Musical Musings

The Sarasota Orchestra Blog

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.

This weekend’s Saturday Symphony holds a rare treat for Festival fans as four Fellows team up on the solo violin parts of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in B Minor from L’Estro Armonico (which translates rather poetically to “the harmonic inspiration”). We were lucky enough to gather all four of them together to chat about festival life, as well as the particular challenges and sheer fun coming up for them in Saturday’s concert. 

“I chose these selections because they offer a variety of things that happen during SMF. Observing over the years what the most popular festival pass patron events, these highlights offer our new festival pass patrons a great sample of exciting and enriching options.”

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.

Nathan Hughes is principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera and faculty member of The Juilliard School. He joins Sarasota Music Festival’s faculty artists this year for the first time and will be showcased on SMF’s first Friday Festival Concert in a performance of Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major. When we caught up with Nathan on the Festival’s second day, however, we found out his connections to Sarasota Music Festival go back 22 years when he was a Festival Fellow!

Music is like a language all its own—and that language comes with its own special dictionary! Even the specific genre of movie music has generated unique terminology for the ways film scores pull audiences into the drama on-screen. When you add these terms to your music vocabulary, you’ll head to Sarasota Orchestra’s Hollywood Hits concert a newly-minted film music buff.

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.

“As always, it’s extremely difficult to talk about ‘highlights’ when there are so many of them in a very short space of time. But these concerts are a great guide as to what I think are the outstanding moments of this year’s Festival.”

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Reviews

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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CY Hong

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