Sarasota Music Festival Brings Rising Stars, World Premiere



The Sarasota Music Festival returns this summer, as does Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, who took the reins last year and wowed audiences by kicking off the festivities leading a performance of all six of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. This year promises more Baroque delights, as well as a newly commissioned work from American composer Robert Sirota, new faculty artists and guest performances from two rising stars, in addition to the rest of the more than 40 guest artists. The three-week festival runs from June 4–23. Shostakovich, Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart—all get their due.

The Friday Festivals commence on June 8 with “Brilliantly Baroque,” featuring work from two Baroque masters, Bach and Vivaldi. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin will showcase the power and pairing of the two (giving a rare spotlight for the former), and Kahane himself will conduct Bach’s Keyboard Concerto from the harpsichord. Following Bach, Vivaldi gets his due in a concerto for two cellos, followed by a finale in “Summer” from Four Seasons.

Amongst Artist Showcases in the intimate Holley Hall, the aforementioned Friday Festivals' chamber music productions and Saturday Symphonies bringing full concert performances that unite the student orchestra with concertos from faculty and SMF alumni, classical music lovers will find plenty to love. Special guests will include new faculty artists, soloist and pianist Jon Kimora Parker and Zachery DePue, concertmaster for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed pianist and SMF alum Vijay Venkatesh also returns to the festival, along with violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, winner of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. Each will be performing concertos accompanied by the student orchestra.

Saturday Symphonies conclude with the world premiere of Sirota’s “Lumious Bodies,” presented between Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major. “The work is a tribute to five great musical geniuses who inspired Dr. Sirota,” says Kahane, “George Gershwin, Lili Boulanger, Aaron Copland, Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny Hensel and Leonard Bernstein.” The piece will be performed by the chamber ensemble yMusic, a New York-based company of six.

With several more concerts and performances, in addition to open rehearsals so fans can watch the students progress as the festival plays out, audiences will have plenty to choose from, with full listings available on the Sarasota Orchestra website.

The Sarasota Music Festival begins June 4, but tickets are on sale now.

Sarasota Music Festival

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