News & Blog


Springs 2017 TNEW

The Orlando Philharmonic will perform its annual concert at the Springs Community in Longwood, featuring the music of the ‘70s pop sensation ABBA, on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 8 p.m. The concert is located at the Springs Community in Longwood on State Road 434, one mile west of I-4. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

The Orlando Philharmonic’s outdoor concert at the Springs is a beloved tradition in the Central Florida community and continues to sell out each year. This year, Music Director Eric Jacobsen will lead the Philharmonic in the Springs concert.

Featured in this performance is world-class touring act Jeans n’ Classics performing the works of Swedish singing sensation ABBA. With hundreds of millions of albums sold, ABBA is without a doubt one of the most successful groups in the history of popular music. The program will celebrate favorite tunes by Abba like “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “The Winner Takes It All” and “SOS.” The concert is presented through the sponsorship of Certified Financial Group, an investment-manager and financial-planning firm headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

General Admission tickets start at $45 in advance and $50 at the door. VIP admission is $150 and includes VIP seating, catered buffet, complimentary wine/beer/soft drinks. With the ABBA Special Offer, general admission tickets are just $39 each when you buy 4 or more tickets by March 10. Tickets are available online at, by calling 407.770.0071, or in person at the Box Office, located at The Plaza Live (425 N. Bumby Avenue, Orlando). The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Orlando Philharmonic Announces 25th Anniversary Season


One-Night-Only Gala Concert to Feature Celebrated Cellist Yo-Yo Ma  

The Orlando Philharmonic announced its 25th Anniversary Season today, including a one-night-only gala anniversary concert featuring acclaimed cellist, Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Colin Jacobsen on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the Bob Carr Theater.

The 25th Anniversary Season includes five concerts in the FAIRWINDS Classics Series, five programs in the Pops Series and five concerts in the Focus Series. The 2017 Sounds of Summer Series and the 2017-2018 Women in Song Series will be announced at a later date.

“Our 25th Anniversary Season is really going to be special because we have amazing and diverse programming with world premieres by local composers, the great musicians of our orchestra, and Yo-Yo Ma is performing with the Philharmonic for the first time,” said Eric Jacobsen, music director.

As the Orlando Philharmonic celebrates its past during the anniversary season, it also looks toward the future with the groundbreaking of Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts scheduled for Monday, March 6.

“There’s never been a more exciting time for the Orlando Philharmonic,” said Christopher Barton, executive director. “There’s so much to look forward to with the groundbreaking of Steinmetz Hall, the Yo-Yo Ma Gala Anniversary Concert next year, a new season that offers something for everyone and a community-wide anniversary celebration that will allow everyone to celebrate with us.”


Orlando Philharmonic 25th Anniversary Season

25th Anniversary Season Gala Concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Colin Jacobsen

Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 by Johannes Brahms

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


FAIRWINDS Classics Series at Bob Carr Theater

25th Anniversary Season Opening: Beethoven’s Ninth

Saturday, September 30 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 1 at 2 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Kate Maroney, mezzo soprano; Dann Coakwell, tenor; and Dashon Burton, baritone; UCF Chorus 

Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 in D minor

One of the best-known works in classical music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is motivated by the idea of the “brotherhood of man” and is the great composer’s final complete symphony. For lovers of classical music, it is a “bucket list” moment because it’s a life-affirming and joyful anthem for humanity. Destiny, exuberance, love and joy… this is Beethoven’s Ninth.


Beethoven & Mozart

Saturday, November 18 at 8 p.m.

Jeffrey Kahane, conductor and pianist

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4, in G Major

Timo Andres – Eno Paraphrase

Mozart – Symphony No. 38 in D Major, “Prague”

Travel with us to Vienna and Prague as conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducts from the piano. Beautiful and original, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 combines lyricism and intimacy with gravity and power. Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 premiered in Prague in 1787 and is popularly known as the “Prague” Symphony. Transport yourself in time and place.


