Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s
“Music on the Move”
Artist Series Concerts’ 21st season includes new venues and an inspired lineup of established and emerging classical, cabaret and pops artists.
(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (ASC) enters its third decade of bringing the most diverse selection of musical experiences to the region with a dynamic line-up of established and emerging classical, cabaret and pops artists. The season, which runs October 2016 through May 2017, features 29 performances at a variety of venues. Concerts cover a wide variety of musical offerings, including classical recitals, pops and cabaret concerts, chamber soirées and the popular Lunch, Look & Listen luncheon series.
“Our theme this season is “Music on the Move,” says John Fischer, Artist Series Concerts’ managing director. He explains that, due to the temporary closing of the Historic Asolo Theater for construction of The Ringling’s new Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion, his team had to get creative to find different concert venues. For the past many years, ASC has held the majority of its concerts at the Historic Asolo Theater. “The Ringling construction project is giving us a wonderful opportunity to expand our audience base,” says Fischer, adding that next season’s venues include the Sarasota Opera House, Venice Performing Arts Center, Church of the Palms and Faith Lutheran Church. Four of its earlier concerts (in October, November and December) will take place at the Historic Asolo Theater.
“We’re also presenting new collaborations with area groups and musicians,” says Joseph Holt, ASC’s director of artist programs. “This season we’ll be partnering with Young Concert Artists of New York, ‘Music Mondays’ of the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL), musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra performing with visiting artists, and coordinated programming with some of our sister organizations in Sarasota.”
The season’s pops series opens on October 9 when five world-class pianists, and five Steinway & Sons grand pianos take over the stage of the Sarasota Opera House for “Piano Grand.” Other pops performances include the return of suave baritone Todd Murray with his critically acclaimed show “Croon” (November 12 and 13, 2016); Broadway legends Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway, with their hit show “Sibling Revelry” (March 26, 2017), and two of the nation’s top cabaret stars, Carole Bufford and Eric Yves Garcia, performing the sizzling hot “A Christmas Carole and A New Year’s Yves” (December 17 and 18, 2016). The season’s pops series concludes with an ensemble of six singers, including soprano Maria Wirries, and two pianists in the Cole Porter revue “Hot ‘n’ Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!” (May 14, 2017).
On the classical side, Artist Series Concerts welcomes the return of the Ying Quartet, in concert with Sarasota Orchestra principal clarinetist Bharat Chandra (October 29 and 30, 2016); the dynamic virtuoso pianist Andrew Tyson; and the Elkey Trio, an ensemble of superb classically trained musicians who perform classical Baroque pieces and South American folk music with equal ease.
In February and March, Artist Series Concerts will be the centerpiece of a citywide festival celebrating French music and composers. Highlights of the Festival of French Music include baritone John Brancy performing French repertoire for baritone, accompanied by pianist Peter Dugan (February 19, 2017); a “rising star of the French cello” Edgar Moreau, in concert with pianist Jessica Xylina Osborne (February 12, 2017); Belle Canto, Sarasota’s premier female vocal ensemble, performing French classics (March 16, 2017); and Violette and the La Vie En Rose Band, performing a repertoire of timeless French jazz songs and American standards (March 19, 2017). Other area organizations participating in the festival include the Sarasota Opera, Gloria Musicae and the Sarasota Music Archives.
ASC’s popular “Soirée” and “Lunch, Look & Listen” series are also back this season with six Soirée performances presented in area residences and four luncheon performances at Michael’s On East.
The 2016-2017 Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s season includes five concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” seven concerts in its “Pop Series,” three “Soirée Series” concerts, and four “Lunch, Look and Listen” concerts. Many of the concerts are presented in multiple performances.
Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2016-2017 season are on sale now. Visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org to view the full brochure and ordering information, or call 941-306-1202 to request information by mail.
