Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents “CELEBRATING BERNSTEIN’S WORLD”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents

“CELEBRATING BERNSTEIN’S WORLD”

Richard Stoltzman, clarinet

Peter John Stoltzman, piano

March 9 and 10 Historic Asolo Theater

Classical superstar Richard Stoltzman teams up with his son, master jazz pianist Peter John Stoltzman, in a unique, virtuoso collaboration celebrating legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. 

“A popular phenomenon in the world of classical music.” – Newsweek 

What a clarinetist! He brings more variety to three notes than most musicians bring to an entire

repertoire.” - San Francisco Examiner

No one gets a more beautiful sound out of a clarinet than Richard Stoltzman.” - Stereo Review

“The Maria Callas of the single reed. Once you’ve heard Richard Stoltzman, you

never listen to the clarinet in exactly the same way again.” - Star Ledger (Newark) 

(Sarasota, Florida) Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, joined by his son, pianist Peter John Stoltzman, in “Celebrating Bernstein’s World,” Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 10, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Their program, which was created last year to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, includes his “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” and “West Side Story Suite,” as well as major works by George Gershwin and Charles Ives. Tickets are $25 - $45 and are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Student tickets for the concert, priced at $10, are available with current student ID at the door.

            Trailblazing clarinetist Richard Stoltzman is known as a captivating recitalist, chamber musician and jazz performer, as well as a prolific recording artist. He has been hailed for establishing the clarinet as a solo instrument and performed the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. He’s also the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and has performed as soloist with more than one hundred orchestras. His chamber music performances and recordings include work with the Beaux Arts Trio and the Amadeus, Cleveland, Guarneri, Vermeer, Tokyo, Emerson, and American string quartets. He has received Grammy awards for his recordings with Richard Goode (1982) and with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma (1997). He received an Emmy Award for best performing arts video for his performance of the Copland clarinet concerto with Dudley Moore and Michael Tilson Thomas. As a jazz musician, he has performed or recorded with such jazz greats as the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, and others.

            Like his father, pianist Peter John Stoltzman has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and other prestigious venues across the globe. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “monster jazz piano player,” Stoltzman has performed with such luminaries as Bob Moses, Yosvanny Terry, Julian Lage, and Tia Fuller. Other recent highlights include touring Japan and recording with drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Eddie Gomez and marimba virtuoso Mika Yoshida. Stoltzman and his father have been featured on WNYC, Sirius Satellite Radio, NPR, and CBS Sunday Morning. Stoltzman’s piano playing and arrangements are also featured on his father’s BMG Japan releases, “Bach Fantasies and Variations” and “Lamento.”

            As a duo, the Stoltzmans have delighted audiences in the U.S. from Washington State to Washington, DC and throughout Italy and Japan. They’ve been featured on “CBS Sunday Morning,” NPR’s “Performance Today” and “Weekend Edition,” as well as on the Voice of America network.

            “Richard Stoltzman is always such a crowd pleaser, and this duo with his pianist son Peter John will be no different,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “They each bring their own style and virtuosity to this collaboration, including a pair of arrangements by Peter John, and the result is reed and keyboard magic.”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents My Three Sons Vocal Quartet

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents

My Three Sons Vocal Quartet

with Stephen Ditchfield and sons David, Michael and Nate 

March 7 Plantation Golf & Country Club, Venice

Inspired by the success of its popular “Lunch & Listen” series, Artist Series Concerts presents its first dinner concert, featuring gourmet cuisine followed by the world-class harmonies of this award-winning father-and-sons quartet.

(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts continues its 2019 Venice season with a dinner concert featuring My Three Sons, the vocal quartet comprised of Stephen, David, Michael and Nate Ditchfield from the acclaimed Ditchfield family of singers. They’ll perform a variety of popular tunes, including “When I Fall in Love,” “Music of the Night,” “Paper Moon” and more, Thursday, March 7, at the Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Boulevard, Venice. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $48 and are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

            Stephen Ditchfield and his three sons, Nathanael, Michael, and David were all singing together as a part of the famed Ditchfield Family Singers when, in 1998, they discovered their potential as a quartet and formed My Three Sons. Later that year, with then nine-year-old David performing as tenor and ten-year-old Michael as lead, the quartet scored an astounding victory at the Barbershop Society’s Florida Novice Quartet competition and was invited to sing at the Society's international convention. Their performance at that convention was covered by PBS and also made headline news on both CBS and CNN. In 2003, after a hiatus during the boys’ voice-change years, the quartet made a sensational comeback, winning that year’s Florida Men’s Championship. Since then, the unique foursome has honed a vast repertoire of music, covering genres from Broadway to traditional Barbershop, inspirational standards to Doo-wop. They perform regularly with the Ditchfield Family Singers as well as at barbershop shows and other concert venues across the country.

            Ditchfield family patriarch Stephen Ditchfield is also an accomplished bass baritone soloist, and is considered by many to be a “consummate performer.” As a soloist and as the musical director of the Ditchfield Family Singers, he has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years. Ditchfield is also a renowned vocal coach, arranger, chorus director – he led the 100-man Sarasota Chorus of the Keys to a state championship in 2004 - and the driver behind the Ditchfield family’s musical success.

            “What’s amazing about My Three Sons and the entire Ditchfield family troupe is that, as opposed to singing groups that simply use a family name, they’re actually one extended singing family – they’re the Von Trapps of Florida,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “Most of them have been singing together all their lives, which of course makes for beautiful harmonies and memorable renditions of a wide variety of favorite tunes.”

