Make us your home page
Instagram

Fellow musicians and friends perform original clarinet-bassoon composition

SMOKIN' DUO: PREMIUM BLEND

Florida Orchestra musicians Brian Moorhead and Mark Sforzini sat next to each other for 15 years. Moorhead was the orchestra's principal clarinet, Sforzini its principal bassoon. They knew each other's moves so well, they gave their musical partnership a name: "Premium Blend."

"You can become very attuned to the person next to you, and we often breathed and shaped phrases as one," Sforzini said.

Moorhead retired in May after 44 years. Sforzini left the orchestra years ago to co-found the St. Petersburg Opera Company. The two have again joined forces in a big way. To celebrate his future while honoring the past, Moorhead asked Sforzini, who also composes music, to give their sound a melody.

Moorhead and Belinda Dumont commissioned the original composition from Sforzini. The result, A Concerto for Bassoon and Clarinet: Premium Blend, debuts at this weekend's ClarinetFest 2017, the annual meeting of the International Clarinet Association in Orlando. Moorhead and Sforzini will play their instruments, accompanied by New York pianist Mun-Tzung Wong. The Orlando performance is open only to members of the International Clarinet Association, but a free preview concert starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Opera Company, 2145 First Ave S, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

Sforzini is also composing Premium Blend for a full orchestra, which will be performed by the Tampa Bay Symphony at some point during the 2017-18 season of the symphony, which Sforzini directs.

"The bassoon and clarinet naturally complement each other and frequently play melodies together in octaves — in the 19th century symphonic repertoire, especially," Sforzini said. "This double concerto is a chance to move that special pairing to front and center and complement it with the orchestra as accompaniment. 'Premium Blend' also makes me think of coffee! As a juxtaposition to some of the more lyrical writing, there are a lot of rapid fire exchanges that 'percolate' through the music."

Moorhead couldn't be happier. "No one knows my music better than Mark."

ON POINTE: SARASOTA CUBAN BALLET

Young dancers audition every year from all over the world, hoping their live performances or videos will catch an approving eye from instructors at the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School. This year's Summer Intensive brings 90 young dancers from as far away as Japan to study with an the award-winning faculty, including Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez, the ballet school's co-founders.

Six weeks of grueling training culminates Saturday with two concerts, an afternoon student showcase featuring a variety of forms and an evening performance with students and alumni of the school who now dance with professional companies. The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Summer Intensive Showcase starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave. $25. The school's On Stage Performance starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sarasota Opera House. $35 and up. (941) 328-1300. sarasotaopera.org.

LATE ADD: BROADWAY AT RUTH ECKERD

Ruth Eckerd Hall's 2017-18 Broadway season has just grown by two shows. Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder (Jan. 18-28) celebrates the alter ego of pulp fiction writer Mickey Spillane, who would have turned 100 in March. In the play, Mike gets into some trouble while guarding his ex-girlfriend and has to rough some people up. An on-stage jazz quartet supplies the music.

Kinky Boots (April 23), the heartwarming story about Charlie Price, some cross-dressers and the English shoe factory they saved, also returns by popular demand. Tickets are on sale now at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Fellow musicians and friends perform original clarinet-bassoon composition 07/26/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 11:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Fast-paced 'Seven Brides' is pure entertainment at Show Palace

    Stage

    Try not to blink if you go see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, playing through Nov. 12 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. If you close your eyes even for a second, you may miss something terrific in this fast-paced, lively and delightfully entertaining show.

    "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" opens Oct. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. [The LightBox]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 17

    Events

    Insane Clown Posse: The hip-hop duo is known for their supernatural and horror themed lyrics. 6 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Avenue North, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.

    The Insane Clown Posse attends the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
  3. Restaurant review: Noble Crust's second location is a boon to booming Wesley Chapel

    Food & Dining

    WESLEY CHAPEL

    Wesley Chapel is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, due to the perfect cocktail of available and affordable land, broad but upwardly mobile demographics and easy access to other parts of Tampa Bay. And while malls and brick-and-mortar retail centers have taken a big hit in …

    The pizzas could use some refining at this location. Crusts struggled to stay crisp under toppings that were too heavy.
  4. This recipe for Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash is perfect for Meatless Monday

    Cooking

    This meal is so healthy, I am not even sure how it's so delicious. It's a perfect plate for Meatless Monday: filling yet fun, with "meatballs" made out of crushed nuts and strands of spaghetti squash. The whole thing freezes surprisingly well, too, just note that the squash will be a little watery upon defrost.

    Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.
  5. Reviews: Beck's 'Colors,' St. Vincent's 'Masseduction' thrive in vibrant, alternative pop worlds

    Music & Concerts

    Flash back, if you will, to Aug. 25, 2015, and one of the more unusual stops on Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour. That night in Los Angeles, Swift brought out guests St. Vincent and Beck to perform the latter's single Dreams.

    St. Vincent attends the Special Escape Room Experience created by Spotify for St Vincent and their biggest fans to celebrate forthcoming album "Masseduction" on Oct. 4 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify)