Review of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presentation of “TRUMPET INVASION” With Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour, Pianist Rich Ridenour and Soprano Mara Bonde

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By Carol Erickson

On May 2nd and 3rd, The Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota proudly presented pianist (and Sarasota resident) Rich Ridenour, his son trumpet virtuoso Brandon Ridenour and soprano Mara Bonde in “Trumpet Invasion” at the Asolo Theatre. “Trumpet Invasion” is a collection of piano works that have been thoughtfully arranged for the trumpet and piano combined with the works of Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein and many more.

It was evident that they all complemented each other and connected immediately with the audience. The father and son team have been performing on stage together since Brandon was just 7 years old. Brandon seemed to play the trumpet effortlessly, however, it is a result of many years of hard work and dedication. Both are degreed graduates from Juilliard School of Music and Rich is an International Steinway Artist. The “dynamic duo” have the kind of stage rapport you might expect from a father and son musical team and playfully tease each other to the sheer delight of the audience. While the comedic teasing is certainly very entertaining, it is the music that keeps the audience wanting more.

Equally as entertaining, Mara Bonde was on stage only a short time (I wanted more). She thoroughly charmed the audience with her musical talent and sparkling personality.

Thank you Rich, Brandon and Mara. It was a totally engaging and delightful way to spend an afternoon.




Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents


With Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour, Pianist Rich Ridenour

and Soprano Mara Bonde

May 2 and 3 • Historic Asolo Theater

The dynamic father and son duo is joined by acclaimed soprano Mara Bonde for a sparkling program of works by the Gershwins, Porter, Bernstein, Piazolla and more.


“Rich Ridenour’s performance was masterful, with singing lyrical themes and pianissimos nothing short of gorgeous. His rapid-fire repeated staccatos near the conclusion dazzled.” –Kalamazoo Gazette

“Brandon Ridenour is a major talent in the making.” —The Grand Rapids Press


(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents pianist (and Sarasota resident) Rich Ridenour, his son, trumpet virtuoso Brandon Ridenour, and soprano Mara Bonde in “Trumpet Invasion,” a compilation of works by George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, Astor Piazolla and more, Saturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 3, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $25 to $45 and can be purchased online at or by calling 941-360-7399.

The father and son duo of Rich and Brandon Ridenour have been performing on stage together since Brandon was seven, weaving that unique and dynamic mix of musical artistry and comedic presence that only a father and son duo can create. Hailed as a “major talent in the making,” by the Grand Rapids Press, Brandon Ridenour has been featured as a trumpet soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, and the New Juilliard Ensemble. He has also performed with Sting, James Taylor, Marvin Hamlisch and other popular artists. His father, Rich Ridenour, who now lives in Sarasota, is an international Steinway Artist who has built a formidable career arranging and performing piano standards—from classical masterworks to American ragtime, jazz and rock. Rich Ridenour has served as the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra’s pops conductor for more than 10 years, and has developed numerous educational programs in public schools nationwide. Shortly after moving to Sarasota in 2013, Ridenour helped bring music to the streets of Sarasota as a co-creator of the popular “Sarasota Keys” public art project, featuring six upright pianos painted by area artists and placed at various locations downtown, inviting sidewalk artists of all stripes to sit down and play.

Soprano Mara Bonde has entertained audiences throughout the United States and Europe with her electric stage presence and musical artistry. The Boston Herald described her voice as having a “sweet purity of tone,” while the Boston Globe called it simply “ravishing.” Equally at home in both classical and popular styles, Bonde has been the guest artist for the “Holiday Pops” with the Boston Pops, the Naples Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony, the New Haven Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony. She made her Boston Pops debut under the direction of Keith Lockhart in “Brush up your Shakespeare,” which was televised nationally on PBS’s “Evening at Pops.”

Since 1996, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and celebrated emerging artists. The 2014-2015 season runs through May 2015 and includes six concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” four concerts in its “Pop Series,” and three special concerts. Three “Lunch, Look and Listen” events are also scheduled. For more information about the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2014-2015 season, visit or call 941-306-1202.


The Remaining 2014-2015 Season at a Glance

Classical Recital Series

Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater; 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

  • Bion Tsang, cello, and Adam Neiman, piano, performing works by Faure, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. April 18 and 19.
  • Adrienne Danrich, vocalist, and Djordje Nesic, May 30 and 31.

Pop Series

At the Historic Asolo Theater; 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

  • “A Romp With Gilbert & Sullivan” with Tracy Olivera, soprano, Bob McDonald, baritone, Steve Cramer, tenor, Joseph Holt, piano, and the Gloria Musicae Singers performing highlights from “Pirates” “The Mikado,” and “Pinafore.” May 9, 7:30 p.m., and May 10, 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Soiree Series

Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. and Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. At the Weisenborne/Fischer residence. Call for address.

  • Jennifer Kim, classical guitar. April 26 and 27.


Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as the Artist Series of Sarasota. The group is a non-profit corporation based in Sarasota, FL, that prides itself on presenting several major national and international varieties of concert, opera, orchestral, Broadway and film performances throughout their season. The majority of the performances are staged at the restored Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling.


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