Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on the questions below for more information.

While our musicians wear tuxedos and traditional black orchestra dress, formal attire is not a strict requirement at Orlando Philharmonic events. We encourage you to wear what makes you comfortable. Note that the temperature inside the theaters can fluctuate, so a light sweater is recommended.

Most Classical and Opera patrons dress as if they were going to dinner at a nice restaurant. Opening Night and other special events are typically more formal, and some patrons choose to wear suits or formal dresses.
Matinee and Pops Series events are more relaxed—some patrons wear “business casual,” others wear jeans or comfortable clothing.

We recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event to find a parking spot and locate your seats.  Drinks may be purchased a both the Bob Carr Theater and The Plaza Live.  You can also browse the Friends of the Philharmonic Boutique, which sells gifts and CDs in the lobby before each concert and during intermission.

Orchestra concerts are all about the music, and any additional noise or movement in the theater can be distracting. Please silence cell phones before the performance begins, and if you have a cold, it’s best to bring cough drops or lozenges. If you must make noise, try to wait until a break in the performance.

At Classical Series events, audiences typically clap only after a piece is finished. For example, when listening to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, which has four movements, it is traditional to clap only after the last movement. The program book will list how many movements a piece has. Usually, there is a 15- to 30-second pause between movements. Pops Series events are more relaxed, and Opera Series events are similar to Broadway or theater events—audience members laugh at jokes, clap after solo passages, and applaud after each act or musical number.

We recommend that our Classics, Focus, and Opera performances are best suited to children ages 10 and up.  Some of our Matinee Series concerts, such as Home for the Holidays, are more family friendly.  For the enjoyment of everyone, we ask that you give serious consideration to the type of music being performed and your child’s age and attention span before purchasing a ticket for your child.

The Philharmonic encourages family attendance at all of our outdoor programs and our indoor family-friendly concerts such as Home for the Holidays.  Parents whose children become fussy or disruptive may be asked to leave the theater until the child calms down.  Every child age 2 and up requires a ticket and families with young children will be seated as close to an aisle as possible.

We  offer several Young People’s Concerts and special events throughout the year, and many are designed just for kids! Browse family-friendly events now.

Parking at the Bob Carr Theater (Super Series, Classics, Pops) is $8 per car before 5 pm, and $10 per car after 5 pm. Click here for parking information.

Parking at The Plaza Live (Focus, Sounds of Summer, Opera) is free, with overflow parking in front of Old Navy in the Colonial Plaza. Parking often fills quickly, so we recommend you arrive early.

Classical Music Questions

The term “classical music” covers a wide range of musical styles spanning hundreds of years, from early 18th-century composers (such as Bach), to 19th-century (Beethoven and Brahms), 20th-century (Stravinsky, Copland and Shostakovich) to today’s composers, such as John Adams, Philip Glass and John Corigliano. Generally, classical music is played by strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses), woodwinds (clarinets, oboes, flutes, and bassoons), brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tubas), and percussion (drums, xylophones, and bells), or some combination.

You will probably recognize far more music than you would have imagined. Many of today’s popular songs, television shows, and movies use or are based on classical themes, including the “Lone Ranger” theme (Rossini’s William Tell Overture), the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” (Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries), Billy Joel’s “This Night” (Beethoven’s Pathetique Piano Sonata), to name just a few.

Classical music is exciting, surprising, moving and sometimes even funny. Whether you have a degree in music, or this is your very first orchestra experience, we’re sure you will enjoy your first Orlando Philharmonic event. Need help selecting the right event for you? Our events calendar can be sorted by genre, and our Box Office staff is happy to help you select an event that suits your musical taste.

The more you know about an opera or a piece of music, the more you will enjoy it. If you are unfamiliar with the works programmed for a specific event, we encourage you browse video or audio recordings included on the events page, read an article about the composer, or attend one of our pre-concert conversations, held one hour before concert time for all events at the Bob Carr Theater. These gatherings are complimentary for all ticket holders (seating is first-come, first-served), and feature conversation with the conductor and guest artists.

The short answer is:  absolutely nothing.  Among the top tier orchestra names in the US are the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony.  The word “orchestra” refers to a group of musicians performing a concert.  “Symphony” means harmony.  “Philharmonic” means the love of harmony.  Orchestras choose their names for a variety of reasons, but they are all similar in terms of musicians and programming.

A subscription series is a set of concerts that may be purchased as a package. When you purchase a series/package, you become a subscriber. Subscribers enjoy many benefits that single-ticket buyers don’t, including lower ticket prices, sitting in the same seats for every concert in their series, and invitations to special events. We offer many different kinds of subscriptions: Classics (Saturday evening), Pops (Saturday matinee or Saturday evening), Opera (Thursday evening, Friday evening or Sunday matinee), and the Focus and Sounds of Summer Series (Monday nights).


Our website is full of useful information, including program notes, insights from our Music Director, biographies of our musicians and guest artists, as well as a concert schedule. The best way to stay informed is to sign up for our email list, where you’ll receive concert announcements, insights, musical samples and monthly news. You can also follow us on facebook or twitter.

For other questions, or for help planning your first concert experience, please contact the Orlando Philharmonic Box Office at 407.770.0071.