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The Florida Orchestra debuts on WEDU-PBS television

The performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was recorded during a live concert.
Members of the Florida Orchestra perform their first concert since the pandemic shut down live performances for months. A socially distant and limited capacity crowd watched the orchestra's performance at the Mahaffey Theater on Oct. 31.
Members of the Florida Orchestra perform their first concert since the pandemic shut down live performances for months. A socially distant and limited capacity crowd watched the orchestra's performance at the Mahaffey Theater on Oct. 31. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Dec. 14, 2020

Fans of the Florida Orchestra who have missed their live concerts are in for a treat on Friday, when a broadcast of one of the orchestra’s performances airs on WEDU PBS. It will be the first time a Florida Orchestra concert has aired on the local PBS station.

Inside the Music: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was recorded during a live performance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was the first piece performed in the orchestra’s revised 2020-21 season.

Related: The Florida Orchestra is back. Here's the revised fall season.

The broadcast features an introduction by music director Michael Francis, based on the Inside the Music series he introduced during his first season with the Florida Orchestra in 2015-16. He offers insights and musical demos to help the audience listen for a deeper experience.

“Although music can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge, the opportunity to understand what Beethoven had to overcome — and what was happening in the world around him — helps us find deeper meaning in our own lives today. This WEDU partnership with The Florida Orchestra is a chance to share the truth behind this masterpiece with more people,” Francis said in a news release. “You will never listen to this symphony the same way again.”

The Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis welcomes the crowd back during their first live concert after the COVID-19 pandemic halted all performances for months. A socially distant and limited capacity crowd watched as the orchestra's performance at the Mahaffey Theater on October 31, 2020 in St. Petersburg.
The Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis welcomes the crowd back during their first live concert after the COVID-19 pandemic halted all performances for months. A socially distant and limited capacity crowd watched as the orchestra's performance at the Mahaffey Theater on October 31, 2020 in St. Petersburg. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

The hour-long broadcast is in honor of the anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday this week. It airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 18.

The Florida Orchestra returned to the stage at the Mahaffey Theater in October, with new safety protocols in place, as well as live-streaming options. More concerts with fewer musicians were added, including a new Soundwaves series.

Related: The Florida Orchestra performs live concert in St. Petersburg, its first since March

This week, the orchestra has live performances of Classical Christmas on Dec. 16, 17 and 20. The concert will also be streamed for free at floridaorchestra.org on Dec. 20.

The orchestra also announced concerts in the next phase of its reimagined season, which starts in January. Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, Dec. 21.

Here is the lineup:

Jan. 9-10: Masterworks series: Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony (free livestream available at floridaorchestra.org)

Jan. 9-10: Soundwaves series: A Noble Pairing, featuring works by Jean Baptiste Lully and Richard Strauss

Jan. 14-16: Pops: New Year’s in Vienna

Jan. 23-24: Masterworks: Rachmaninoff on Paganini (free livestream available)

Jan. 30-31: Masterworks: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 (free live stream available)

Jan. 30-31: Soundwaves: The Intimate Mahler: Symphony No. 4