Artist Series Concerts’ 2019 Venice series continues with the Stan Kenton All Star Big Band, a seventeen-piece orchestra comprised of many of Florida’s finest jazz musicians, performing hits by the legendary composer and band leader (March 17, 3:00 p.m., Venice Performing Arts Center). The series concludes with “Piano Pizzazz Meets Fiddle Finesse” featuring pianist Brian Gurl and Sarasota Orchestra violinist Carlann Evans (March 26, 11 a.m., with luncheon, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club).

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents Russian Folk Music and Dance

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents

Russian Folk Music and Dance

with the Barynya Russian Balalaika Duo

Elena Karokhina

Mikhail Smirnov

February 28 Michael’s On East Ballroom

The ballroom at Michael’s On East becomes a feast for all senses with this interactive luncheon program of Russian popular and folk songs featuring colorful costumes, lively dance and music performed by two renowned masters of the genre.

(Sarasota, Florida) Artists Series Concerts’ 2019 Sarasota Lunch & Listen series continues with the Barynya Russian Balalaika Duo, February 28, at Michael’s On East, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota. Multi instrumentalists Elena Karokhina and Mikhail Smirnov, both members of the world renowned Barynya Russian music, dance and song ensemble, will perform an interactive program of Russian folk and popular songs that includes “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago, “Two Guitars,” the “Cossack Dance,” “Moscow Nights,” “Kalinka” and much more. The concert begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Tickets are $48 and are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The duo will also be performing for area third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at a residency to be held on Monday, March 1, at Sainer Auditorium on the New College campus. The residency is done in partnership with New College of Florida and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.

            Founded in 1991 by Mikhail Smirnov, the Russian music, dance and song troupe Barynya is considered by many to be the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia. Barynya presents traditional Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Jewish and Romani Gypsy dancing, music and songs as well as virtuoso performances on such traditional Russian instruments as the balalaika, garmoshka (folk button accordion) and balalaika contrabass. In the U.S, they have performed at Carnegie Hall, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the Smithsonian Institution, the United Nations, and at the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. Members of the ensemble have been invited to perform at many film premier and celebrity parties, including official post-Grammy award parties in New York and for private events hosted by Barbara Walters, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and Tommy Hilfiger. Founder and artistic director Mikhail Smirnov was also invited to be one of the eight judges on NBC’s hit dance show, "Superstars of Dance".

            As a child in Russia, Mikhail Smirnov performed with the Moscow Boys Choir, one of the most prestigious all-male choirs in Russia. Before coming to the United States in 1991, he was a soloist in several Russian folk dance and music groups including the Moscow State Center for Russian song (Russkaya Pesnya). While studying in Moscow, Smirnov travelled to several regions of Russia, recording over 100 hours of Russian folk music and dance that he later incorporated into Barynya’s vast repertoire. As a musician, Smirnov is master of a variety of Russian folk instruments including the balalaika contrabass, balalaika, gusli and his favorite, the garmoshka.

            Balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), the daughter of Pushkin Prize-winning author (and jazz saxophonist) L'ev Fyodorovich Karokhin. After training extensively in her native Russia, Karokhina spent the early part of her career teaching and also touring around the world as a balalaika soloist. Karokhina moved to the U.S. in 2009, where she founded and performed with the Boston Russian Music Duo. Currently she is a musical director of Barynya and performs as a soloist with them as well as with several other ensembles. She has performed with the Mariinsky Theatre at Brooklyn’s Howard Gilman Opera House and on multiple occasions at Carnegie Hall in New York. In January 2017, Karokhina was chosen to perform Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh" suite with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

            Artists Series Concerts is also partnering with New College of Florida and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County to bring area students to Sainer Auditorium on the New College campus for a residency with the duo. John Fischer, managing director of Artist Series Concerts is particularly pleased with the partnership: “This collaboration and these vibrant artists are a wonderful opportunity for us to honor our longtime commitment to raising awareness and appreciation of a variety of music genres for all ages throughout our region. Both of our audiences are in for a festive and colorful musical treat.”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents “Melodica Men”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents

“Melodica Men”

February 19 Plantation Golf & Country Club, Venice 

Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke, aka the Melodica Men, have taken the Internet by storm with their masterful arrangements of classical hits for a zany yet deceptively challenging instrument, the melodica. It’s half keyboard, half harmonica, 100% virtuoso and 100% fun! 

 “Best Tchaikovsky ever.” – Classic FM

“The charm is just how good the music making is.” - WQXR

(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts opens its 2019 Venice Lunch & Listen series with the Melodica Men, the young Juilliard- and Peabody Conservatory-trained duo who shot to Internet fame around the world when the video of their “Rite of Spring” for melodica (half keyboard, half harmonica), went viral with over 1.5 million views in one day. As their fame has grown, so too has their melodica repertoire, which now includes critically acclaimed arrangements of such iconic pieces as the “William Tell Overture,” “Carmen Fantasy,” “The Nutcracker Suite,” “West Side Story,” and many more. They’ll perform on Tuesday, February 19, at the Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Boulevard, Venice. The concert begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Tickets are $48 and are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke, aka the Melodica Men, have been dazzling audiences worldwide since September 2016, when a video of their improbably virtuoso melodica performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” went viral, with over 1.5 million views in just one day. What began as two music students playing toy instruments just for fun (the melodica is a cross between a keyboard and a harmonica, and is actually deceptively complex to play), the duo has become an international sensation with a repertoire that’s now expanded to include Mozart, Bizet, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, Piazzolla, Gershwin, Queen, Star Wars and more.

