WSMR Quarterly Issue Reports - Q1 2020
Hans Burgkmair’s “Crucifix with Mary St. John the Evangelist”

Bach’s St. John Passion

Join The Florida Orchestra on March 21st and 22nd for the orchestra’s rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. John Passion.” In addition, The Florida Orchestra will be accompanied by the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. The Master Chorale’s addition will assist in transmitting themes of redemption after a rise from anguish. The concert will be led by the Florida Orchestra’s very own conductor Michael Francis. Come and join the Florida Orchestra this March for an evening of rejoicing at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg.

The Conductor

Michael Francis is the current Florida Orchestra conductor which began in 2014. His contract has recently been extended through the 2023-24 orchestra season. Currently, Michael Francis has entered his fifth season as the orchestra’s leading conductor. In addition, Francis is the Chief Conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz which began at the start of the 2019-20 orchestra season. Francis is adamant for educational outreach, as he was the conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada during their Spanish tour in 2019 and will be returning in the summer of 2020. Also, Francis’ discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra along with the Ravel & Gershwin piano concertos with Ian Parker. Michael Francis’ resume illustrates the immense talent he possesses and is a welcomed addition to The Florida Orchestra. 

Conductor Michael Francis, "Florida Orchestra"

Conductor Michael Francis, “Florida Orchestra”

Baroque Mastery

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and the master of Baroque compositions during the eighteenth-century. Bach was a highly praised organist throughout Europe. He also went on to compose multiple musical church pieces for his eventual Sunday and feast day services that occurred regularly. Bach would not receive his renown recognition as a classical composer until the first half of the nineteenth-century. Due to the rise of classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven, Bach’s music was negatively received for about 50 years after his death. Ironically, Bach made a profound influence on these iconic composers and is illustrated in their works. Bach has now evolved into one of the great classical Baroque composers to ever exist.

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach

The Passion 

Bach’s “St. John Passion” is considered to be his most extravagant works. The composition is one of Bach’s pieces composed for Sunday and feast day services. Detailing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the piece was composed for the Good Friday Vespers service in 1724. Bach utilized contextual scripture when forming this piece. Such phrasing like ‘wept bitterly’ was signified by Bach making the music sound like a violent sobbing. Even when the congregation stops singing, Bach transmitted the theming of the story through the orchestra. Johann Sebastian Bach succeeds in addressing the significance behind the crucifixion of Jesus Christ while producing a memorable piece that has been performed through the ages. Come indulge in Bach’s legendary work with the Florida Orchestra this March in recognition of the biblical scripture.

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

For tickets and more information on this concert visit