Rimma Plays Mendelssohn

Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 8 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Rimma Bergeron-Langlois, violin

Stella Sung – World Premiere

Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto in E minor

Bartók – Concerto for Orchestra

Our own Concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois joins conductor Eric Jacobsen for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, which is beloved by both musicians and audiences. The Concerto for Orchestra is one of Bartók’s best-known and most popular works. It challenges and pushes the entire orchestra, while also serving as a showpiece, giving each section a defining moment.

Bernstein and the New World

Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 8 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Orli Shaham, piano

Bernstein – Overture to West Side Story

Bernstein – Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety”

Kojiro Umezaki – (Cycles) America

Dvořák – Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World”

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of one of America’s most beloved composers, Leonard Bernstein, as we begin the evening with the Overture to West Side Story.

Orli Shaham has an impressive reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists and will perform Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning poem by W. H. Auden. It portrays the spiritual journey of self-discovery of four people in a New York bar.

We conclude with one of the most popular of all symphonies, Symphony No. 9, also known as “New World,” because Dvořák wrote it during his experience in the United States in the 1890s.

Brahms Symphony No. 1

Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Awet Andemicael, soprano; Alexander Elliot, baritone, William Ferguson, tenor

Kevork Mourad, visual artist

Charles Griffin – World Premiere

Brahms – Symphony No. 1 in C minor

Rimsky-Korsakov – Excerpts from Capriccio Espagnol

De Falla – Master Peter’s Puppet Show

Join us for an evening of collaboration of art and music.

Few great works of music have taken so long to get to a finished product as Brahms Symphony No. 1. He insisted that it took 21 years from sketches to finishing touches. It’s monumental!

The first masterpiece by composer Manuel De Falla, Master Peter’s Puppet Show is a puppet-opera in one act, with puppets and real characters adapted from one of the episodes of Don Quixote. Visual Artist Kevork Mourad shares the stage with your Orlando Philharmonic with his technique of spontaneous real-time animated painting.



Pops Series at Bob Carr Theater

Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to The Beatles

50th Anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club

Saturday, October 14 at 2 & 8 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Beatlemania is back with Classical Mystery Tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The show features original members of the Broadway sensation Beatlemania performing 30 Beatles hits as they were originally recorded. The Los Angeles Times calls the show “more than just an incredible simulation.” If you like The Beatles, you will LOVE “Classical Mystery Tour,” in concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.


Home for the Holidays!

Saturday, November 25 at 2 & 8 p.m.

Albert George Schram, conductor

Opera Orlando Youth Chorus

Central Florida Community Arts Chorus

Holiday Singers

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Join us for a musical celebration of community and capture the spirit of the season at one of our region’s most popular holiday concerts. Ring in the holidays with family and friends and join in the popular audience sing-along. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.


Cirque de la Symphonie: Cirque Goes to the Cinema

Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 2 & 8 p.m.

Yaniv Segal, conductor

Cirque de la Symphonie returns with an all-new program of awe-inspiring physical feats of power and beauty! Paired with the music from blockbuster movie classics, including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mission Impossible, and Titanic and more, this thrill ride includes the spectacle of acrobats, jugglers and aerial flyers soaring high above the heads of your Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.


My Sinatra Starring Cary Hoffman

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 2 & 8 p.m.

Albert George Schram, conductor

Swoon to Ol’ Blue Eyes with Sinatra Songs and more starring Cary Hoffman performing the concert version of his hit NYC off-Broadway show with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hoffman has performed the music of Frank Sinatra for the past eight years in over 55 Performing Arts Centers around the World, including a performance for the President of Singapore. He is New York’s premiere Sinatra interpreter. His compelling blend of vocal performance and stories led to a national PBS television special seen by more than two million viewers.


A Tribute to Ella!

Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2 & 8 p.m.

Larry Blank, conductor

Capathia Jenkins, Harolyn Blackwell and Aisha de Haas, vocalists 

Join us for this swinging tribute to Ella Fitzgerald in celebration of her 100th birthday. We will honor the “First Lady of Song” and present some of the glorious songs that she made her own, including “It Don’t Mean A Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing” and “Summertime” You’ll also hear top hits by her sister jazz greats, including Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan.