The Melodica Men have performed as soloists with the Jacksonville and Atlanta Symphonies and have been featured on ABC’s “The Gong Show” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Last summer they were featured artists at the 2018 Accordion Music Week in Lithuania, where they also appeared on national television. Their videos, which often pair surprisingly sophisticated arrangements of music classics with wonderfully nutty antics and props, have been viewed over 30 million times on social media platforms around the world. Notable followers of the duo include the London Symphony Orchestra, Norman Lebrecht, Classic FM and even the daughter of Leonard Bernstein.

Besides touring as the Melodica Men, Buono and Clarke are also very accomplished brass players with “legit” music careers. Buono holds two masters degrees from the Peabody Institute, has won numerous competitions as a bass trombonist and currently teaches and composes. Clarke is a graduate of Juilliard and plays principal trumpet with the Jacksonville Symphony. Behind the scenes, the Melodica Men are also pioneering a new way of learning music as a language through the melodica. Pilot programs in elementary schools began in January 2018, and a full online curriculum is in the works.

“What these guys do with this seemingly humble toy instrument is nothing short of astounding,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “They’ve combined their mastery of it with their talent, passion and magnetic personalities to engage a whole new audience of listeners and learners. And if you think their videos are great, wait until you see them live!”

Artist Series Concerts’ 2019 Venice series continues with My Three Sons Vocal Quartet, featuring Stephen Ditchfield and sons David, Michael and Nate (March 7, 6 p.m., with dinner, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club); Stan Kenton All Star Big Band, a seventeen-piece orchestra comprised of some of Florida’s best jazz musicians, performing hits by the legendary composer and band leader (March 17, 3:00 p.m., Venice Performing Arts Center); and “Piano Pizzazz Meets Fiddle Finesse” featuring pianist Brian Gurl and Sarasota Orchestra violinist Carlann Evans (March 26, 11 a.m., with luncheon, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club).

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents “Forbidden Broadway”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota opens its 2019 Venice series with
“Forbidden Broadway”
January 27
Venice Performing Arts Center 

From “Annie” to “Phantom” to “Wicked,” this award-winning musical roast of the best of Broadway features outrageous costumes, madcap impressions and silly spoofs performed by a stellar New York cast. It’s Broadway like you’ve never seen it before!  

Highly entertaining. Makes you want to applaud yourself silly!” – The New York Times 

“Gut-bustingly funny!” - New York Post 

“There’s no Broadway like ‘Forbidden Broadway’!” - Entertainment Weekly

 (Sarasota, Florida) Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota launches its 2019 Venice series season with “Forbidden Broadway,” the long-running Off-Broadway musical revue where legends past and present meet with nimble satire in a hilarious roast of some of the theatre’s greatest stars and songwriters, Sunday, January 27, 3:00 p.m., at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Way, Venice. The four-person parody, featuring a cast rich in Broadway and Off-Broadway experience, skewers such iconic shows as “Chicago,” “Annie,” “Les Miz,” “The Lion King,” and “Hamilton,” and such celebrated performers as Liza Minelli, Carol Channing, Robert Goulet, and many more. Tickets are $25 - $45 and are available online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Student tickets for the concert, priced at $10, are available with current student ID at the door.

For more than 35 years, the talented writers and casts of “Forbidden Broadway” have lampooned half a century’s worth of Broadway hits, picking up numerous awards and accolades along the way. The original version of “Forbidden Broadway” opened in January 1982, running for a marathon 2,332 performances. Since then the rapid-fire revue has been updated over a dozen times and has picked up nine Drama Desk awards and a special Tony among others, while giving work to more than 2,000 emerging actors, including a young Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington and Renée Zellweger.

The current cast includes “Forbidden Broadway” veterans Gina Kreiezmar, Kevin B. McGlynn, Jeanne Montano and William Selby. Area theater goers will recognize Selby from his appearances over the past couple of seasons with Florida Studio Theatre.

“No one can poke fun at show business quite like the actors and writers who live it every day,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “Their skilled and mischievous insiders’ perspective is a large part of the reason that ‘Forbidden Broadway’ is still going strong after all these years, and why a skewering by them has become a rite of passage for just about any Broadway show. Plus, it’s just loads of fun! We guarantee audiences an afternoon of side-splitting laughs.”

Artist Series Concerts’ 2019 Venice series continues with the Melodica Men, the duo that has taken the Internet by storm with their masterful arrangement of classical hits for the zany melodica, half keyboard, half harmonica (February 19, 11 a.m., with luncheon, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club); My Three Sons Vocal Quartet, featuring Stephen Ditchfield and sons David, Michael and Nate (March 7, 6 p.m., with dinner, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club); Stan Kenton All Star Big Band, a seventeen-piece orchestra comprised of some of Florida’s best jazz musicians, performing hits by the legendary composer and band leader (March 17, 3:00 p.m., Venice Performing Arts Center); “Piano Pizzazz Meets Fiddle Finesse” featuring pianist Brian Gurl and Sarasota Orchestra violinist Carlann Evans (March 26, 11 a.m., with luncheon, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club).

