The Hermitage Artist Retreat invites you to meet two artists-in-residence at an evening event scheduled for Friday, June 23rd beginning at 7:00 pm

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Music, Ancient and New, At the Hermitage

The Hermitage Artist Retreat invites you to meet two artists-in-residence at an evening event scheduled for Friday, June 23rd beginning at 7:00 pm. British-American Composer Oscar Bettison will show video of his musical work and elaborate on his newest projects. Soprano Stephanie Heidemann will perform with her group The Resonance Project. The Resonance Project breathes new life into ancient music drawing from Celtic folk music, early music and the middle-east with themes around ancient feminine, mysticism and nature. The Resonance Project is composed of Stephanie Heidemann (vocalist), Julian Douglas (percussion/sound designer), Michael Rutherford (Indian Santoor)) and Robert Speed (piano). It all takes place at the Palm House, 6630 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. The free program requires only a reservation, as space is limited. Afterwards, enjoy the beach and sunset that follows at 8:30. To reserve your place call 941-475-2098, ext. 8 or email [email protected].

This will be a wonderful way to begin a summer weekend,” remarked Patricia Caswell, program director and co-founder of the Hermitage. “Come hear a delicious combination of new music that has been lauded the world over alongside ancient world music performed by our own Gulf Coast musicians. These two composers are here this summer in family residencies where artists are invited to work with the added benefit of having their families nearby.”

Described as possessing “an unconventional lyricism and a menacing beauty” and a “unique voice”, British/American composer Oscar Bettison’s music has been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles and soloists around the world. It’s been featured and reviewed in the LA Times, The New York Times, the British, Dutch and Italian press as well as been played throughout the US, Australia, Britain, The Netherlands, Brazil and on British and Dutch Television. His latest work is described as “pulsating with an irrepressible energy and vitality, as well as brilliant craftsmanship.”

Recent commissions include major works commissioned by the LA Philharmonic New Music Group, The Tanglewood Music Center, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and a commission for solo work from the New York Philharmonic for their 2014 Biennial.

Among his many awards are a Guggenheim (2017), Chamber Music America Commissioning Award (2013), the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize (1997), the first BBC Young Composer of the Year Prize (1993) as well as fellowships to both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals. Born in the UK, Bettison studied at the Royal College of Music (London), the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague (The Netherlands) and at Princeton University where he completed his PhD. He has served on the composition faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University since 2009.

Stephanie Heidmann has been working as a world music singer since 1994. After living overseas (Australia, Venezuela, Germany) as a child, she resonated with this genre through her many travels and rich cultural heritage. Her performance background began with a world folk music a Capella group VIDA (IMG-Artists). Additionally, she studied with fusion-percussionist, Julian Douglas, who continues to be her music partner, collaborator, and producer. Stephanie also composes music and received her Hermitage residency through the John Ringling Tower Grant, given to local artists through the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. She also teaches a workshop series Authentic Voicework and is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), and Expressive Arts.

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to interact with the community during their stay and as a result, they touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by Philanthropist Gerri Aaron, the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes). In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at

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