The 2016-2017 21st Anniversary Season at a Glance
(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)
- Ying String Quartet with Bharat Chandra, clarinet: Now in its second decade as a quartet, the Ying Quartet holds a position of unique prominence in the classical music world, combining brilliantly communicative performances with a fearlessly imaginative view of chamber music in today’s world. Sarasota Orchestra principal clarinetist, Bharat Chandra, joins the Quartet for a program of works by Mozart, Billy Childs and Brahms. October 29, 7:30 p.m. and October 30, 7:30 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- Elkey Trio: A musical ensemble that is equally at home performing either classical or South American folk music, the Elkey Trio’s repertoire ranges from Baroque and newly commissioned pieces to folk music learned in the South America oral tradition. Andean woodwind specialist and flutist, Gonzalo Cortes, charango and viola player Carlos Boltes, and guitarist Scott Hill have forged careers as chamber musicians and soloists with choirs and orchestras throughout Europe as well as North, Central, and South America. Their program, “Entre Mundos: Between Worlds,” takes audiences on a musical journey through traditional South American folk music and the classical pieces it has inspired. December 3, 7:30 p.m., and December 4, 7:30 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- Andrew Tyson, piano: Hailed by BBC Radio 3 as “a real poet of the piano,” 29-year-old Andrew Tyson has emerged as a distinctive and important new musical voice. Praised as a pianist whose “interpretations recalled the virtuosic style from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries,” Tyson performs “Impressions of Europe,” a program of works by composers from France (Chopin), Italy (Scarlatti), Hungary (Liszt), and Spain (Albéniz). January 15, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.
- Edgar Moreau, cello: Called the “rising star of the French cello,” and a “young musketeer of the bow,” 22-year-old French-born Edgar Moreau consistently captivates audiences with his effortless virtuosity and dynamic performances. Last year, Moreau was named “Solo Instrumentalist of the Year” by France’s Victoires de la Musique and was recently selected as one of the European Concert Hall Organization’s 2016-2017 Rising Stars. Accompanied by emerging pianist Jessica Xylina Osborne and performing on a 1711 David Tecchler cello, Moreau performs works by Bach, Franck, Schnittke and Chopin. February 12, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.
- John Brancy, baritone: Hailed by the New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence,” and winner of the 2013 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, rising young baritone John Brancy is joined by pianist Peter Dugan, and Sarasota Orchestra musicians Christopher Schnell (cello), and Betsy Traba (flute), in “Rejoicing in Ravel,” February 19, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.
Pops and Special Performances
(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)
- “Piano Grand!” Five world-class pianists, Don Bryn, Joseph Holt, Andrew Lapp, Rich Ridenour and Jonathan Spivey take the Opera House stage with five Steinway & Sons grand pianos for a show featuring 50 talented fingers tackling the keys and tickling your fancy with light classics and favorite marches. October 9, 2016, 3:00 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.
- “Croon: When a Whisper Became a Song:” Voted com’s 2015 “Best Male Vocalist,” Todd Murray “has all the spot-on ingredients: a throaty and mellow baritone, perfect diction, meticulous phrasing and great time. Matinee-idol looks don’t hurt either.” (Rex Reed, New York Observer) Joined by pianist Alex Rybeck, bassist Sean Harkness, and drummer Steve Doyle, Murray brings his critically acclaimed show “Croon” to the HAT. November 12, 7:30 p.m., and November 13, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- “A Christmas Carole and A New Year’s Yves:” Carole J. Bufford has become one of the most sought-after young performers on the New York cabaret and jazz scene. Eric Yves Garcia has been hailed by the New York Times as “a handsome young singer and pianist with a genuine star quality.” The serendipitously-named duo teams up once again with Australian piano wiz Matt Baker for their popular holiday show featuring traditional holiday favorites, with a few twists. December 17, 7:30 p.m., and December 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- “Old Blue Eyes: McDonald Sings Sinatra:” Washington DC-based baritone Bob McDonald returns to Sarasota with his “DC Quartet” for a musical tribute to one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th Known for everything from “Sunday in the Park with George” to “Sweeney Todd” to Gilbert & Sullivan, the versatile McDonald has performed for presidents and heads of state, and at such prestigious Washington DC venues as Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center. McDonald is also a familiar face and voice to scores of DC sports fans as the regular National Anthem singer at Washington Capitals games. January 29, 3:00 p.m., at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
