Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic

Upcoming Events

One of the ways by which the Friends raise money for the Orchestra is to host events throughout the year. The events include Galas and Parties, up close and personal gatherings with OPO guest artists, and the Friends Musical Insights Series. Events are open to all and all proceeds benefit the Orchestra.

We are currently busy planning our events for the coming 2022-2023 season. Information concerning all of our events planned for the coming season will be added as they are finalized.

You can make reservations for Friends' events in two ways:

  1. Order and Pay On-line - Click the appropriate "Friends" or "Non-Friends" button to add your choice to your shopping cart. Once you are done adding items to your shopping cart click the "Go to Payments" button on the shopping cart page to be directed to the PayPal site where you can either use a PayPal account or any valid credit card for payment. You can access your shopping cart at any time by clicking the "Review Cart" button on the right side of this page.
  2. Order and Pay By Mail - Use your browser's File, Print menu command to print this page. It will result in a simple order form you can fill out and mail with your check or credit card information to: Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic, c/o Bea Hoelle-Hawes, 114 Hollie Ct, Maitland, FL 32751. Please note that your order and payment must be received at least 5 days before the event.

Call our treasurer, Duncan DeWahl, if you must cancel your attendance to an event. Please note that since guest counts are guaranteed to the caterer 5 days prior to the event, cancellations made 5 days or less prior to the event cannot be refunded.

Can't Make the Event?

If you can't make an event but would like make a tax deductible cash contribution to the Friends then click here.

Events Mail-In Order Form

Fill in the number of attendees for the desired events, calculate your total payment and send this form along with your check or credit card information to:

   Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
   c/o Bea Hoelle-Hawes
   114 Hollie Ct
   Maitland, FL 32751

_____ Check enclosed

_____ Please charge my credit card:

VISA | MC | Discover | AmEx

Name on Card: _________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________

City: ______________________________ State: _____ ZIP: _______

Card No.: _____________________________________________________

CCV: ____________________ Expiration Date: ______ / ______


Signature: ____________________________________________________

A Friends Winter Celebration
Home of Lee and John Benz
Saturday December 17, 2022: 6:30 PM

Please join us for an evening of merriment, heavy hors d’oeuvres, libations, and delectable desserts. Hosted by John and Lee Benz, at their lovely Winter Park home which will be transformed to celebrate the coming of a balmy Florida Winter and a new year filled with optimism! Entertainment is TBA. Indoor/outdoor seating under the sparkling lights will support 75 guests at a maximum, so make your reservations early to assure your spot for this exceptional party! $115 per person for Friends, $125 for other attendees. Please confirm reservations by Dec 10th.

$115 per person  $125 per person  Charge to credit card or PayPal 

_____ Friends Members @ $115/person = $ _______
_____ Non-Members @ $125/person = $ _______
Total = $ _______

Friends Musical Insights 2023
The Plaza Live
January 24; March 3; April 4; and May 2, 2023

A National Award-Winning, Four-Part Music Awareness Series Presented by The Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring the Friends’ traditional hospitality in an intimate setting. All sessions take place in the Palmer Room at the Plaza Live.

  • THE BASSOON – CLOWN OR HERO? • JAN 24, 2023 – 5:00 P.M. OPO Principal Bassoon Diane Bishop will untangle the many misconceptions about the majestic bassoon which is often used to portray fools, drunks, and sinister characters. This session will also include a video showing the intricate reed making process.
  • THE MYSTERIES OF SHOSTAKOVICH’S 10th • MARCH 3, 2023 – 4:30 P.M. Maestro Thomas Wilkins, guest conductor of our March 4-5 Classics Concerts, will provide us with a special glimpse into Dmitri Shostakovich’s powerful and dramatic Symphony No. 10. This session includes an invitation to the OPO rehearsal that evening at Steinmetz Hall.
  • WOMEN OF THE HARP • APRIL 4, 2023 – 5:00 P.M. OPO Principal Harp Haley Rhodeside, will present us with a fascinating history of this instrument and for this class, Haley will feature women composers with a wide repertoire of interesting harp music, both contemporary and classical.
  • MAHLER'S 5TH: BOLD AND DRAMATIC • MAY 2, 2023 – 5:00 P.M. The OPO’s own Music Director, Eric Jacobsen, will join us prior to conducting Mahler’s iconic Symphony No. 5. Join our extraordinary Maestro as he provides a fascinating in-depth view of this masterpiece and insights into how he prepares to conduct a work of this magnitude.

Series: $175 per person; $135 for Friends members. Fee includes all 4 sessions.

$135 for Friends members  Charge to credit card or PayPal  $175 for non-Members

_____ Friends Members @ $135/person = $ _______
_____ Non-Members @ $175/person = $ _______
Total = $ _______

Luncheon with Oscar Hammerstein III
The Plaza Live
Friday January 27, 2023: 11:30 AM

Join us for a luncheon on January 27, 2023, to learn about Oscar Hammerstein II, “The Man who owned Broadway”! Our program features Oscar Hammerstein III, grandson of the theatrical artist, who is also the Hammerstein family historian, a painter, writer, and lecturer. Mr. Hammerstein III’s charisma and personal insights are sure to delight us all as the Friends sponsor another Lunch and Learn event!

