Florida Orchestra suspends performances into April due to coronavirus

The orchestra is offering ticket exchanges and gift certificates, but for now, no refunds.
Conductor Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra during a dress rehearsal at the Straz Center on September 27, 2019 in Tampa.
Conductor Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra during a dress rehearsal at the Straz Center on September 27, 2019 in Tampa. [ MONICA HERNDON | Times ]
Published March 13, 2020|Updated March 13, 2020

Stories about the coronavirus pandemic are free to read as a public service at Sign up for our DayStarter newsletter to receive updates weekday mornings. If this coverage is important to you, consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Tampa Bay Times at

• • •

The Florida Orchestra has canceled or postponed its next three weeks of performances due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We strongly believe in taking every precaution as we work together as a community to slow the spread of the virus, and we know this is the right decision, but it is unfortunate,” said Mark Cantrell, the orchestra’s president and CEO. "In times like these, we want our orchestra to be there for the community, to help us process complex emotions, bring us joy, give us comfort. As we move forward, that will not change.

Programs canceled as a result of the decision:

March 20-22: Bach’s St. John’s Passion performances in Lutz, Largo and St. Petersburg

March 25-26: “Bright Side of Beethoven” Coffee Concerts in Clearwater and St. Petersburg

March 27-29: Broadway pops in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg

April 3-5: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg; as well as a week of chamber concerts in public spaces like hospitals and Tampa International Airport

Two events have been postponed to a date not yet determined: A morning Peter and the Wolf concert in Clearwater on March 28; and an afternoon string trio performance on March 29 in St. Petersburg.

Michael Francis, the orchestra’s music director, has also canceled several upcoming conducting gigs in Germany.

For the canceled events, the orchestra is not offering ticket refunds. Patrons can instead exchange tickets for seats to an upcoming performance, or a gift certificate that will never expire. Or they can convert the value of their ticket into a tax-deductible gift to the orchestra. For now, the orchestra is not refunding tickets, though that could change.

For the latest event and concert cancellations due to the coronavirus around Tampa Bay, click here.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide

Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.

EVENT CANCELLATIONS: Get the latest updates on events planned in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.

PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.

BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.

STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.

WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.

READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Florida Department of Health

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.