The Florida Orchestra

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Curtural Exchange with Cuba


As part of The Florida Orchestra’s (TFO) on-going, multi-year cultural exchange with some of Cuba’s major musical and cultural institutions, Florida Orchestra Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer was invited to Havana the week of May 7-12, 2013 to rehearse and perform with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (NSOC).   Multer performed as well as led his colleagues of the NSOC from the concertmaster chair. Held on Sunday, May 12, at the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, the first half of the concert included Handel’s “Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” from Solomon; Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances and Bach’s Suite (Orchestral) No.3, BWV 1068, D major.  On the second half of the program, Multer was the violin soloist in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Music Director Enrique Pérez Mesa conducting the orchestra. Pérez Mesa also arranged  for  Multer to provide master classes at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and the Universidad de las Artes, both part of Cuba’s highly regarded music education system. To read the press release regarding this project, click here

For a slideshow of Jeffrey Multer's trip, as well as several pictures from The Florida Orchestra Principal Winds Quintet's trip, click here.

In November of 2012, TFO presented the NSOC as part of a Tampa Bay area residency, which included chamber music, an orchestra concert and master classes. This was part of the NSOC’s first U.S. tour, which began in Kansas City in October and covered over 18 performances booked in 17 cities across 10 states.  Under the batons of the NSOC’s Music Director Enrique Pérez Mesa and Cuban composer and conductor Guido López-Gavilán,  the concert featured Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, Jorge López Marín's Danzón “El Médico de Pianos,” Cuban pianist Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera's arrangement and Tribute to Lecuona, López-Gavilán’s Guaguancó and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The NSOC residency started with a collaborative chamber music concert with members of the NSOC and TFO at the Cuban Club in Ybor City and concluded with a performance of the NSOC at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts – MahaffeyTheater in St. Petersburg. To read the entire press release regarding this project, click here.

In 2011, after several months of communications with the Cuban Institute of Music in Havana (Instituto Cubano de la Música), TFO  announced that The Florida Orchestra Principal Winds Quintet would perform in Havana September 29 - October 2, 2011, which was the first time since 1999 that a professional American orchestra had sent musicians to Cuba and only the second time since the 1959 revolution.  To read the entire press release regarding this project, click here.

To read a brief introduction about Cuban heritage in Florida, click here.

“Music is such a wonderful way to communicate with others, to remind us of our shared feelings and emotions as human beings.  It does not matter if you speak different languages or if you are from different cultures.  Music can touch people, it can move people, it can bring people together.  That is an important part of our cultural exchange with Cuba.”  - Conductor Emeritus & Artistic Advisor Stefan Sanderling


Bay News 9
CUBA: Classic American cars live on
Take a peek inside Hemingway's Cuba home
Cuban cultural exchange teaches lessons in music and friendship
Florida Orchestra Concertmaster performs in Cuba
Bay News 9 joins the Florida Orchestra in Cuba
BN9 Special Report: The changing relationship between Florida and Cuba
Inside the music classroom in Cuba
Florida Orchestra performs in Cuba
Day 2: Orchestra's wind quintet teaches young Cuban students
Florida Orchestra and Bay News 9 travel to Cuba
Florida Orchestra ensemble in Cuba
Florida Orchestra's artistic director heads to Cuba
TIA announces direct flights to Cuba
PSA for Florida Orchestra's instrument drive
Instrument drive for Cuba kicks into high gear
Florida Orchestra kicks off drive to bring musical instruments to Cuba

May 30, 2013: Tampa y La Habana: Unidos por la música

La Gaceta
June 14, 2013: Edificando el Puente La Habana-Tampa (III)
June 7, 2013: Edificando el Puente La Habana-Tampa (II)
May 31, 2013: Edficando el Puente La Habana-Tampa (I)

Tampa Bay Times
May 17, 2013: Florida Orchestra violinist sweats it out on Cuba trip
May 2, 2013: Florida Orchestra Concertmaster Going to Cuba
Nov 8, 2012: National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba presents rich musical tradition
Nov 7, 2012: National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has a busy day in Ybor City
Feb 28, 2012: Cuba's national orchestra plans Tampa Bay concerts for fall
Oct 2, 2011: Florida Quintet Wows Cubans on visit to Havana
Sept 25, 2011: TFO's cultural exchange fits Cuba's deep ties to Tampa Bay
Sept 25, 2011: TFO wind quintet heads to Cuba bearing gifts for young musicians
Sept 25, 2011: Musician Benny Moré part of strong Tampa-Cuba connection

The Tampa Tribune
Nov 8, 2012: NSOC performed to an enthusiastic crown at the Mahaffey Theater
Nov 7, 2012: Cuban orchestra sets toes tapping
Nov 7, 2012: Cuban orchestra inspires U.S. on tour
Nov 6, 2012: Cuban conductor’s U.S. tour comes to Tampa area
Nov 5, 2012: Uniting for music
May 8, 2012: Cuban conductor to lead Florida Orchestra
Mar 1, 2012: Cultural exchange with Cuba has beautiful strings attached
Sept 30, 2011: Florida musicians play Cuba in cultural exchange
Sept 29, 2011: Florida Orchestra revels in a rare trip to Cuba
Sept 29, 2011: Florida Orchestra members heading to Cuba today
June 26, 2011: Exchange makes beautiful music
June 2, 2011: TFO ready to conduct a cultural exchange with Cuba
June 1, 2011: TFO to begin cultural exchange with Cuba


The Florida Orchestra National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba

Enrique Pérez Mesa
Director Titular
Guido López-Gavilán
Guest Conductor & Composer

Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera


Jeffrey Multer

Florida Orchestra Principal Winds Quintet

Clay Ellerbroek, Flute Anthony Georgeson, Bassoon



J. Brian Moorhead, Clarinet

Robert Rearden, French Horn


Katherine Young, Oboe
 *Photo credit: Abdiel Thorne



All photo credits for The Florida Orchestra Principal Winds Quintet should be 
Thomas Bruce Studio unless otherwise noted.

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