Oscar Hammerstein II had a colorful life becoming one of the most influential lyricist and librettist of American theater. Born into a great theatrical family, he first attended law school but found his passion at age 19 with the Columbia University Players. His campus colleague, Richard Rodgers, would become his notable partner in writing “Integrated Musicals” -- the ones in which the book, lyrics and score all grew from a central idea, and all contributed to the story line. The Rogers & Hammerstein collaboration produced such plays as “Oklahoma”, “Carousel”, “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music”. This duo had a strong influence on the next generation, most notably Stephen Sondheim, and their impact on the arts cannot be overstated. Mr. Hammerstein III will share stories about the musical, theatrical and historical impact of his grandfather and those with whom he partnered over the course of 40 years.

The catered luncheon (vegetarian option included) begins at 11:30 at the Plaza Live! The cost is $65 for Friends members, $75 for other attendees.

$65 per person  $65 per person 

$75 per person  $75 per person  Charge to credit card or PayPal 

_____ Friends Members (Meat Option) @ $65/person = $ _______
_____ Non-Members (Meat Option) @ $75/person = $ _______
Total = $ _______

_____ Friends Members (Vegetarian Option) @ $65/person = $ _______
_____ Non-Members (Vegetarian Option) @ $75/person = $ _______
Total = $ _______

Earlier Events This Season

In addition to the events listed above we also sponsored a number of other events earlier this season. We hope that you were able to join us for our earlier fabulous fundraisers which are shown below. The money raised at these, and all of our events, go to the operation of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic.

You can see photographs taken at many of our events on our Photo Albums page.

Season Opening Celebration - Puttin' on the Glitz
The Plaza Live
Tuesday, September 27, 2022: 7PM

The new season is here, join us for the Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic’s festive opening dinner at the Plaza Live, celebrating our 30th anniversary! Put on your diamonds and pearls and little black dress (or coat & tie as appropriate), as we’ll be Puttin' on the Glitz with music by Eric Jacobson and accompanying philharmonic musicians. Cocktails and appetizers begin at 7:00PM, a champagne toast to celebrate the three-decade milestone and dinner will be served at 7:30PM. Arthur’s will be catering a sumptuous meal of Honey Rosemary Chicken or a vegetarian Mediterranean Stuffed Portabella.

Luncheon with Dr. Jennifer Palmer & Eric Jacobsen
The Plaza Live
Thusday, October 13, 2022: 11:30AM

Join us for a luncheon on October 13, 2022, to meet the little-known 18th century composer known as “The Black Mozart”. Our own Maestro Eric Jacobsen and Dr. Jennifer Palmer, an historian of Early Modern France, the Atlantic World, and the Caribbean, will introduce us to the fascinating life and work of Sir Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799.) Who was this man? Born a slave, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a prolific 18th century composer who was also a master fencer, violin virtuoso, composer in Marie Antoinette’s court and even was her piano teacher. Only recently has his music emerged on stages across the world!

Dr. Palmer’s expertise about Europe, the Atlantic world, women and gender, race, and pirates will provide insight into the backdrop of the times of Joseph Bologne, showing interconnections among race, gender, colonialism, and the plantation system in the early modern period. She will put into context how Joseph Bologne, the mixed-race son of a landowner, fit into society, and how the culture of the times influenced the composing arts. Eric Jacobson, the Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, will highlight the impact of this man on the music world, and share insights into his works to be performed by the Orlando Philharmonic this season.

The catered luncheon (vegetarian option included) begins at 11:30 at the Plaza Live! The cost per person is $65 for members of the Friends, $75 for others. Reservations must be made on or before October 12, 2022. As a special treat, your ticket comes with an invitation to Steinmetz Hall to watch the afternoon OPO rehearsal of the Orli Shaham Plays Mozart program, which includes three excerpts from Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ L’amant anonyme.

Nestor Torres at Casa Feliz
Casa Feliz
Wednesday, October 19, 2022: 7PM

Nestor Torres, a musical prodigy Latin Jazz flutist, left his native Puerto Rico to study at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He became a part of the Latin music scene in Miami with his first major-label album released in 1989. After a life-threatening accident in 1990, he not only continued with his musical career but also took part in a musical documentary for Cuban-born bassist Cachao and debuted as a vocalist. This artistry was recognized in 2001 when he won a Latin Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Join us at Casa Feliz for a spectacular performance by Nester Torres with wine, catered appetizers from Arthur’s and jazz, jazz, jazz! Cost per person: $115 for Friends members, $125 for others.

Informance with Jan Vogler
The Home of Rebecca & Barry Watson
Wednesday, November 9, 2022: 7:00 PM

Please join us on Wednesday November 9th for a special evening featuring World Renowned Cellist Jan Vogler. The New York Times praises his “soulful, richly hued playing” and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung grants him the ability “to make his cello speak like a singing voice”. Relax and enjoy this preview of the Philharmonic's November Classics concert, hosted by Barry & Becky Watson in their Lake Ivanhoe residence from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Refreshments include Savory & Sweet Heavy Hors d'oeuvres, Wine, Beer, and soft drinks. The cost is $115 for Friends members, $125 for other attendees. Reservations are requested by November 1st.

Links to Related Web Sites

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Link to Orlando Philharmonic


Friends Facebook page

Link to the Friends Facebook page


Plaza Live!

Link to Plaza Live

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