Review of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presentation of Adrian Anantawan, violin; Amy Yang, pianist

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By: Carol Erickson
January 31, 2015
The Artist Series Concerts proudly hosted another winning performance  last night at The Historic Asolo Theatre.
Two incredibly young talented musicians, violinist Adrian Anantawan and pianist Amy Yang,  wowed the audience with music from Brahms, Rachel, Mozart and Gershwin.
Born of Thai-Chinese descent,  Adrian started taking violin lessons when he was 9 years old and 11 years later,  was making his solo debut performances. He holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music,  Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Although an accomplished disciplined musician, Adrian had to overcome a great handicap,  he was born without a right arm.   His physical obstacles are quickly overlooked and forgotten as soon as he walks on stage and plays his violin with such love and passion.
As an educator, he has gone on to aid and encourage many young and talented musicians in overcoming a wide range of disabilities and became an inspiration to many.
Adrian Anantawan and his talented pianist will be performing only two nights Saturday,  January 31st and Sunday,  February 1st .  Their outstanding performances leave their audiences with a new spirit of hope and joy in their hearts.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Adrian Anantawan, violin Amy Yang, piano January 31 and February 1 • Historic Asolo Theater; Two rising stars of classical music perform an inspired program of sonatas by Brahms, Ravel and Mozart

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents

Adrian Anantawan, violin

Amy Yang, piano

January 31 and February 1 • Historic Asolo Theater

Two rising stars of classical music perform an inspired program of sonatas by Brahms, Ravel and Mozart.


“Adrian Anantawan showed the crowd why he has been welcomed by both a Pope and the White House, … bringing comedic and tragic melodies out of his violin. How one man could bring an entire stage to life was beyond the audience.” –Vancouver Sun.


“A magnificent artist and poet—everything (Yang) touches turns to gold.” –New York Concert Review


(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is proud to present two rising young stars of classical music, violinist Adrian Anantawan and pianist Amy Yang, performing a program of sonatas by Brahms, Ravel and Mozart, Saturday, January 31, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 1, 7:30 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Anantawan and Yang’s program features Brahms’ tender Violin Sonata Opus 78, No. 1 in G Major, Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 2 in G Major, inspired by America’s early jazz and blues music, and Mozart’s vigorous Sonata in F Major, K377. Tickets are $25 to $45 and can be purchased online at or by calling 941-360-7399.

Born of Thai-Chinese ethnicity, Adrian Anantawan grew up in Toronto and began playing violin at age nine.  He quickly gained prominence as a “rising star in classical music” (Globe and Mail), winning numerous awards along the way. His honors include a nomination for Canada’s prestigious Juno award and a Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded him by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the Commonwealth. Anantawan has performed as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Vancouver, and presented feature recitals at the Aspen Music Festival, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and at the White House. He has also played for the late Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and was a featured performer at Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Born without a right hand, Anantawan has become a key proponent of disabled artists. He is a national spokesperson for The War Amps of Canada, and helped create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, a collaborative project drawing on researchers, musicians, doctors and educators to develop adaptive musical instruments for young people with disabilities. For more information, visit

Hailed by the New York Concert Review as “a magnificent artist and poet,” pianist Amy Yang has performed at Carnegie Recital Hall, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House, and at numerous music festivals. As a chamber musician, she has shared the stage with such renowned artists as Richard Goode, Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Ronald Leonard, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Kim Kashkashian, and Fred Sherry. Yang performed world premieres of music by Ezra Laderman and the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Yang is also a chamber music mentor within the Curtis Institute of Music’s young artist initiative. For more information, visit

“We’re so pleased to bring together the talents of these two wonderfully gifted and versatile young artists,” says John Fischer, executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. “Their program, which covers a wide range of expression, will certainly provide a moving glimpse into the bright future of classical music.”

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 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.

  • Ying Quartet with Ayano Ninomiya, violin, Janet Ying, violin, Phillip Ying, viola, and David Ying, cello, performing works by Haydn, Auerbach, and Beethoven. March 14 and 15.
  • 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.

  • “Into the Night with Gershwin”: The Music of George Gershwin and Marvin Hamlisch” with Thomas Pandolfi, piano. February 28, 7:30 p.m., and March 1, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Trumpet Invasion” with Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, Mara Bonde, soprano, and Rich Ridenour, piano. May 2, 7:30 p.m., and May 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
  • “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.

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.

  • Trio Voila with Thomas Koch, guitar, Jane Hoffman, flute, and Laura Jensen Jennings, viola, performing works by Beethoven, Johanson, and Willis. January 22.
  • Best Of The Great American Songbook” with Jennifer Sheehan, cabaret/theater singer, and James Followell, piano, performing songs by Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and more. February 12.
  • Samus Haddad, baritone, and Lee Dougherty Ross, piano, performing spirituals and songs by Weill and Hoiby. March 19.

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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