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents “IMAGES”

MEDIA CONTACT

Claire Seminario § claireseminario@gmail.com § 941-587-3941

 

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents
“IMAGES”
Alexandre Moutouzkine, piano
Edward Alley, narrator
featuring “Who Stole the Mona Lisa,” a short film by Micah Chambers-Goldberg

January 12 and 13 Historic Asolo Theater

A multi-media feast for all ages, “Images” deftly combines a whimsical and imaginative animated film, the reading of a classic children’s tale and three iconic works by Stravinsky, Poulenc and Mussorgsky performed by the remarkable young pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine 

“Remember his name.  Alexandre Moutouzkine is poised to join the pantheon of the greats.”

- Greenwich Citizen

“Moutouzkine elicited a fully orchestral palette from his keyboard, which connected nicely to his canny transcription of music from Stravinsky’s ‘The Firebird’—the score to ‘Who Stole the Mona Lisa?’“ – The Philadelphia Enquirer

(Sarasota, Florida) Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota presents “Images,” with Alexander Moutouzkine, piano and Edward Alley, narrator, January 12, 7:30 p.m., and January 13, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Hailed by critics as an artist “poised to join the greats,” Russian-American pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine performs his own solo piano transcription of Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” as the score to Micah Chambers-Goldberg’s short animated film “Who Stole the Mona Lisa?,” a fantastical story based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in which the Firebird herself is involved in the theft. The concert also features Poulenc’s “The Story of Babar the Little Elephant,” with noted area music critic and arts leader Edward Alley narrating the classic children’s story while Moutouzkine plays Poulenc’s piano music inspired by the same. Moutouzkine will wrap the program up with a performance of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Tickets are $25 - $45 and are available online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Student tickets for the concert, priced at $10, are available with current student ID at the door.

This concert is going to be a feast for the senses,” says Artist Series Concerts artistic director Joseph Holt. “In our fast-paced, hi-tech world, we’ve kind of lost that magical ability to see through our ears and hear through our eyes. I’ve been wanting to explore the relation between music and visual art, and how we can bring that back.” Enter Astral Artists and “Who Stole the Mona Lisa,” a silent animated short film commissioned by Astral in 2010. The film, produced and directed by award-winning artist and filmmaker Micah Chambers-Goldberg, is a kicky fantasy loosely based on the actual 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. For the project Chambers-Goldberg teamed up with Astral laureate Alexandre Moutouzkine, who created his own solo piano transcription of the “Firebird Suite,” which he performs live as the score for this film in which the Firebird herself plays a role in the heist. The duo’s work premiered to critical acclaim at the 2011 Philadelphia Festival of the Arts with the Philadelphia Inquirer praising Moutouzkine for his “canny transcription” of Stravinsky’s music and for the way the music “fit so snugly with a completely different story.” Micah Chambers-Goldberg, who is the grandson of area arts supporter Toni Alperin Goldberg, will also be in Sarasota for both performances.

The concert continues with one of composer Francis Poulenc’s most popular compositions, “The Story of Babar the Little Elephant.” Noted area music critic Edward Alley will narrate the tale of literature’s most beloved pachyderm as Moutouzkine plays the piano score that was inspired by Poulenc’s eleven young cousins who, one summer afternoon in 1940, implored him to “play” the “Histoire de Babar” on his piano. Poulenc obliged, improvising a score that would become, according to Guy Sacre, "one of the most accomplished works he has given to his instrument".

Moutouzkine wraps up the concert with a performance of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece “Pictures at an Exhibition,” the composer’s most famous piano composition that has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. “Alexandre Moutouzkine dazzled audiences with when he appeared at SILL’s Music Mondays last season,” says Holt.  “His astounding piano artistry is the perfect complement to this multi-media concert that has something for audiences of all ages. Come see it and be sure to bring the kids!”

Critics have hailed Alexandre Moutouzkine for his “playing of heart-stopping intimacy and elegance.” A laureate of Astral Artists, Moutouzkine has captured top prizes in more than 20 international competitions and has appeared as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Radio Television Orchestra of Spain and many others.

Acclaimed for his whimsical imagination and fantastic imagery, filmmaker Micah Chambers-Goldberg’s projects include animation for AAA, Coca-Cola, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Warner Music, Little, Brown and Company and many others. He most recently completed Eric Clapton’s official Christmas video to “White Christmas.”

Edward Alley became conductor of the legendary 7th US Army Symphony at the age of 22, conducting over 100 concerts throughout Western Europe. As principal conductor and manager of the touring Goldovsky Opera Theater, he conducted over 800 performances of opera throughout the United States and Canada. He has served as manager of the New York Philharmonic and as associate director of the Opera Center at the Juilliard School. He currently writes music reviews for The Observer Group, and succeeds his wife, the late June LeBell, as producer-host of Music Mondays.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents “ARMISTICE: THE JOURNEY HOME”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents

“ARMISTICE: THE JOURNEY HOME”

John Brancy, baritone
Peter Dugan, piano

November 3 and 4 at the Historic Asolo Theater

As official commemorative partners of the WWI Centennial Commission, award-winning artists

John Brancy and Peter Dugan return to Sarasota with a new and critically acclaimed program inspired by the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Their Sarasota performances are part of a nation-wide tour commemorating the anniversary, making stops also at the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Kennedy Center. 

"Brancy's program, developed with pianist Peter Dugan, was great in every way." 

- Michael Barrett, The New York Festival of Song 

“Brancy fulfilled one of the chief requirements of a good recitalist: a sound that can sustain interest over a whole program.” – Opera News 

“A vibrant, resonant presence.”

