In Friday’s (6/21) Tampa Bay Times (Florida), John Fleming writes that he will be retiring on June 30 as performing arts critic. “At my first Florida Orchestra concert in September 1991, I tagged along with Jim Harper, the former music critic, who wrote the review that night and showed me the ropes. The highlight of the concert was Stravinsky’s modernist masterpiece The Rite of Spring. And a month ago when I covered my last orchestra concert in this job, the centerpiece of the program was … The Rite of Spring. I can’t think of a better performance to go out on…. The orchestra was a constant preoccupation through the years. For a long time, it was barely holding on as an institution, plagued with financial and management woes…. Today the orchestra is in a much different place. … the organization is intelligently managed and the community’s support seems stronger than ever.… The Times deserves credit for its role in the orchestra’s survival saga…. The best advocacy for the arts is to treat them seriously as central to the community’s identity and not as some occasional diversion.” Fleming’s successor has not yet been named.
Posted June 25, 2013