Arts Alive! podcast: Mark Sforzini, Tampa Bay Symphony

St. Petersburg Opera Company is in the middle of its 17th season, going great guns with founder and artistic director Mark Sforzini still very much in charge of the myriad creative decisions.

Yet Sforzini wears another hat that positions him near the forefront of an exclusive bay area club: He is the music director and conductor of the Tampa Bay Symphony, 80 members strong and a keystone of local classical music.

As the guest on this edition of the Catalyst podcast Arts Alive!, Sforzini discusses the orchestra in detail, and focuses on the upcoming Innovation and Freedom concert, Sunday afternoon at the Straz Center in Tampa, and again Tuesday night at the Palladium Theater in St. Pete.

There’s also a conversation about St. Pete Opera, which returns to the Palladium in March with Fidelio, the only opera composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (Sforzini, as always, will conduct the orchestra as well as the singers).

In February, the Tampa Bay Symphony will perform, for the first time ever, works by the winners of its 7th annual International Composition Competition.

TBS musicians, Sforzini explains, “come from all different walks of life. We have professional musicians, we have schoolteachers who teach music and want a place to perform, we have engineers, we have architects, we have firefighters, car mechanics, lawyers … you name it, we’ve got it, occupationally.”

Tampa Bay Symphony website.

Click on the arrow below to listen to the interview.

Bill DeYoung

Catalyst Senior Writer and Editor Bill DeYoung was a St. Petersburg Times correspondent at the age of 17. He went on to a 30-year career at newspapers in Florida and Georgia. He is the author of "Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down," "Phil Gernhard Record Man," "I Need to Know: The Lost Music Interviews," "Vintage St. Pete: The Golden Age of Tourism - and More" and "Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations, Lifestyles."

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