- Violette and La Vie en Rose Band: La Vie En Rose is a tasteful marriage of French chanson and Golden Age swing. With her luxurious, silky smooth voice and repertoire of timeless American standards and French jazz songs, singer Violette and her ensemble of international musicians create a captivating alliance of old world and new, of French charm, American glam and soulful pop. Raised in Ars-en-Re, a small village on an island off the coast of France, pianist, singer and composer Violette founded the band while living in Boston in 2009. Since then, the band has won several awards and currently performs over 150 shows a year including, in 2016, performances at the Blue Note Jazz Festival and at the renowned Sunset/Sunside Jazz Club in Paris, France. March 19, 3:00 p.m., at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
- Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway in “Sibling Revelry:” Jazz headliner Ann Hampton Callaway and Broadway star Liz Callaway reprise their critically acclaimed show “Sibling Revelry” with pianist Alex Rybeck. The Tony-nominated sisters have enjoyed stellar individual careers, but when their “equally splendid voices harmonize, ‘Sibling Revelry’ becomes a thrilling display of vocal prowess.” (Stephen Holden; The New York Times) March 26, 3:00 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota.
- “Hot ‘n’ Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!” with Maria Wirries: Wirries joins forces with five more singers and two pianists in this bubbly, two-act tribute to the classic, melodic, witty, sexy and sophisticated songs of Cole Porter. May 14, 3:00 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.
Lunch, Look and Listen
One-hour concerts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota.
- Giuseppina Ciarla, harp; Natalia Maiden, violin, “Viva L’Opera:” Ciarla and Maiden perform a selection of opera’s most popular arias, interpreted by complex and beautiful “voices” of the harp and violin. November 10, 2016.
- “Kittens on the Keys” Duo piano performance with Lee Dougherty Ross and Joseph Holt. Join two vivacious and talented personalities in a performance of four-hand piano music. January 26.
- “La Flûte Enchantée” Sarasota Orchestra principal flutist Betsy Traba with Jenny Kim-Godfrey, soprano, and Joseph Holt, piano. February 16.
- Belle Canto: Sarasota’s premier women’s choral ensemble showcases the unique beauty and quality of sound that comes from the blending of women’s voices in an all-French program. March 16.
- Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. and Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. At the Weisenborne/Fischer residence. Call for more information and address.
- “The Best of the ‘B’ Composers:” With Dan Jordan, violin, and Joseph Holt, piano. The Brahms G Major Violin and Piano Sonata is the centerpiece of this concert highlighting composers whose names begin with B. October 2 and 3.
- Daniela Leibman, piano: The 14-year-old piano sensation performs works by Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn. October 23 and 24.
- “Tenor on the Road:” Lyric tenor Blake Friedman and Joseph Holt, piano. Blake Friedman presents a program devoted to travel, not only geographically, but spiritually as well. April 16 & 17.
Other special events
- Artist Series Concerts Friends presents its annual fundraiser in support of Artist Series Concerts’ competitions, as well as educational/community outreach programs. The event nets more than $50,000 annually. The 2017 ASC Friends’ gala, “Carnival of Venice,” is March 8 at Michael’s On East.
- Artist Series Concerts National Competition will feature young pianists and takes place on April 29. The competition rotates each year between singers, pianists, and string instrument players. From its inception in 2007 through 2015, Artist Series Concerts’ statewide young musician’s competition came to be one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida, awarding over $230,000 to 66 talented young musicians. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursued successful music careers. In 2016, the competition was opened to young musicians nationwide and awarded $26,000 to seven winners.
- The Suncoast Music Scholarships, a new annual collaborative competition conducted and funded by Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Music Club, awards another $20,000 to young musicians from high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The SMS auditions are scheduled for April 22.
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.