Musical Musings

The Sarasota Orchestra Blog

When violinist Sarah Chang makes her Sarasota Orchestra debut in a little over two weeks, she'll have crested the third decade of a music career that has crisscrossed the globe and produced 20 albums. Chang ran the Olympic torch in 2004, took a spot in Newsweek's "20 Top Women on Leadership" in 2006, and was honored as a 2008 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for her professional achievements, commitment to society, and potential for shaping the world's future. In 2011, the U.S. Department of State formalized her cultural ambassadorship by naming her an official Artistic Ambassador. Learn more about Sarah Chang's evolution from child prodigy to international ambassador for the arts in our latest blog post.

Sarasota Orchestra's Education Department has coordinated a truly historic holiday event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Sarasota Youth Orchestras [SYO]. On December 21, nearly 50 SYO alumni will perform side-by-side with the Youth Philharmonic. The combined orchestra will represent all six decades of the SYO's history—and in the case of two string players, multiple generations of SYO musicians!

“There’s an old joke that if you stand on a street corner of any great American city and sing the first few bars of Wagner’s ‘Ride of The Valkyries’ to passersby, 90% of the world will find the mantra ‘Kill da wabbit’ popping into their heads.” In this exclusive blog for Sarasota Orchestra, conductor George Daugherty delves into the indelible association Looney Tunes with Wagner—and Rossini, Liszt, J. Strauss, von Suppé, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Donizetti, and any other number of golden age composers. 

The personalities that make up the Sarasota Orchestra are truly extraordinary. Each musician is unique as an artist and contributor to our great community. Likewise, the personal connections that our musicians form with patrons are equally unique and special. Throughout the years, we have heard many beautiful stories of friendships that have formed both on and off the stage. This is one such story about Sarasota Orchestra's principal bassoon Fernando Traba, and the patrons who left a lasting impact on his life and his playing. Stories like this illustrate how music is so much more than an art form. It brings people together in a way that nothing else can.

The orchestral music community is small and close-knit. To create a level playing field and ensure fairness, orchestra auditions occur behind a curtain. When Sarasota Orchestra’s most recent auditions for a section bassist ended, Principal Bass John Miller was overjoyed to find out the winning performance had been rendered by his former student, Reed Tucker.

None of our 2019/2020 Masterworks season's seven visitors are strangers to the spotlight, and all have earned tremendous acclaim for their work on the podium. Read on to find out what journalists and classical music critics are saying about our amazing Masterworks guest conductors! And don't forget: There's still time to subscribe to the series and save up to 35% off Masterworks single ticket prices. 

As orchestras everywhere honor the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in their 2019-2020 seasons, Sarasota Orchestra has infused this year’s concert series with the composer’s ingenious musical creations. Audiences will experience the might of his symphonies and piano concertos in the Orchestra’s Masterworks and Discover Beethoven series, as well as the innovative brilliance of his chamber works in Chamber Soirees. Even in the Orchestra’s crowd-pleasing Pops and Great Escapes, concert-goers will feel the sense of eternal hope that defines Beethoven’s staying power.

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Beethoven looms larger than life in the collective imagination—take it from the title of Saturday’s concert, Three Titans, which features an early Beethoven work, the Octet in E-flat Major for winds. We spoke with two members of the octet who prepare to share the work with Festival audiences this week: oboe faculty Nancy Ambrose King and horn Fellow Austin Ruff.

The Sarasota Orchestra today announced that Jeffrey Kahane signed a three-year contract renewal as Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival. Kahane was also appointed as Artistic Advisor for Sarasota Orchestra while a search is underway for a new music director.

The theme of this week’s Festival Concert on Friday, June 14, centers around large-ensemble chamber works. The program opens aptly with Dixtuor by Jean Françaix, a prolific composer of the 20th century. Dixtour is the French word for the decet—an ensemble of 10 musicians! Françaix’s example masterfully balances a wind quintet against a string quintet. Between their first and second rehearsals of this remarkable work, we sat down with flutist and longtime Festival faculty artist Carol Wincenc and viola Fellow Mark Liu to talk about the process of bringing 10 different instruments together in perfect harmony.

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Written byHerald Tribune

 Literally gripping the arms of my seat, I was not the only one propelled on this rollercoaster of delightful music.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Every section and soloist within the orchestra played their role with strength and beauty; every tree proud and tall. Tali served as an excellent guide leading the forces with assured confidence. The overall sound was lush and, yes, intense just where it needed to be.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 The Sarasota Orchestra was brimming with bubbling energy...  

Written byHerald Tribune

 A lifetime of musical moments, cinematic in scope, gave every section of the orchestra a leading role at one time or another. Chief among them was the virtuosic solo of concertmaster Daniel Jordan.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 It was a thrill ride resulting in an explosion of audience enthusiasm.  

Written byThe Observer

 Andrew Lane, the Orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, knows how to program a winning event and this concert had something for everyone. It also brought in a whole new audience that seemed dazzled by the performances.  

Written byThe Observer

 The Sarasota Orchestra played a program this past weekend filled with so much color, it was like visiting the Louvre.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 The performance... was exceptional, bringing new and stunning sonorities from a larger than usual Sarasota Orchestra under the dynamic leadership of Anu Tali.  

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Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.

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