Focus Series – The Plaza Live

Eric Plays Haydn

Monday, October 23 at The Plaza Live at 7 p.m.

Colleen Blagov, flute

Eric Jacobsen, cello

Haydn – Cello Concerto in D Major

Judd Greenstein – Flute Concerto

Haydn – Symphony No. 94 – “Suprise”

Touch of Genius

Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m.

Michelle Merrill, conductor

Randall Goosby, violin

Dvořák – Serenade for Wind Instruments in D minor

Ponce – Estrellita for violin and orchestra

Saint-Saëns ­– Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra

Schubert – Symphony 5 in B-flat major

An Evening with the Mendelssohns

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Fanny Mendelssohn – Melody in C-sharp minor

Janáček – Idylla

Mendelssohn – Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Fanny Mendelssohn – Notturno in G minor

Mendelssohn – The Hebrides “Fingal’s Cave”

Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 3 in A minor “Scottish”

American Roots

Monday, April 2, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Jeremy Kittel, vocalist, songwriter

Lyman Brodie, solo trumpet

Central Florida Community Arts Chorus

Copland – Quiet City

Copland – Old American Songs

Jeremy Kittel – World Premiere

Beethoven – Symphony No. 8 in F Major

Mozart & Dvořák

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Benjamin Hochman, conductor and pianist

Mozart – Piano Concerto No.12 in A Major

Dvořák – Serenade for Strings in E Major

About the Artists:

Sherezade Panthaki

Dann Coakwell,_Tenor___Official_Website/Home.html

Kate Maroney

Dashon Burton

Jeffrey Kahane

Rimma Bergeron-Langlois

Stella Sung

Orli Shaham

Kojiro Umezaki

Awet Andemicael

Alexander Elloitt

Kevork Mourad

William Ferguson

Jesse Diener-Bennett

Colleen Blagov

Michelle Merrill

Randall Goosby

Jeremy Kittel

Benjamin Hochman

Colin Jacobsen

Yo-Yo Ma

All programs and artists are subject to change. Visit for the most up-to-date information. 

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Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to Announce 25th Anniversary Season

OPO Logo_25th_Anniversary_final



An Exclusive Look at the 2017/2018 Season Takes Place on March 4 Prior to Irish Romance

(February 17, Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra invites you to join in celebration of the upcoming 25th Anniversary Season Announcement on Saturday, March 4 at   1 p.m. and 7 p.m., before both Irish Romance concerts at Bob Carr Theater at 401 W. Livingston Street, Orlando.

This event includes a preview of the 2017/2018 Season’s Classics, Pops, and Focus (chamber orchestra), which will be announced by Executive Director Christopher Barton and Music Director Eric Jacobsen.

The events begin at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. with concerts to follow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Bob Carr Theater. Attendees to the season announcement must have a ticket to enter the building. The Bob Carr Box Office opens two hours prior to concerts and doors will open shortly before the season preview announcement.

The announcement will also be live streamed via Facebook Live on the Philharmonic’s page at 7 p.m.


Now in its 24th season, The Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. Presenting over 125 events each year, the orchestra provides captivating musical experiences and education programs to people of all ages, and is committed to building a rich, sustainable future for symphonic music in Central Florida. Learn more at

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About Irish Romance: The Philharmonic takes a musical journey to the dramatic culture and rich history that is Ireland. Conducted by Eric Jacobsen and joined by TRÍ – The New Irish Tenors, the Philharmonic will transport you to this epic land of beautiful landscapes and legendary love stories through brilliant live music, showcasing traditional Irish tunes like “Danny Boy,” “Red is the Rose,” and “The Rocky Road to Dublin.” Concerts will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Bob Carr Theater located at 401 W. Livingston Street, Orlando.

Single tickets are available starting at $21 and can be purchased online at, by calling 407.770.0071, or in person at the Box Office, located at The Plaza Live (425 N. Bumby Avenue, Orlando). The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Ticket prices subject to change.)