– The New York Times 

(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to present baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan performing “Armistice: The Journey Home,” Saturday, November 3, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 4, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. The program, which tells the story of men and women who must find their way back home, literally and figuratively, from the ravages of war, features a compelling selection of music by Holst, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Irving Berlin, Pete Seeger, and more. Reserved seat tickets are $25 to $45 and are available online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202. $10 student tickets are available at the door with current student ID.

            Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan have been redefining the art song recital ever since the critically acclaimed debut of their program “A Silent Night” four years ago at the Kennedy Center.  That program, hailed by The Washington Post as “so refreshingly, marvelously different,” paid homage to the centennial of the beginning of World War I.

The duo’s new companion piece, “Armistice: The Journey Home,” commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of that war. It debuted to critical acclaim earlier this year at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, with noted conductor and New York Festival of Music director Michael Barrett calling it “a spectacular recital.” Like “A Silent Night,” “Armistice: The Journey Home” pays tribute to a WWI centennial via the music of composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War.

            While most of the music is directly related to World War I, its themes are universal, reaching as far back as Homer’s Odyssey. The program features music from Schubert’s “Der Wanderer,” Vaughan Williams’ “Songs of Travel” and popular WWI era tunes by Oley Speaks and Irving Berlin. The program also features music by Gustav Holst, Rudi Stephan, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Ivor Novello. The duo will also present composer Leonardo Dugan’s original setting of the haunting WW I poem, “I Have a Rendezvous With Death.” The poet was Alan Seeger, a New Yorker who joined the French Foreign Legion when war was declared in Europe in 1914 and who was killed in battle in 1916. Alan Seeger’s nephew was the celebrated folk singer Pete Seeger, whose famed song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” is also on the program.  

            “Although nearly a century has passed since the end of the World War I, its global impact has never been forgotten,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts.  “John Brancy and Peter Dugan’s exquisite new program conveys the enduring and uplifting power of art and music even during times of war.  Their creative and unique approach to programming, incorporating a wide variety of styles and genres, creates an experience that powerfully evokes emotional responses that not only underscore but also illuminate the annual observance of Veterans Day on November 11.”

            Known for his versatility, intense musicality and his “beautiful, virile and warm” voice, John Brancy is moving rapidly to the front ranks of baritones of his generation. Hailed by the New York Times as "a vibrant, resonant presence," Brancy won first prize (accompanied by Peter Dugan), in the Art Song division of this year’s Concours musical international de Montréal, a win that recognizes him as a premiere interpreter of art song repertoire. He also won first prize in the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition in New York, and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall Competition in London. He recently performed to rave reviews in Oper Frankfurt’s production of “Lost Highway,” part of a busy season that also includes a tour of Handel’s “Messiah,” a return to Carnegie Hall under the baton of Kent Tritle, and his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a new production of Meredith Monk’s “Atlas.”

            Pianist Peter Dugan's 2017 debut solo performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as "stunning" and by the San Francisco Chronicle as "fearlessly athletic." He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician at venues across the globe and has performed in duo collaborations with Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell.

            Brancy and Dugan met as students at the Juilliard School.  As longtime collaborative partners, they are committed to reenergizing and reinventing the approach to art song.  Their repertoire ranges from the classic song cycles of the 19th century to original arrangements of the Great American Songbook and modern popular tunes.

Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2018-2019 season are on sale now. Visit www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org for more information.

 

 

 

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces its 2018-2019 Season: “With Eyes to the Future”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces its

2018-2019 Season:

“With Eyes to the Future”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents its 23rd season, another enticing potpourri of classical and pops concerts, chamber soirées, a luncheon series, and a dinner concert. Highlights include Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal harpist Emmanuel Ceysson, renowned castanet artist Carmen de Vicente, a 17-piece big band orchestra performing the hits of Stan Kenton and the return of Piano Grand – ten pianists performing on five Steinway concert grand pianos.

 (Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota enters its 23rd season of bringing unique and diverse musical experiences to the region with a dynamic and international array of both established and emerging classical, jazz and pops artists. The season, which runs September 2018 through May 2019, features 29 performances at a variety of venues throughout Sarasota and Venice. Concerts cover a wide range of musical offerings, including classical recitals, pops, jazz and cabaret concerts, chamber soirées, the popular Lunch & Listen series and even a dinner concert.  

"Our theme this season is ‘With Eyes to the Future,’” says John Fischer, managing director of Artist Series Concerts. “As we plan for our milestone 25th anniversary and seasons beyond, our aim is to keep pace with the expectations of present and future audiences by continuing to offer a wide range of the unique and high-quality performances that have become our hallmark.”

            For artistic director Dr. Joseph Holt, the upcoming 23rd season does just that. “In addition to the return of such perennial favorites as “Piano Grand,” the Nunziata twins, and baritone John Brancy, many of our concerts this season will also introduce audiences to new artists, new instruments and new interpretations of well-known music,” says Holt. ”Where else can you experience a world-renowned castanet artist, the principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the zany yet incredibly virtuosic antics of the Melodica Men, and a world-class pianist who combines animated film with his own critically acclaimed transcription of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite? Add to that mix some Russian folk music and dance, an award-winning barbershop quartet and big band jazz played by some of the best musical performers from our community and around the globe, and you’ve got something for everyone!”

Holt adds that Artist Series Concerts will continue to collaborate with the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL), with musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, and Choral Artists of Sarasota. “These creative partnerships expand the diversity of our programming and our outreach into the community.”

John Fischer, Artist Series Concerts’ managing director, notes that in addition to concerts at its home venues in Sarasota, the organization also continues to expand its presence in Venice. “Our first luncheon concerts at the Plantation Golf & Country Club last season were very popular so this season we’ve added a dinner concert there as well.”

