Memorable Miami candlelight concert illuminates ‘an intimate performance’ amid the sounds of The Beatles and Bach

The Beatles and Bach may seem like an uncommon duo to most music fans, but seeing Fever’s Candlelight Concert Series mesh the two on a South Florida summer night might change their minds.

A tribute to these iconic artists took the audience’s breath away in Miami last month. Some fans were in awe, others simply sang along to their favorite tunes as the candles provided a unique ambiance not traditionally seen in a concert setting.

The night began in the intimate setting of The Plaza Turf — Jungle Island, lit only by glimmering candlelight. The audience knew that this concert would be an experience like no other as soon as they walked through the venue’s doors.

“There’s something so unique about the experience of Candlelight Concerts, it’s an intimate performance by local musicians with music from every kind of artist or composer,” said Maria Valcarce, city manager of Candlelight Concerts in Miami.

The room, lit by hundreds of candles, transports the audience to a setting that feels ethereal, more so with the quartet’s performance of songs by The Beatles and Bach.

Classical music lovers and those still suffering from Beatlemania could not contain their excitement, shouting and clapping as the quartet came onto the stage.

Brent Charran, a Candlelight musician, said that Candlelight Concerts are a unique experience not only for the audience but also from a performer’s perspective.

“Usually, when playing in a symphony setting, we are put under the spotlight and we can’t see anything or anyone in the crowd and sometimes it feels like we’re playing into the abyss,” Charran said. “When performing Candlelight Concerts, we get to see the audience’s faces in the candlelight. We can see their reaction and feel the energy in the room.”

The string quartet consisting of first violin, second violin, viola and cello, played a symmetrical mixture of classics from Bach and The Beatles. The crowd sang along in uncontainable excitement to all of The Beatles’ songs and recharged in the tone set by the timeless concertos of Bach.

Members of the quartet paused in between every few songs to give exclusive insight into both artists. Interesting facts shared by the performers brought the two artists, separated by hundreds of years, together in astounding ways. Not only were songs by Bach recorded on Abbey Road, but The Beatles and Bach shared an instrument in their songs: the harpsichord.

While the performance was an hour long, it passed so quickly that everyone was begging for more while the string quartet bowed to the crowd. And when the encore was performed, the audience lifted their candles in the air and swayed to the music until the final note.

“Everyone should come to a Candlelight Concert,” Valcarce said. “I promise you, it’s not what you expect.”

Candlelight’s summer series, in various venues throughout Miami, runs through Aug. 20, and there is a “A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics” on the books for Oct. 27 as well at the Hotel Colonnade.

Mia Petruccelli is a senior at Florida International University majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies. Originally from Tampa, FL, she traveled to Miami to finish school and find a career that is creative, professional and fulfilling. She is passionate about mental health, gender equality, and women's empowerment.