About TRÍ – The New Irish Tenors:

David O’Leary is from County Wexford, Ireland and has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading young tenors.

While studying voice privately in Dublin and London, David attended university at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he studied Law and French. While in Ireland, David learned in the national media, that NUI Galway would host a gala dinner in honor of President Clinton at the Metropolitan Club in NYC. This performance for former President Clinton had a major impact on David and his ambitions. An avid consumer of political news, David quickly identified as a motivating goal: Move to the United States and work toward performing for the President of the United States. After a lot of hard work, he had the honor of being the sole performer at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon in the U.S. Capitol for an audience including President Obama, Vice-President Biden and Speaker Boehner.

In Ireland, David has performed at major events including the 2013 All-Ireland Football Semi- Final at Croke Park, Dublin, in front of a stadium crowd of 83,000 and worldwide TV audience. He has also performed for the Munster Rugby team at Thomond Park, Limerick.

A versatile and much sought after artist, David maintains a busy national and international schedule and is delighted to be performing with Karl and Michael.

Michael McCorry Rose was most recently seen
on Broadway in the Tony Award winning
musical A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and
Murder. Prior to that he starred on Broadway
as “Fiyero” in the smash hit musical Wicked. In
New York, Michael has appeared in concert at
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Avery Fischer Hall,
Symphony Space, Birdland and Feinstein’s/54
Below. He regularly appears in concert with
Academy, Grammy and Tony Award winning
composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell,
Pippin, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre
Dame), their most recent concert was filmed for PBS’s Great American Songbook Concert Series at NJPAC and aired in the summer of 2016.

Michael has performed with symphonies and concert orchestras across the United States, most recently starring in a symphonic concert of Chess with the Temecula Valley Symphony in California. Internationally, Michael has performed in concert at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia, for the U.S. State Department in Nairobi, Kenya and in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Karl Scully is a classical tenor in demand. He played the role of Count John McCormack in the cinematic film Nora, by Pat Murphy and Gerard Stembridge, starring Ewan McGregor. His on screen success is matched by his live stage performances in such operatic roles as: Don Jose in Carmen by Bizet; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly; The Duke in Rigoletto; The Witch in Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck; MacHeath in Beggars Opero; Albert in Albert Herring, by Benjamin Britten; King Ouf in L’etoile by Chabrier; Paolino in Il Matrimonio Segreto by Cimarosa; Ferrando, in Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart; and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. During his time in Italy, Karl was a permanent artist in the Teatro Carlo Felice Opera House in Genoa. While there he performed solo roles alongside world famous artists including Samuel Ramey, Robert Brubaker, and Dwayne Croft.

Currently, the busy Mr. Scully is juggling his classical career demands. Karl Scully is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and is a recipient of the Liberace Scholarship and the Mae Zenke Orvis Endowed Opera Scholarship.




TRÍ – The New Irish Tenors:


View More:

Women in Song series features Indie Folk and Folk Rock singer-songwriter with members of the Orlando Philharmonic

(February 14, Orlando, FL) – The third concert in the Women in Song Series featuring folk singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan takes place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at The Plaza Live at 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

“From operatic to indie rock to folk and pop, these concerts feature some of the greatest talents of today performing works of their own and covers of other amazing artists,” said Eric Jacobsen, Orlando Philharmonic music director.

The new series has been an effort to stretch the talented musicians of the Orlando Philharmonic, but also build a new audience around these concerts that may have never attended a Philharmonic performance.

“We have been thrilled with the positive response to the “Women in Song” concerts,” said Executive Director Christopher Barton. “It’s very exciting when we are able to welcome new audiences to the Philharmonic family.”

O’Donovan’s concert takes place at The Plaza Live and features songs from her second album, In the Magic Hour, which was released in January of 2016. “Flying, getting the rental car, eating all my meals alone…” O’Donovan says. “I just remember sitting with a book in Germany two winters ago, feeling so happy that after the show I could have a Hefeweizen and read and not talk to anybody. And I think that gave me more time to edit my lyrics and really be more mindful with them.”

