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43 Florida Orchestra musicians unite for virtual performance

Recording from their homes, musicians recreated a symphony-sized snippet of Tchaikovsky.

It’s been six weeks since the Florida Orchestra’s last performance, and it’ll be another few weeks, at least, before they return.

In the meantime, they just dropped a performance from their homes.

Forty-three musicians have united for a virtual performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, released by the orchestra on Friday. Musicians recorded their parts in their homes, and pieced together by associate conductor Daniel Black and recording engineer John Zumwalt Stephan.

The video was the brainchild of music director Michael Francis and concertmaster and violinist Jeffrey Multer, and dedicated “to everyone who believes in the power of music.”

Related: 'Believe in the pencil': At the Florida Orchestra, the music's in the margins

Orchestra musicians have been uploading home-recorded performances every day, and some of them — like Ross Holcombe’s solo trombone octets, or Rob Smith’s trumpet performance with his dogs Lucy and Basil — are fairly creative. But this is the first time the orchestra has attempted something this ambitious.

Check it out below:

While the Florida Orchestra’s season has been canceled through at least May 10, they are still paying their musicians through the end of the season. A decision on the rest of the season will come soon, potentially as early as next week.

Related: Florida Orchestra extends canceled shows through May 10

Not to be outdone, the Florida Bjorkestra has released an ambitious virtual performance of its own. The St. Petersburg alternative chamber-pop ensemble, whose name plays off the Florida Orchestra, is known for lush tributes to artists like David Bowie, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and, of course, Bjork.

They’ve also performed a full tribute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s famed musical episode, “Once More With Feeling," and before the coronavirus hit, they were scheduled to do it again this month.

Instead, bandleader Jeremy Douglass corralled 26 musicians to craft a virtual performance of Walk Through the Fire from their own homes. It’s the Bjorkestra’s second virtual performance, following a recording of Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome). Check out the Buffy performance below.

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