Gainesville Orchestra opens season with Friday performance

The Gainesville Orchestra, conducted by Musical Director Evans Haile, will perform its season-opening concert, “Got Beethoven,” on Friday at the University Auditorium.

Suzanna Mars/Correspondent
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 12:18 p.m.

The Gainesville Orchestra is set to kickoff its 2013-2014 season with Ludwig van Beethoven and Gioachino Rossini but there is more to this year’s schedule than just the music.


‘Got Beethoven’

What: Gainesville Orchestra’s opening performance of the 2013-2014 season
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive
Admission: $35, $25 seniors, $15 students and children under 12
Info: 392-2787,

“Every program this year is somehow related to our natural world around us,” said Evans Haile, musical director and conductor of the orchestra since 2000.

On Friday, the orchestra’s traditional season-opening show, “Got Beethoven,” will introduce the season’s theme at University Auditorium: “Natural Wonders.”

This is the first time the orchestra has introduced a theme that will be present in all the shows throughout the season, Haile said.

Friday’s concert will feature Rossini’s famous “William Tell Overture,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, pieces by American composer Charles Griffes and more.

Haile said the concert honors Beethoven because of his influence on modern orchestras and composers.

“We figure there are certain giants of the music world that deserve to be heard on an annual basis and Beethoven certainly was a great one,” he said.

He added that Beethoven’s work also plays into this season’s theme of nature.

“So much of his music came from his trips in the woods around Vienna,” Haile said.

Continuing with nature-inspired music, the orchestra also will also perform Griffes’ “Three Tone-Pictures.”

“Each take a different, in a kinda small scale way, a different picture of something in nature,” Haile said.

The first half of the show will conclude with Felix Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave,” a piece inspired by a trip to the Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.

Haile, a Gainesville native, said the idea for using nature as a theme for the season came as a result of local concerns such as Florida’s aquifer and spring system. The theme will be an effort to increase environmental awareness and reveal nature’s connection to art.

“We wanted to do a season that celebrated a lot of the natural wonders that we have here in florida and remind people that in all the arts nature is abundantly represented,” he said.

Next season, Haile said the orchestra will use technology as a theme to celebrate the innovative efforts that have come to Gainesville.

“We’re gonna celebrate a lot of the major technologies and how music was effected by that as well,” he said.

Haile said he would encourage people to come the Gainesville Orchestra’s concerts not only to enjoy music, but as a way to support local business.

“By supporting the Gainesville Orchestra you’re supporting a local business and this local business also generates a lot of other income and financial aspects for the community,” he said.

Live performances also provide a unique experience that can never be exactly recreated.

“Yes, you can sit at home and you’ll be all by yourself watching something on your flat-screen television but it is not the same as seeing a live performance right in front of you, happening at that very same time,” Haile said.

The orchestra has a core group of 40 people but has swelled to 75 for some concerts. Haile said he thinks there will be around 45 orchestra members performing at University Auditorium on Friday

Tickets are available at the Phillips Center box office, University Box Office and through Ticketmaster including

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