Vivace! Music for the Masses     An article from Florida Libraries about Children's, Teen, and Adult music programming and at Jacksonville Public Library.

Music @ Main : Classical Music Programming in Downtown Jacksonville

Since their inception in February 2006, Music @ Main programs, including the popular monthly Intermezzo Sunday Concerts, have been the best-attended ongoing series of adult programs held at the Library. All of the performers freely donated their time and talents for the opportunity to perform in the series*, including programs presented in partnership with area schools, colleges and universities, with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and with Friday Musicale, Jacksonville's oldest community music society.

The concerts have showcased the artistry of prominent First Coast musicians, as well as the emerging talents of gifted students from among the area's many outstanding music education programs. In addition to players from the Jacksonville Symphony and faculty artists from the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University, we have hosted visiting musicians, including, for example, the internationally-acclaimed chamber ensemble enhakē, Trio Solis (faculty artists from FSU), Italian pianist Laura Nocchiero, and Noteworthy Duo (faculty artists from Vanguard University of Southern California). We likewise were delighted to present the American debut of Iraqi pianist and television personality Abbas Abboud.

Taking advantage of the superior acoustics provided by the Main Library's Hicks Auditorium, program offerings have ranged from a concert version of Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas, complete with chorus and chamber orchestra, to cutting-edge pieces for unaccompanied violin. Music @ Main concerts also have included world premieres of more than a dozen newly-composed works in a variety of vocal, choral, and instrumental styles. Printed program guides accompanied each performance, providing information about the compositions and the performers, as well as selective listings of related reading and listening materials available from the Library's superlative collection of music resources.

From Intermezzo Sunday Concert 3/13/2011, with Duo Bonev-Birbochukov
Boyan Bonev (cello) and Hristo Birbochukov (piano)

* The first performers in what would become the Music @ Main Concerts were University of North Florida music professors Dr. Simon Shiao and Dr. Gary Smart. In February of 2006, Dr. Shiao attended a program in the Hicks Auditorium, and asked if the Library might be able to host a lecture recital he and Dr. Smart were preparing. The Library waived the usual rental fees for the hall, and also provided printed program guides, including a bibliography of related Library materials. The concert was a great success, and it demonstrated the superior acoustics of the Hicks Auditorium. Dr. Shiao encouraged his colleagues and other local musicians to take advantage of the opportunity the Library provided, and, as the word spread, requests for concert dates began flooding in from both local and out-of-town musicians.