The 2018-19 season opens with “Piano Grand III,” October 6 at the Sarasota Opera House. A reprise of last season’s sell-out concert, this year’s version boasts double the number of musicians, with ten world-class pianists tickling the ivories of five concert grand pianos commanding the Opera House stage. “It’s going to be another exciting concert with 100 flying fingers creating quite a caressing cacophony of sound!” says Holt.

Highlights of the classical recital season include the acclaimed duo of baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan performing “Armistice: The Journey Home,” their program inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that tells the story of men and women who must find their way back home, literally and figuratively (November 3, 4); Spanish castanet virtuoso Carmen de Vicente in a musical salute to Hispanic Heritage Month with guitarist Erol Ozsever  and pianist Joseph Holt (November 6); classical holiday brass sounds with Seraph Brass, a dynamic quintet drawing from a roster of America’s top female brass players (December 15, 16); “Images,” a multi-media, classical music performance with acclaimed pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine and narrator Edward Alley (January 12, 13);  Sarasota Orchestra musicians Daniel Jordan and Natalie Helm with Joseph Holt, piano, performing Brahms’ B Major Piano Trio (January 24); “Harp throb” and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal harpist Emmanuel Ceysson, performing a virtual musical history of the harp (February 2); the return of cellist extraordinaire Amit Peled with the Goldstein/Peled/Fiterstein Trio, featuring Peled, pianist Alon Goldstein and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein (April 6, 7); and “An Afternoon of Operetta,”highlighting works by Gilbert and Sullivan, Franz von Suppé and Jacques Offenbach (May 12).

Pops highlights include the return of twin tenors Will and Anthony Nunziata performing “Soundtrack: The Music of Our Lives” (December 2); “Forbidden Broadway,” the ever-evolving spoof of Broadway musicals (January 27); Melodica Men, two classically trained virtuosos who have taken the internet by storm with their masterful performances of classical hits on the melodica, a toy instrument that’s half keyboard, half harmonica and deceptively challenging to play (February 19); Russian folk music and dance with the Balalaika duo of Elena Karokhina and Mikhail Smirnov (February 28); the award winning father and sons vocal quartet My Three Sons (March 7); renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and his son, pianist Peter John Stoltzman, paying tribute to Leonard Bernstein (March 9, 10); and the Stan Kenton All Star Big Band (March 17). (A full season listing is included below.)

Artist Series Concert’s popular “Soirée” and “Lunch & Listen” series are also back this season with six Soirée performances presented in area residences, and an expanded Lunch & Listen schedule that features four performances at Michael’s On East and two in Venice at The Plantation Golf & Country Club, plus a dinner concert also at the Plantation Golf & Country Club.

Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2018-2019 season are available now by mail and by phone. Tickets will be available online starting July 15. Visit www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org for the full schedule and season order forms. For more information, call 941-306-1202.

 

Artist Series Concerts’ 2018-2019 23rd Season at a Glance

Classical Recitals

(Check individual listings for dates, times, and venue.)

·        “Armistice: The Journey Home” with John Brancy, baritone, and Peter Dugan, piano: Rising opera star John Brancy and his longtime collaborator, acclaimed pianist Peter Dugan, have cultivated their very own critically acclaimed approach to art song, encompassing everything from beloved classic works from the 19th century to modern popular music and original arrangements of American song. Brancy and Dugan return to Sarasota to perform “Armistice: The Journey Home,” their exploration of the timeless themes of longing, loss, love, and the search for peace. The program, which debuted at Alice Tully Hall in April 2018, is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI and includes a wide range of classic works by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Holst, as well as Vaughn Williams’ “Songs of Travel” and Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” November 3, 7:30 p.m., and November 4, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

·        “Classical Holiday Brass,” with Seraph Brass Quintet: Seraph Brass is a dynamic brass quintet drawing from a roster of America’s top female brass players. In addition to touring throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, many members of Seraph Brass performed with Adele on her 2016 North American Tour. The quintet welcomes the holidays with a lively and varied program of familiar holiday classics and popular song, including “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” concerti, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” “Bells of Christmas Suite,” Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and more. December 15, 7:30 p.m., and December 16, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

·        “Images: Who Stole the Mona Lisa?” with Alexandre Moutouzkine, piano, and Edward Alley, narrator: Hailed by critics as an artist “poised to join the greats,” award-winning pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine performs his own solo piano transcription of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite as the score to Micah Chambers-Goldberg’s short animated film “Who Stole the Mona Lisa,” a fantastical story based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, in which the Firebird herself is involved in the theft. The concert also features Poulenc’s “The Story of Babar,” with Edward Alley reading aloud Jean de Brunhoff’s classic tale to the accompaniment of Poulenc’s incidental piano music, played by Moutouzkine. Moutouzkine tops the program off with Mussorgsky’s masterpiece, “Pictures at an Exhibition.” January 12, 7:30 p.m., and January 13, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

·        “Principal Harp” featuring Emmanuel Ceysson, principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Hailed by critics as the “enfant terrible” of the harp, young virtuoso Emmanuel Ceysson rocked the classical music world in 2015 when he was chosen for the coveted position of principal harpist for the renowned Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, after nine years as principal harpist for the Opéra National de Paris. Ceysson’s program is a virtual musical history of the harp, featuring works by Bach, Spohr, Schumann, Glinka, Liszt, Fauré and Debussy. February 2, 7:30 p.m. at Holley Hall / Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