A string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, including Music Director Eric Jacobsen, who married O’Donovan last summer, will perform select songs alongside O’Donovan. Tickets to the March 1 concert are $22 in advance and $27 at the door. For more information, please visit



Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Notes in Your Neighborhood

With Jones High School

jones logo

This spring, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to announce the expansion of its Notes in Your Neighborhood outreach program with new partner school, Jones High School.

Notes in Your Neighborhood, currently in its sixth year, is an after-school outreach program providing musical mentorship to Title 1 students. The newly formed partnership with Jones High School marks a significant expansion to the program, previously offered only to elementary students. As part of this new partnership, Orlando Philharmonic musicians will provide after-school mentoring and instruction to orchestra and band students at Jones High School. The partnership will culminate in a final performance at Jones High School for parents and community members on Tuesday, April 25th, as well as feeder elementary and middle school students.

“We are so excited to begin this partnership with Jones High School, who has a long-standing culture of musical excellence in Central Florida,” says Dr. Leia Barrett, Director of Education for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. “We look forward to helping Jones High School inspire and grow young musicians over many years to come!”

Musicians will take part in after-school rehearsals, providing musical insight, performance techniques, and mentorship. Initial funding for the program expansion was provided by the City of Orlando Mayor’s Matching Grant program, the first program to fund Notes in Your Neighborhood. Further funding is being sought by the Jones High School Foundation to provide after-school support year-round.

To learn more about Notes in Your Neighborhood, contact Director of Education Dr. Leia Barrett. To learn more about the Jones High School Foundation, visit

Orlando Ballet’s New “Masterworks” Celebrates the Joy and Romance of Dance and Music Created by the Very Best

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to accompany Orlando Ballet for a very masterful event

Masterworks image

Balanchine, Tharp, Robbins, Tchaikovsky, and Bernstein – these names define mastery and the creative genius to be featured in Orlando Ballet’s new and aptly titled, “Masterworks” performance scheduled March 24, 25 and 26. This performance is designed to highlight the brilliance of some of the world’s most renowned choreographers and composers.

Masterworks will showcase the pairing of Orlando Ballet with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performing classics including George Balanchine’s groundbreaking “Serenade,” with 28 beautiful ballerinas filling the stage and moving to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking “Serenade for Strings.” Also included is Jerome Robbins’ “Fancy Free,” which was the inspiration for the classic 1959 musical “On The Town” where three sailors spend 24, fast-paced hours in New York City. Fancy Free was the first ballet that the young Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein made together. The pair went onto create legendary West Side Story.

Jerome Robbins’ charming “Fancy Free,” is the inspiration for the 1959 film “On The Town” where three sailors spend 24, fast-paced hours in New York City. Orlando Ballet’s fanciful ensemble of dancers pays homage to the original as well as its composer Leonard Bernstein. Masterworks also includes dance legend Twyla Tharp’s iconic “Sinatra Suite,” which she created for ballet great, Mikhail Barishynikov, and which is choreographed to the magic of Frank Sinatra’s biggest hits. The orchestra will be led by guest conductor David Commanday.

Performances are scheduled in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, and 2 p.m., Sunday, March 26. Tickets start at $35 and are available at or call 844-513-2014.

“This unique program defines the meaning of masters in the performing arts,” said Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Robert Hill. “An experienced ballet conductor leading a live orchestra creates a much richer experience for the audience as well as for the dancers. The choreographers and composers are very well known so there’s broad appeal for this concept.”

Masterworks is result of Orlando Ballet creating last year its Maestro’s Fund to support collaboration with area music groups including the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Florida Community Arts orchestra, and Bach Festival for live musical accompaniment to ballet performances.

“This artistic collaboration between the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Orlando Ballet brings together the finest professional dancers and musicians in the community,” said Christopher Barton, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director. “We look forward to working with Orlando Ballet to create a remarkable performance for our Central Florida audiences.”

