Chamber Soirées

A highlight this season is Masterworks soloist Lukáš Vondráček performing with the Sarasota String Quartet. Discover a season of popular standards and intriguing explorations of accessible new works.

  • Tango Time

    Tango Time

    Chamber Soirée 1

    Thursday, September 28, 2017 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall

    Explore accessible and thrilling contemporary classical music. In The Seasons, enjoy musical descriptions of nature in Wisconsin, including the colors of autumn, the challenges of winter, the promise of spring, and the joy of summer. The intensity builds with Piazzolla's Four, for Tango. This string quartet is aggressive, sensual and mesmerizing. Maslanka describes the first movement of his Quintet No. 2 as fierce, the second movement as elusive, and the third as sweet.


    The Seasons: A Symphony for Brass Quintet

    Sarasota Brass Quintet

    Four for Tango

    Samantha Bennett, violin; Jennifer Best Takeda, violin; Michael McClelland, viola; TBD, cello

    Quintet No. 2 for Winds

    Sarasota Wind Quintet

  • Collage


    Chamber Soirée 2

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 | 4:00pm | Holley Hall

    Presenting a musical collage, we begin in a time of elegance and aristocracy with Händel's stately Aria. We then jump to the 20th century with three pieces by Reich, Kodaly, and Ewazen. A minimalist pioneer, Steve Reich's Nagoya Marimbas presents melodies in perpetual, spellbinding waves. Mysterious yet playful, Kodaly's Serenade is scored for the unusual combination of two violins and viola. Ewazen finds inspiration for his quintet in Colorado's Roaring Fork River. Sibelius' Suite for strings and percussion will carry you to the realm of the exquisite.


    Aria No. 1

    Sarasota Brass Quintet

    Nagoya Marimbas

    George Nickson, marimba; Bruce Lehman, marimba


    Jennifer Takeda-Best, violin; Samantha Bennett, violin; Steven Laraia, viola

    Roaring Fork Quintet for Wind Instruments

    Sarasota Wind Quintet

  • Treasures


    Chamber Soirée 3

    Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 4:00pm | Holley Hall

    We bring you two giants of chamber music: Dvořák and Fauré. Dignified throughout, Dvořák's lovely Serenade is simply alluring. Brahms wrote of the Serenade: "It would be difficult to discover a finer, more refreshing impression of really abundant and charming creative talent." Fauré's Quartet is a work of awesome power. It is beauty personified and is at times playful, grieving and serene. At all times, it carries within it the emotional weight of a symphony, ranging from heartbreak to great jubilation.


    Serenade for Wind Instruments

    Adam De Sorgo, oboe; Nicholas Arbolino, oboe; Bharat Chandra, clarinet; Laura Stephenson Petty, clarinet; Fernando Traba, bassoon; Evan Epifanio, bassoon; Joshua Horne, horn; TBD, horn; Laurence Solowey, horn; Chizuko Matsusaka, cello; John Price, double bass

    Piano Quartet No.1

    Sarasota Piano Quartet

  • String Spectrum

    String Spectrum

    Chamber Soirée 4

    Thursday, November 2, 2017 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall

    The subtitle of Failing is "A Very Difficult Piece for String Bass." Our soloist reads amusing text and instructions while simultaneously playing increasingly strenuous music. Failing becomes an end goal. We then move across the spectrum to a challenging work for string quartet. Schubert's Quartet in G Major is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful string quartets ever composed, though so technically difficult it is not often performed. In it, the forces of light and dark battle against each other, and the ultimate winner is only revealed at the end.



    John Miller, double bass

    Quartet in G Major

    Sarasota String Quartet

  • Splendid Colors

    Splendid Colors

    Chamber Soirée 5

    Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall
    Sunday, January 21, 2018 | 4:00pm | Holley Hall

    Lose yourself in the haunting beauty of three splendid works. Masterworks soloist and award-winning pianist Lukáš Vondráček joins the Sarasota String Quartet in performing Dvořák's magnificent Quintet, one of the best in this genre. Ibert's lush Trio is bewitching and evocative, at once full of sensual beauty, nostalgia, and intensity. Francaix's delightful Divertimento brings an amusing sense of whimsy. The unusual instrumental combination sings with gorgeous melodies.


    Trio for Violin, Cello, Harp

    Jennifer Takeda, violin; Christopher Schnell, cello; TBD, harp

    Divertimento for Bassoon and String Quintet

    Fernando Traba, bassoon; Christopher Takeda, violin; Samantha Bennett, violin; Michael McClelland, viola; Chizuko Matsusaka, cello; John Miller, bass

    Piano Quintet No. 2

    Sarasota String Quartet; Lukáŝ Vondráček, piano

  • Trout


    Chamber Soirée 6

    Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall
    Sunday, February 11, 2018 | 4:00pm | Holley Hall

    There are few chamber pieces as famous as Schubert's brilliant "Trout" Quintet. This infectious piece gushes with bubbly optimism and uncomplicated joy. The viola finally gets to shine in Bowen's Fantasia. The work ranges from the instrument's dark chocolatey tones to its expressive high notes. An energetic work, Penn's Capriccio for Tuba and Marimba perfectly pairs agile and percussive strokes on the marimba with the lyrical, baleful tones of the Tuba.


    Fantasia for Four Violas

    Steven Laraia, viola; Matthew Pegis, viola; Nathan Frantz, viola; Michael mcClelland, viola

    Capriccio for Tuba and Marimba

    Jay Hunsberger, tuba; George Nickson, marimba

    Trout Quintet

    Daniel Jordan, violin; Steven Laraia, viola; Natalie Helm, cello; John Miller, double bass; Jonathan Spivey, piano

  • Striking Strings

    Striking Strings

    Chamber Soirée 7

    Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall
    Sunday, March 11, 2018 | 4:00pm | Holley Hall

    Bartók's final string quartet is a curious and powerful work, ranging from playfulness to melancholy. As the music succumbs to the impending end, it transforms into something majestic in its resignation. Schumann's String Quartet No. 3 features a Clara motif, as he wrote it during his first marital crisis, a domestic issue with a modern ring to it. A two-career family, Schumann struggled with the fame of his wife Clara, a renowned pianist of the day. Typical for Schumann, the finale sweeps away all that has gone before in a surge of energy with a grand conclusion.


    String Quartet No. 6

    Sarasota String Quartet

    String Quartet No. 3

    Sarasota String Quartet

  • Romantic  Wonders

    Romantic Wonders

    Chamber Soirée 8

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 5:30pm | Holley Hall

    Two quintessential Romantic era composers are the stars of our final soirée. Brahms' Clarinet Trio opens with a sense of longing as the clarinet and cello engage in a beautiful duet. The dance continues and expands with expressive interruptions from the piano until the final stormy movement. Mendelssohn's Octet, completed when he was just 16, cemented his legacy as one of the great prodigies and composers of all time. The work combines two string quartets with stunning melodies and a graciously balanced structure.


    Clarinet Trio

    Bharat Chandra, clarinet; Natalie Helm, cello; Jonathan Spivey, piano


    Christpher Takeda, violin; Samantha Bennet, violin; Meghan Jones, violin; Chung-Yon Hong, violin; Steven Laraia, viola; Matthew Pegis, viola; Christopher Schnell, violoncello

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Musical Musings

Read our blog about the Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival.

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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...  

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 byHerald Tribune

 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.  

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.  

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