·        “Classical Trios” with the Goldstein/Peled/Fiterstein Trio: Bound by their Israeli roots and summers shared in Vermont at the Marlboro Music Festival, pianist Alon Goldstein, cellist Amit Peled and clarinetist Alex Fiterstein formed the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio in 2005. Today, the ensemble’s performances reflect both the special gifts and originality of the three artists as soloists as well as their marvelous sense of ensemble and love of chamber music.  The trio showcases the attributes of this unusual ensemble of piano, cello and clarinet with a program of works by Beethoven, Scarlatti, Debussy, Bloch and Zemlinsky. April 6, 7:30 p.m. and April 7, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

·        “An Afternoon of Operetta:” For over two centuries, operetta has delighted audiences worldwide. This production, featuring soloists, chorus and instrumentalists, will showcase works by composers whose names are synonymous with operetta: Gilbert and Sullivan (“Pirates of Penzance”), Jacques Offenbach (“La Belle Hélène, “Orpheus in the Underworld,” “The Tales of Hoffman”), and Franz von Suppé (“Poet and Peasant,” “Light Cavalry”). May 12, 4:00 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

Pops and Special Performances

(Check individual listings for dates, times, and venue.)

·        "Piano Grand III!” Piano Grand is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever! Five Steinway concert grand pianos direct from New York will command the Opera House stage together with not five, but ten renowned pianists performing an all-new program of familiar classics and popular songs, including Bernstein’s overture to “Candide,” the “Blue Danube Waltz,” “1812 Overture,” “Carousel Waltz,” and more. October 6, 4:00 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

·        “Soundtrack: The Music of Our Lives!” with Will and Anthony Nunziata: Internationally acclaimed twin tenors Will and Anthony Nunziata return to Sarasota with fresh takes on the classic soundtracks that have captivated and inspired generations of music lovers. Included in the mix are Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Frankie Valli, Billy Joel, Nat King Cole, the Righteous Brothers, Etta James, Adele and many more. December 2, 4:00 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

·        “Forbidden Broadway:” Direct from New York, four costumed entertainers skewer the biggest names of the Broadway stage with top-flight singing and spot-on impersonations. This acclaimed spoof takes on such timeless Broadway hits as “Les Miz,” “Cats,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and many more. January 27, 3:00 p.m., at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.

·        “Celebrating Bernstein’s World” with Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, and Peter John Stoltzman, piano: The Washington Post has hailed Richard Stoltzman as “the preeminent soloist on the clarinet today,” while his son, pianist Peter John Stoltzman, has been called a “monster jazz piano player” by the Los Angeles Times. Together the father and son duo pay tribute to Leonard Bernstein with a program that includes selections from Bernstein’s “Candide” and “West Side Story” as well as music of Charles Ives and Gershwin. March 9, 7:30 p.m. and March 10, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.

·        Stan Kenton All-Star Big Band: A 17-piece orchestra comprised of the area’s finest jazz musicians comes together to pay musical tribute to the legendary pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Stan Kenton. The program includes such favorites as “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “September Song,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Minor Blues,” “Artistry in Rhythm” and more. March 17, 3:00 p.m., at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.

 

Lunch & Listen: Sarasota

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.

·        “¡OLÉ! Popular Latin and Spanish Music,” with Carmen de Vicente, castanets, Erol Ozsever, guitar, and Joseph Holt, piano: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month featuring popular Spanish and Latin tunes showcasing the skill of Carmen de Vicente, a rare master of Spain’s national instrument - the challenging, centuries-old castanet.  The program includes Agustín Lara’s “Granada,” Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” de Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance,” and more. November 6.

·        Brahms B Major Piano Trio with Daniel Jordan, violin, Natalie Helm, cello, and Joseph Holt, piano: Sarasota Orchestra principals Daniel Jordan and Natalie Helm join Dr. Joseph Holt in a program showcasing the violin, cello and Brahms, with other works by Handel/Halvorson and Mendelssohn. January 24.

·        Russian Folk Music and Dance with Elena Karokhina, balalaika, and Mikhail Smirnov, balalaika, contrabass, gusli, garmoshka: The acclaimed balalaika duo of Karokhina and Smirnov perform an interactive program of popular Russian and folk songs incorporating colorful costumes and dance.  Highlights of the program include “Lara’s Theme” from “Dr. Zhivago,” the Russian Gypsy song “Two Guitars,” the “Cossack Dance,” “Moscow Nights,” “Kalinka” and more. February 28.

·        “Mallets and Forethought” with George Nickson, marimba: Sarasota Orchestra principal percussionist and ensemblenewSRQ co-founder George Nickson showcases the unique sounds of the marimba in a program that includes Robert Oetemo’s lush, jazzy arrangement of “Over the Rainbow,” selections from Debussy’s “Children’s Corner” suite and more. March 21.

 

Lunch & Listen: Venice

One-hour concerts at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Boulevard, Venice.

·        Melodica Men: Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke, aka the Melodica Men, have been dazzling audiences worldwide since September 2016, when a video of their improbably virtuoso melodica performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” went viral, with over 1.5 million views in just one day. What began as two music conservatory students playing toy instruments just for fun (the melodica is a cross between a keyboard and a harmonica, and deceptively challenging to play), the duo has become an international sensation with a repertoire that’s now expanded to include Mozart, Bizet, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, Piazzolla, Gershwin, Star Wars and more. February 19.

