In a season that affirms Sarasota Orchestra’s vitality and upward trajectory, nine guest conductors will arrive at the podium for the 2019-20 Masterworks and Discover Beethoven concert series.

Each conductor rides the wave of an illustrious career, and all are highly sought-after worldwide. What’s more, ten soloists who are electrifying today’s concert halls will share prodigious musical gifts in their interpretations of masterpieces from Mozart, Dvorak, Brahms, and beyond!

Orchestra audiences know and love Masterworks concerts for the classical music that made the world go ‘round—and still does to this day. This season is no exception, layering the symphonic themes of cherished masterpieces and soon-to-be favorites.  

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Sarasota Orchestra will focus its eye-opening Discover Beethoven series on arguably the most influential composer in history. Sarasota Opera House will resound with drama and delight in programs that chronicle Beethoven’s musical maturation into the culmination of his “heroic” middle period.

The caliber of this season’s roster of conductors and soloists gives testament to Sarasota Orchestra’s growth in artistry and international stature throughout the tenure of Music Director Anu Tali. Read on to learn more about our esteemed guest conductors and preview what’s to come on a season that can’t be missed. 


Classical Romance

November 8-10, 2019

Gerard Schwarz



MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20
Lise de la Salle

DVORAK Symphony No. 6

Conductor: Gerard Schwarz

After 26 seasons with the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz now serves as its Conductor Laureate. He is also Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival and the All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble that gathers top musicians from orchestras across the United States on one stage. Led by Schwarz’s baton, the All-Star Orchestra’s televised concerts have garnered six Emmy awards.

Soloist: Lise de la Salle, piano

For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe … the exhilaration didn’t let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard.

Washington Post

Roman Festivals

December 6-8, 2019

JoAnn Falletta


ELGAR In the South

BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1
Alexi Kenney

RESPIGHI Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome)

RESPIGHI Feste Romane (Roman Festivals)

Conductor: JoAnn Falletta

Called “one of the finest conductors of her generation” by The New York Times, JoAnn Falletta is Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. With 115 recordings and two Grammy awards under her belt, Falletta is championed as one of the first female Music Directors in America.

Soloist: Alexi Kenney, violin

a spellbinding performance that revealed his architect’s eye for structure and space …to full bodied robustness.

The New York Times

Mozart and Mahler

January 17-19, 2020

Steven Sloane


MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21
Shai Wosner

MAHLER Symphony No. 1 (The Titan)

Conductor: Steven Sloane

Steven Sloane is an American-born conductor who has maintained an active career in Israel and across Europe. He was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Malmö Opera, and is General Music Director of the Bochum Symphony in Germany. In the United States, he’s served as the Music Director of the Spoleto Music Festival and the American Composers Orchestra. Sloane designed this concert to layer the sparkle of Mozart and the fire of Mahler together on one program.

Soloist: Shai Wosner, piano

His fingers are at the service of a keen and musical mind and deep musical soul.

NPR All Things Considered

Chang Plays Dvorak

January 30-31 and February 1-2, 2020

Ludovic Morlot


JANACEK The Cunning Little Vixen Suite

DEBUSSY Iberia, No. 2 from Images

DVORAK Legends

DVORAK Violin Concerto
Sarah Chang

Conductor: Ludovic Morlot

After eight seasons as the Seattle Symphony's Music Director, Ludovic Morlot will step into a new appointment as the orchestra's Conductor Emeritus. His recordings with the Seattle Symphony have earned three Grammy awards. A 2001 fellowship with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute paved the way to Morlot’s position as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2007. He also served as Conductor-in-Residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon. Morlot’s programming choice of Debussy on this Masterworks program reflects his French heritage.

Soloist: Sarah Chang, violin

Her gifts are at a level so removed from the rest of us that all we can do is feel the appropriate awe and then wonder on the mysteries of nature.

