FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: NEW BLOOD
One of the more significant Florida Orchestra events of the season, the world premiere of a commissioned piece, is this weekend. The orchestra, with personal financial backing from music director Michael Francis and his wife, Cindy, commissioned the work from Brandon native Michael Ippolito, 33, above, whose reputation as a composer is on the ascent.
Ippolito’s mission was open-ended; the request was only that the composition be about Florida and in some way a celebration of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary. The result, Triptych, ruminates on a cypress swamp, a storm over the ocean and the pristine postcard purity of a ship in the night. The concert includes Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the title work, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, known popularly as the "New World" symphony. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
PASSIONATE: MARINA LOMAZOV
St. Petersburg College continues to quietly bring first-rate pianists to the area. The latest is the widely traveled Marina Lomazov, a prize winner in numerous competitions who has soloed around the world. When she’s not performing, Lomazov teaches piano at the University of South Carolina, where she founded the Southeastern Piano Festival. Among other pieces, she’ll perform Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky’s Selections From the Seasons. 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Petersburg College’s Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersbug. $10. (727) 341-4360. go.spcollege.edu/artscalendar.
PSYCHOLOGICAL MYSTERY: KEESHA/CARPENTER
Keesha/Carpenter, a new play by Mark Leib, interweaves romance, race and academic politics through the lens of a bright African-American student and her critical theory professor. Leib, a theater critic for Creative Loafing, is himself the author of numerous plays and adaptations. He earned a master’s degree at the Yale School of Drama and was the first playwriting lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Study at Harvard University.
A third character in Keesha/Carpenter, graduate assistant Andrew, figures prominently in unraveling the play’s mysteries, or deepening them, notably whether Professor Carpenter harbors racist tendencies. [email protected] artistic director Bob Devin Jones directs this show. Friday-March 4 at the [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $25. A preview at 7 p.m. Thursday costs $15. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.
MOSCOW FESTIVAL BALLET: SWAN LAKE
The Moscow Festival Ballet brings Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Swan Lake to town. The troupe was founded in 1989 under the direction of the Bolshoi Ballet’s Sergei Radchenko, and has toured the world ever since along with its sister company, the Russian National Ballet. 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
GRAND SLAM: NEIL HILBORN
Former College National Poetry Slam champion Neil Hilborn, whose work on substantive topics including mental illness have inspired others, comes to Ybor City this week. His viral poem, OCD, has racked up more than 62 million views on YouTube and covers the costs of caring too much. 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $15. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
DEADLINE NEARING: STRAZ CENTER
The deadline for existing season ticket holders at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts to renew their subscriptions is March 12. The date is of significance for those interested in retaining priority seating for Hamilton or other productions in the 2018-19 season. Also, The Phantom of the Opera closes out its run Sunday at the Straz, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.