Cultural exchange with Cuba punctuates Florida Orchestra’s year

Posted on: January 3, 2013

In Sunday’s (12/30) Tampa Bay Times (Florida), John Fleming writes, “There was something utterly right that the high point in my performing arts coverage this year came in Ybor City. It is one of the few districts in the suburban sprawl of the Tampa Bay area that has a real sense of place, and when members of the Florida Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba got together to play chamber music there, a little history was made. The concert was part of the Florida Orchestra’s cultural exchange with Cuba’s musical institutions, and it was performed at Ybor’s Cuban Club, the old community center for cigar workers that hosted many a musical group from the island until the U.S. embargo slammed down. … This year saw several installments in the Florida-Cuba exchange, which began in 2011 when a wind quintet from the orchestra went to Havana to play a concert and give master classes. In May, Enrique Pérez Mesa, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, made his U.S. debut in leading the Florida Orchestra in masterworks concerts. … Six months later, Pérez Mesa returned, this time with his own orchestra on a U.S. tour, to be presented by the Florida Orchestra at Mahaffey Theater.”

Posted January 3, 2013