Tickets are available online at, by calling 844.513.2014, or in person at the Box Office, located at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando, FL). The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.


About Orlando Ballet Established in 1974, Orlando Ballet is the professional resident ballet company in the greater Orlando area. The Orlando-based organization employs a full-time company of national and international dancers from Brazil, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, as well as the United States, performing both full-length classical ballets and contemporary repertoire programs. Via its mission, “Orlando Ballet seeks to entertain, educate, and enrich the cultural growth of Florida through the highest quality of dance.” The Orlando Ballet is under the artistic direction of Robert Hill, who is marking his eighth anniversary with the company. Hill has had a celebrated career as a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), as well as Artistic Director at Ballet de Monterrey and has guest performed internationally and created a great arsenal of signature choreographic works. In addition to the ballet company, the Orlando Ballet School is regarded as one of the finest training academies in the world and is the official school of the Orlando Ballet. The school has been named “Outstanding School” at the New York finals of Youth America Grand Prix three times. With three locations in Central Florida, Orlando Ballet School adheres to the American Ballet Theatre® National Training curriculum and our American Ballet Theatre® certified teachers provide disciplined training for dancers of all ages. For more information on Orlando Ballet visit

About the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Now in its 24th season, The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is Central Florida’s professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. Presenting over 125 events each year, the orchestra provides captivating musical experiences and education programs to people of all ages, and is committed to building a rich, sustainable future for symphonic music in Central Florida. Learn more at



Orlando Philharmonic Presents East Meets West

KalhorKayhan 3 x 2

With Guest Artist Kayhan Kalhor

(February 6, Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presents the fourth concert in the Focus Series, East Meets West on Monday, February 27, featuring guest artist Kayhan Kalhor, an Iranian kamancheh player, composer, and master of classical Kurdish and Iranian traditional music. Performance is at The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando, Florida on Monday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

Members of the Orlando Philharmonic, under the direction of Music Director Eric Jacobsen will perform the magical overture to Weber’s opera Oberon and end with Schumann’s homage to the Rhineland in Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish.”

Kalhor will his arrangement of Silent City with members of the Philharmonic, a very intense piece that depicts the aftereffects of attacks on the Kurdish city of Hallabjah, that was first recorded with Jacobsen’s string quartet Brooklyn Rider, in 2008.

Single tickets can be purchased by clicking here, by calling the Box Office at 407.770.0071, or in person at the Box Office, located at The Plaza Live (425 N. Bumby Avenue, Orlando).

Orlando Philharmonic & Opera Orlando Announce New Partnership for 2017-2018 Season

OPO_Logo_EJ_color-blk_smOpera Orlando - Finalized logo versions 1 color

(Tuesday, January 24, Orlando, FL) – Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Orlando announced a new partnership today, redefining how opera will be presented in Central Florida next season and beyond.

Since the 2009-2010 Season, the Orlando Philharmonic has produced traditional favorite operas like Puccini’s La bohème and Madama Butterfly at the Bob Carr Theater as well as innovative productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Bernstein’s Candide at The Plaza Live, while maintaining its core concert series including Classics, Pops, Focus, and Sounds of Summer.

“Several years ago when the viability of opera production in our community was in jeopardy, the staff and board of the Orlando Philharmonic rallied support to preserve staged opera. We are proud of the past eight seasons of opera that the OPO has presented and as we look to the future, we know that this is the right moment to hand off the artistic and administrative leadership to the capable hands of Opera Orlando,” said RK Kelley, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra board president. “It has always been our goal to preserve the art form in the Central Florida community, while at the same time, continuing to keep the performance of opera music in the Philharmonic’s repertoire until a new professional opera company was ready for that leadership role.”

Opera Orlando is devoted year-round to the art form, which is the organization’s core mission. In January of 2016, Florida Opera Theatre, which had been presenting opera since 2009, officially changed its name to Opera Orlando, reflecting the mission to be the regional standard bearer for the art form. Gabriel Preisser was named executive and artistic director and Vince Connor was named general director. They share the vision of reshaping the community’s idea of what opera is by making it more intimate, accessible, relevant and an immersive theater experience.

