvard Crader. Concert admission is $7. (727) 822-3590.

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