Finally a Festival for Francophiles



The Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (ACS) announced yesterday the imminent arrival of a new community-wide celebration, the 2017 Festival of French Music. Running February 12 through March 23 at various venues in Sarasota and Manatee counties and featuring concerts, lectures, exhibits, culinary adventures and theatrical productions, the festival brings together 12 local organizations for a collaboration that came about almost by accident.

“When we were planning the Artist Series Concerts’ 2016-2017 season a year ago, it was with the knowledge that many area residents enjoy the music and culture of France,” says ACS Director of Artistic Programs Joseph Holt, and the organization booked five events through February and March to celebrate French music and visiting French musicians. And when ACS found out that many other local organizations such as Gloria Musicae, Sarasota Opera and Michael’s On East had thematically similar plans, the idea of a community festival came naturally and the invitation for collaboration received warmly. “It was pure serendipity,” Holt says, and participating organizations grew to include the Alliance Française of Sarasota, Sarasota Music Archives, Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL), Selby Gardens and Sarasota Orchestra Friends.

The festival begins February 12 with an ACS performance at Faith Lutheran Church, where visiting French cellist Edgar Moreau will perform works from Poulenc, Beethoven and Brahms with pianist Jessica Xylina Osborne, and does not let up until March 23. Moreau performs again the next day on SILL’s Music Mondays with June LeBell and the festival continues the same day at Selby Gardens with a lecture and lunch with curator Dr. Carol Ockman regarding the Gardens’ upcoming Marc Chagall exhibition, Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams. February 15 features two free lectures at the Sarasota Opera House, one exploring the street fairs of old Paris with author Charlotte Perret and the other Sarasota Opera’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites. All told, the festival features more than 20 events, including ongoing events at Sarasota Opera and Michael’s On East.

For a more complete listing, follow the link below and download the ACS brochure.

2017 Festival of French Music

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