“We are thrilled about this partnership and are committed to employing the Orlando Philharmonic as Opera Orlando’s resident orchestra,” said John Wettach, Opera Orlando board president. “Our paramount goal is to raise the profile of the art form and generate a new level of excitement for our organization’s offerings and the Orlando Philharmonic shares this enthusiasm and commitment.”

Opera Orlando launched its inaugural season in 2016-2017 and provides operas, outreach and education throughout the year. Currently, performances are held in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Christopher Barton, who was named executive director of the Orlando Philharmonic last June and Preisser have been meeting for months with the full support of the boards of both organizations to discuss how to move opera forward.

United Arts of Central Florida, which raises and distributes funds to local arts, sciences, history and other cultural providers is supportive of the new partnership and thinks that the decision makes sense for the community.

“We have been encouraging them to collaborate and we think it’s a terrific business decision to turn over the administrative leadership to Opera Orlando with the creative engagement of the Orlando Philharmonic – it’s the best of both worlds,” said Flora Maria Garcia, president and CEO of United Arts of Central Florida. “We love the way these two organizations have been working together to evolve opera because they each are focusing on what they do best.”

Both the Orlando Philharmonic and Opera Orlando are planning to perform in Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center when it opens. The 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall will join the existing 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater and the 300-seat Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater, and will provide a home to the art center’s resident companies, including the Orlando Ballet.

“In 2020, Steinmetz Hall will provide an exceptional, acoustic performance space for the partnership between Opera Orlando and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. This past year, Opera Orlando presented great works in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater to sold-out audiences and next season will be even more successful with this fantastic collaboration,” said Kathy Ramsberger, CEO and president of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The Orlando Philharmonic has one opera performance remaining on its current season, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love at The Plaza Live on Feb. 2, 3 and 5. Opera Orlando’s final performance for this season is Mozart’s Masterpiece Don Giovanni, which takes place on March 24, 25 and 26 at the Dr. Phillips Center.

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About the Orlando Philharmonic

Now in its 24th season, The Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. Presenting over 125 events each year, the orchestra provides captivating musical experiences and education programs to people of all ages, and is committed to building a rich, sustainable future for symphonic music in Central Florida. Learn more at 

About Opera Orlando

In only its second year, Opera Orlando has established itself as the standard bearer of the art form in Central Florida. As its 2016-17 season ends with the March 24-26 performances of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” the company looks forward to continuing its track record of sold out houses, fresh theatrical realizations and critical acclaim. The 2017-18 season includes Puccini’s “La bohème,” holiday performances of Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and Rossini’s “Cinderella.” All productions include musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and are held at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. It was in the Center’s Walt Disney Theater this past September that Opera Orlando assembled some of the nation’s and state’s finest operatic talent for a community-building benefit in response to the Pulse Night Club Tragedy: “One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song.” This stellar and powerful event inspired one of the art form’s leading national advocates, Marc Scorca of OPERA America, to declare that “in its brief existence, Opera Orlando has demonstrated its ability to bring high-quality performances to Orlando and to lift the spirit of the city through the power of opera.”

Women in Song at The Plaza Live Featuring Sara Watkins


New concert series features Grammy-winning Blue Grass, Folk, and Country singer-songwriter with members of the Orlando Philharmonic

(January 5, 2017) – Orlando, FL – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced a new series last fall called “Women In Song” at The Plaza Live. The second concert in this series features folk singer-songwriter Sara Watkins on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at The Plaza Live at 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

“From operatic to indie rock to folk and pop, these concerts feature some of the greatest talents of today performing works of their own and covers of others amazing artists,” said Eric Jacobsen, Orlando Philharmonic music director.

