The Florida Orchestra to feature Sting at 50th anniversary gala concert...
August 03, 2017 
Going all out for its 50th anniversary, The Florida Orchestra will feature a performance by world-renowned musician Sting at its gala concert on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at the Mahaffey Theater, under the baton of Music Director Michael Francis. All proceeds will benefit the orchestra’s robust community and education programs as well as TFO’s artistic initiatives. 
 
In a concert like no other in Tampa Bay, “An Intimate Evening with The Florida Orchestra and Sting” puts the iconic rock star and former frontman of The Police at center stage, but it will not be your typical rock show. Joined by a 3-piece band with music supervised by Rob Mathes (Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Renée Fleming, and more), expect 90 minutes of the 16-time Grammy winner’s most celebrated hits re-imagined and arranged for an orchestra, including Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Englishman In New York, Roxanne, Every Breath You Take and Fields Of Gold, among many others. Some arrangements are from Sting’s widely acclaimed Symphonicities album. 
 
Gala concert tickets go on sale exclusively to Florida Orchestra subscribers on Monday, September 25, and to the general public on Monday, October 2. Tickets will be $75, $100, $150, $250 and $375 with select premium seats at $450. Concert tickets do not include gala reception or dinner. This season’s 50th anniversary gala concert is generously sponsored by Schmidt Investments.
 
“We have a true world star coming to make music with The Florida Orchestra,” says Michael Francis, who will share a stage with the British rock icon he grew up listening to in England. “Sting is not just a rock star. He’s a deep, comprehensive artist who is constantly re-examining the world around him.” 
 
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has sold 100 million albums from his combined work as the frontman of The Police and as one of the most distinctive solo artists in the world. A composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and activist, Sting also has received a Golden Globe, four Oscar nominations, a Tony nomination and the Kennedy Center Honors. Sting has not performed in the bay area since 2010, when he appeared at what is now the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa.  
 
This year’s gala is chaired by Schmidt Investments CEO Bob Schmidt, who is also a TFO board member, and celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Florida Orchestra and its supporters with an extraordinary evening. Packages include a pre-concert champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres and live music, valet parking, prime seats at the concert and a post-concert gourmet dinner with Sting, Michael Francis and TFO musicians, all overlooking the waterfront at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. The dinner will be catered by pre-eminent local chef Chris Ponte, who has been a James Beard Award semifinalist. Gala package reservations are on sale now at 727.362.5424, or email nardle@floridaorchestra.org
 
The gala is The Florida Orchestra’s only major fundraising event of the year. All proceeds support TFO’s high standard of artistic excellence as well as growing education and community programs, including free hospital, park, museum, youth concerts and more throughout Tampa Bay. Last season’s gala concert with violinist Itzhak Perlman raised more than $600,000.
 
For Maestro Francis, a musician of Sting’s caliber is a good fit for the orchestra’s 50th anniversary gala: “Not only is Sting involved in rock, pop, jazz, and world music, but he loves and supports the classical world. He really sums up what the Florida Orchestra is all about, especially as we look to the future. We are genuinely communicating with Tampa Bay in so many different ways.”
 
An Intimate Evening with The Florida Orchestra and Sting
 
A 90-minute symphonic concert of Sting performing with The Florida Orchestra for his biggest hits, including Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Englishman In New York, Roxanne, Every Breath You Take, Fields Of Gold and more. The gala concert benefits community programs and artistic initiatives.
 
7 p.m. Saturday, December 9, 2017, at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg
 
  • Tickets: $75, $100, $150, $250 and $375, with select premium seats at $450. Concert tickets do not include gala reception or dinner.
  • On sale to general public Oct. 2.
  • FloridaOrchestra.org; 727.892.3337 or 1.800.662.7286
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