Musical Musings

The Sarasota Orchestra Blog

The second Saturday Symphony concert of the Sarasota Music Festival will delight audiences with Mozart's Great G Minor Symphony and Violin Concerto No. 3 performed by SMF faculty artist Alexander Kerr.

Under the baton of Brett Mitchell, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony and Associate Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, Kerr will resemble a singing troubadour with a gloriously exciting, alert and playful sound accompanied by the Sarasota Music Festival orchestra.

Held at the historic Sarasota Opera House, the concert titled Mostly Mozart also includes Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks.

All About Mostly Mozart, Saturday June 17, 8:00 pm:

  • Symphony No. 40 is arguably the most popular of all of Mozart's forty-one symphonies, though its common use as a ring tone in the early 2000s would certainly not have made sense to the composer.

  • All but two of Mozart's 41 symphonies are composed in major keys. The exceptions are known as "The Little G Minor Symphony," (Symphony No. 25) and "The Great G Minor Symphony," (Symphony No. 40).

  • Symphony No. 40 was composed during a frantic summer of composition just three years before his death. Contrary to the movie Amadeus, Salieri did not poison Mozart. Contemporary scholars believe that Mozart died from an unknown disease at age 35, not an uncommon age to pass in 18th century Europe.

  • Mozart was 19 years old in 1775 when his third violin concerto premiered in his native Salzburg, where he was employed as a court musician.

  • Stravinsky's Concerto in E-Flat Major is said to be named for the Dumbarton Oaks estate of American diplomat Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss in Washington, DC, who commissioned it for their thirtieth wedding anniversary.

Tickets and More Information about Mostly Mozart on June 17

The first Saturday Symphony on June 10 showcases the talents of both faculty and student participants in full orchestral splendor at the historic Sarasota Opera House. New Music Director Jeffrey Kahane conducts his first Festival concert with a diverse, energetic program of music by Beethoven, Faure and Ibert.

"Those first notes of Beethoven's symphony have been heard, interpreted, and explained as all those things and more. It's the single most famous symphonic trajectory."

The Guardian

"Few symphonies cover so much ground and remain completely accessible."

Classic FM

Facts about The Triumphant Fifth Saturday Symphony concert:

  • Named one of the "Top 10 Greatest Flutists in History" by Sinfini Magazine (UK) in 2015, guest artist and 2003 SMF student participant Jasmine Choi is celebrated for her golden tone, highly sophisticated musicianship, and charismatic stage presence.

  • Choi was the first Korean musician to join the Vienna Symphony as a principal in the orchestra's storied 113-year history.

  • It is rumored that Beethoven described the famous opening notes as "Fate knocking on your door."

  • During World War II, Allied forces used Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 to signal a victorious moment, as its rhythm—short, short, short, long—matched that of the letter V in Morse Code.

  • Sarasota Orchestra musicians Greg Knudsen, co-principal trumpet, and Yoko Kita, principal timpani, will join SMF student participants and faculty artists in the Festival Orchestra.

  • Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998, will join the Festival orchestra as concertmaster for the evening. She is also a renowned violin soloist, chamber musician, and educator.

Tickets and More Information about The Triumphant Fifth on June 10

The countdown begins. Join us as we welcome Jeffrey Kahane as he makes his debut as Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival June 5-24. Come explore the magical combination of youthful promise and acclaimed talent that carries a reputation as one of the finest classical music festivals in the nation. 

"Few musical works are as loved as the six "Brandenburg" Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. These six works display a lighter side of Bach's imperishable genius."

National Public Radio

Facts about All Bach Friday Festival concert:

  • J. S. Bach composed this famous collection of six concertos between 1708-1721, although they weren't commonly referred to as the Brandenburg Concertos until 150 years later.

  • The source of the name for the concertos came from its original dedication in 1721 to Christian Ludwig, the margrave of Brandenburg.

  • Parts of the Brandenburg Concertos have been in the scores of more than 15 films, including Die Hard, Hannibal, A Bridge Too Far, and Miracle.

  • In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft included a Voyager Golden Record that contained images, natural sounds of Earth and some select musical pieces. The first movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 was included for potential extraterrestrials to understand Earth culture.

  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 is the longest concerto of the set Bach composed, running 23 minutes. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is the shortest, running 10 minutes.

  • Sizes of the six ensembles vary tremendously. Concerto No. 6 is the smallest ensemble with 7 musicians on stage, while Concerto No. 2 is the largest with 43 musicians.

  • Jeffrey Kahane, new Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival, will be conducting the entire concert from the harpsicord.

Tickets and More Information about All Bach on June 9

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Written byHerald Tribune

 There's no doubt, audiences are thrilled by the Sarasota Orchestra's new music director, Anu Tali. She's brought an intense energy from the orchestra in previous performances and we found this yet again in a downright thrill ride of an encounter...  

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

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 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.  

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

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 Tali conveyed a clear vision for the dramatic outline of this symphony, carefully pacing the darker, searching character of the music with pastoral conversations among voices in the orchestra.  

Written byThe Observer

 If you haven’t seen Tali yet, this will be a great introduction to the skyrocketing conductor who’s quickly becoming a household name around the world. You’ll see why we feel we’re lucky to have her here.  

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