The New York Times

Sounds of Nobility

February 21-23, 2020

Bramwell Tovey


BERLIOZ Rob Roy Overture

BRAHMS Concerto for Violin & Cello
Simone Porter & Joshua Roman

WALTON Symphony No. 1

Conductor: Bramwell Tovey

Bramwell Tovey, a Grammy award-winning conductor and composer, is Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra and Music Director Emeritus of Vancouver Symphony. He works with the Rhode Island Philharmonic as its Artistic Advisor and has appeared with many major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. His program for Masterworks 5 brings the symphonic work of William Walton to Sarasota audiences for the very first time.

Soloists: Joshua Roman, cello; Simone Porter, violin

[Roman is] a cellist of extraordinary technical and musical gifts.

San Francisco Chronicle

Porter’s virtuosity puts her right up there with the finest interpreters of her generation.

Chicago Classical Review

Beethoven and Bartok

March 12-15, 2020

Keith Lockhart


KODALY Dances of Galanta

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
Jeremy Denk

BARTOK Concerto for Orchestra

Conductor: Keith Lockhart

Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops Orchestra, where he is the second-longest tenured conductor since its founding in 1885. He also serves as Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra and is the Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Lockhart spent 11 years as Music Director of the Utah Symphony, which he conducted at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Soloist: Jeremy Denk, piano

A pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination.

The New York Times

American Impressions

April 3-5, 2020

Teddy Abrams


ABRAMS Overture in Sonata Form (2014)

PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2
Blake Pouliot

COPLAND Symphony No. 3

Conductor: Teddy Abrams

A pianist, clarinetist, and accomplished composer, Teddy Abrams is the Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra, the Music Director of Britt Classical Festival, and the Resident Conductor of MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest. He advocates for the power of music through cross-disciplinary collaborations with ballet, theater, and visual arts organizations across the nation. A highlight of this Masterworks program is its opening piece, one of Abrams’ own orchestral works.

Soloist: Blake Pouliot, violin

Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly virtuoso.

Montreal's La Presse

Discover Beethoven's Fifth

September 28-29, 2019

Marcelo Lehninger


ROSSINI Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 
Drew Petersen

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

Conductor: Marcelo Lehninger

As Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, last year Marcelo Lehninger led the orchestra in its triumphant return to Carnegie Hall (where the orchestra debuted in 2005). He is previously the Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles and has served as both Assistant and Associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Soloist: Drew Petersen, piano

He feels the music, he can make it come alive again, make you feel touched by it.

Lukas Foss, composer, conductor, pianist

Beethoven's Eroica

February 6, 2020

Jeffrey Kahane


Musical examples played by the orchestra with commentary by Jeffrey Kahane

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 (Eroica)

Conductor and Commentator: Jeffrey Kahane

This mid-season special concert will explore the work that signaled the start of Beethoven's revolutionary middle period. Jeffrey Kahane, Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival and newly-appointed Artistic Advisor to Sarasota Orchestra, will present insights and musical examples that put Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, the "heroic" symphony, into 21st-century context. A performance of the full symphony that changed the course of music completes this compelling concert.

... an extremely cohesive, beautifully crafted performance, full of artfully shaped musical phrases, and exquisitely executed ornaments from the piano.

Journal Sentinel

Discover Beethoven's Seventh

May 2-3, 2020

David Danzmayr


VIVALDI/RICHTER The Four Seasons Recomposed
Alexandra Soumm

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Conductor: David Danzmayr

David Danzmayr’s wide-ranging conducting career includes current posts as Music Director of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Columbus, OH); Artistic Advisor for the Breckenridge Music Festival; and Chief Conductor of Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra in Croatia. He recently rounded out four highly-lauded seasons as Music Director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and his conducting has earned prizes from the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition and the International Malko Conducting Competition.

Soloist: Alexandra Soumm, violin

Her violin sang with all the dark, sultry passion of a Carmen.

Nottingham Post

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Join us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at these exciting events.

Dinner Series
Six Dinners throughout the season

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Sunday, November 12, 2023

Celebrate 75 Concert and Gala
Thursday, February 15, 2024


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