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Florida Orchestra cancels this week’s performances

Bill DeYoung



Daniel Black was to conduct The Florida Orchestra's "Wild West" concerts this weekend. Photo provided.

The Florida Orchestra was one of the first Tampa Bay performing arts entities to return to the stage at the height of the pandemic’s first year. The orchestra resumed public concerts, with limited capacity and socially-distanced seating, in October, 2020.

The 2021-22 season has so far been a resounding success.

That all changed today, as CEO Mark Cantrell and Artistic Director Michael Francis canceled this week’s scheduled performances, citing the recent surge in Covid cases.

“I am in awe of the can-do spirit of our musicians, who have done everything possible to continue performing for our community,” Cantrell said in a prepared statement. “But we think this is a good time to pause, consult further with our epidemiologist and continue to move forward in a smart and safe way.”

Postponed for the foreseeable future are the British Gems Coffee Concert (scheduled for Thursday morning at the Mahaffey Theater) and this weekend’s “Wild West” pops concerts at the Mahaffey and the David A. Straz Center.

TFO programming is expected to resume next week.

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