The concert with Sara Watkins takes place at The Plaza Live and features songs from Watkins’ latest album, Young in All the Wrong Ways. “This is a breakup album with myself…” says Sara Watkins of her third solo record. Writing and recording these ten intensely soul-baring songs was a means for her to process and mark the last couple years, which have been transformative. “I looked around and realized that in many ways I wasn’t who or where I wanted to be. It’s been a process of letting go and leaving behind patterns and relationships, and in some cases, how I’ve considered myself. What these songs are documenting is the turmoil you feel when you know something has to change and you’re grappling with what that means. It means you’re losing something and moving forward into the unknown.”

A string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will perform on five songs with Watkins. Tickets to the Feb. 1 concert are $22 in advance and $27 at the door. For more information, please visit

About the Artist:

Sara Watkins

That sense of possibility infuses the songs on Young in All the Wrong Ways with a fierce and flinty resolve, which makes this her most powerful and revealing album to date. In some ways it’s a vivid distillation of the omnivorous folk-pop-bluegrass-indie-everything-else Watkins made with Nickel Creek, yet she makes audacious jumps that push against expectations in unexpected ways. These songs contain some of the heaviest moments of her career, with eruptions of thrumming B3 organ and jagged electric guitar. But it’s also quiet, vulnerable, tenderhearted. In other words, bold in all the right ways.

To say these are personal lyrics might be an understatement. They’re beyond personal, whether she’s confessing some long-held regret or gently consoling a friend. Young in All the Wrong Ways ends with “Tenderhearted,” a quietly assured song that Watkins wrote about a few of her heroes: women like her Grandmother Nordstrom who have weathered hard times with grace and have provided Watkins with examples of how to live her life. “They’re women who have endured so much yet emerged with love, strength and kindness. I remember someone saying, It’s so sad how much she’s had to go through. And I remember thinking, That’s why she’s such an incredible person. She faced all those trials and came out the other side.”

Watkins would never be so bold as to count herself in their company; instead, she aspires to follow their example. But Young in All the Wrong Ways does reveal an artist who has managed to transform her own turmoil into music that is beautiful and deeply moving: “God bless the tenderhearted,” she sings, “who let life overflow.”

To purchase tickets to Sara Watkins, click here.

Orlando Philharmonic Announces Finalists in its Second Annual High School Orchestra of Distinction Program


2015-2016 Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra High School Orchestra of Distinction winner, Winter Park High School, receiving its award at the Orlando Philharmonic’s final Classics Concert at the Bob Carr Theater on March 26, 2016.

December 1, 2016– The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced five finalists for its second annual High School Orchestra of Distinction program, whose purpose is to provide recognition, encouragement, and support to outstanding and promising high school orchestras in Central Florida. Participants completed a rigorous screening process, being asked to provide information on their past performance assessments, connection to elementary and middle “feeder” schools, parental involvement, and more. Schools getting past the written application stage were asked to submit anonymous, unedited audition tapes that were then assessed by professional musicians, community leaders, and orchestral experts.

The 2016-2017 finalists are (in alphabetical order)

Dr. Phillips High School (Raine Allen, director)

Freedom High School (Brian Hellhake and Suzanne Vascik, directors)

Olympia High School (Brandon Bangle, director)

Timber Creek High School (Staci Conkling, director)

Trinity Preparatory School (Maureen May, director)

“The Orlando Philharmonic is proud to support our local high school orchestras,” says Dr. Leia Barrett, Director of Education. “The hard work and determination seen on a daily basis by these schools is extraordinary.”

For the final adjudication round, judges will attend each school’s holiday concert, adjudicating schools on both professionalism and performance. Two schools will be chosen as award winners and named the High School Orchestra of Distinction and the High School Orchestra in the Wings. Both awardees will be recognized onstage by the Orlando Philharmonic at its final Classics concert, Mahler 2: Resurrection on Saturday, April 8th at the Bob Carr Theater. These two schools will also qualify for a partnership with the Orlando Philharmonic the following season that offers special student opportunities.

For more information about this program and to learn about the 2015-2016 finalists and awardees, visit or email Director of Education Dr. Leia Barrett at Education at to learn more.