·        My Three Sons featuring Stephen Ditchfield with sons David, Michael, and Nate Ditchfield: Stephen Ditchfield and his sons, Nathanael, Michael, and David, were all singing together as a part of the well-known Ditchfield Family Singers when, in 1998, they discovered their potential as a quartet and formed My Three Sons. Since then they have won numerous awards and continue to delight audiences across the country with their exceptional harmonies and repertoire that includes popular tunes from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s as well as Broadway hits and classic standards of our time.  March 7. Note: this is an evening concert with dinner served at 6:00 p.m. followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m.

·        “Piano Pizzazz Meets Fiddle Finesse” with Brian Gurl, piano and vocals, and Carlann Evans, violin: High-caliber and multi-faceted performer Brian Gurl teams up with Sarasota Orchestra violinist Carlann Evans to perform dynamic interpretations of popular tunes, including medleys from “West Side Story” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “And I Love Her,” and a nod to the classics with “Beethoven With a Twist.” March 26.

Soirée Series

Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. and Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. At the Fischer/Weisenborne residence. Call for more information and address.

·        Artist Series Concerts National Vocal Competition Winner Daniel Noyola, baritone, with Joseph Holt, piano: A musical tour of Italy and Spain, and then across the Atlantic to the sounds of American musical theatre. September 16 and 17.

·        “The Singing Harp” with Giuseppina Ciarla, principal harpist of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra:  The versatile and virtuosic Ciarla sings while accompanying herself on the harp in many of her own eclectic arrangements. Her program includes “Clair de Lune,” “Que Sera,” Fauré’s Impromptu Opus 86, Sting’s “Roxanne,” and more. October 21 and 22.

·        “Gershwin & Chopin” with Chopin Project artist Igor Lovchinsky: Hailed by Gramophone as a "star of the future" and acclaimed by Germany's Piano Magazine for the "elegance and rapturous beauty" of his music-making, Lovchinksy has performed at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has been compared to such greats as Walter Gieseking and Martha Argerich.  April 21 and 22.

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 2019 ASC Friends' gala is April 11 at Michael’s On East.
  • The Suncoast Music Scholarships, an annual collaborative competition conducted and funded by Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Music Club, it awards $20,000 to young musicians from high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The 2019 SMS auditions are scheduled for April 13. 

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as Artist Series of Sarasota. The non-profit organization presents world-class musical experiences in a diverse range of genres, including classical, cabaret, pop, Broadway, orchestral and opera. A central focus of Artist Series Concerts' mission is to spark a lifelong love of the musical arts by exposing young people to interactive music experiences. It accomplishes this through its performance-based outreach programs in area schools, creating unique learning opportunities for thousands of students and educators every year. In addition, Artist Series Concerts has awarded more than $300,000 to nearly 300 gifted young musicians from around the country and in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursue successful music careers. For more information, visit www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents “SHOWTIME!”

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents

“SHOWTIME!”

Music from the Movies

Jennifer Sheehan, soprano

Tad Czyzewski, tenor

Choral Artists of Sarasota

May 13 • Sarasota Opera House

The memories, romance and adventure of American cinema come alive in this tribute to the colorful musical history of Hollywood and the silver screen.

 

 “Sheehan made us realize that Broadway stardom could be just around the corner for her.”

- Times Square Chronicles

“Cole Porter would have been obsessed with Sheehan and the Gershwins would have kvelled had they heard her.” 

- Broadway World

“The standout is Tad Czyzewski, whose voice has an authoritative edge and who acts with ease.”

- The Washington Post

 

(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota celebrates over eight decades of classic movie music with “Showtime!” The concert is on Sunday, May 13, 3 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota. Acclaimed vocalists Jennifer Sheehan and Tad Czyzewski are joined by Choral Artists of Sarasota for this musical tribute that includes such Hollywood legends as Judy Garland, Mario Lanza, the iconic singing duo of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, and many more. Tickets are $20 to $55 and can be purchased online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, M-F, 10 am– 4 pm. For more information about this show or about Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202.

“The magic of Hollywood cinema has long held a special place in the heart of our culture and the music from these movies is often as memorable as their stars,” says Dr. Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “Showtime!” - Artist Series’ musical tribute to the classic, evocative songs of the silver screen opens with tributes to the music of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, Mario Lanza and Judy Garland before segueing post-intermission into “Cinemagic! Hollywood’s Best Movie Music,” a mini revue-within-a-revue arranged by Mac Huff, one of the music industry’s leading arrangers and composers. “‘Cinemagic’ is virtually a journey through eight decades of classic movie music,” says Holt. “By adding soloists to Mac Huff’s original arrangements for chorus, we’ve put together an inspiring program that transports audience and singers alike through thirty-nine of Hollywood’s best-loved tunes.” Those include “Thanks for the Memory,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “The Way We Were,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Moon River,” “Where the Boys Are,” “Footloose,” and much more. 

Award-winning soprano Jennifer Sheehan has performed for audiences from coast to coast and abroad, including concerts at such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, as the guest of Michael Feinstein, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and many others. Her critically acclaimed shows have entranced audiences at Café Carlyle, Feinstein’s 54 Below, and at the Historic Asolo Theater. A Cabaret Scenes review of her debut album, “You Made Me Love You,” states: “It is rare that one singer has as much going for her as Jennifer displays on this disc.”

Tenor Tad Czyzewski has appeared as a soloist on Kennedy Center stages with the Washington Chorus in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes with the Suzanne Farrell ballet, and with the National Symphony Orchestra in Grieg’s Peer Gynt. The Washington Post hailed Mr. Czyzewski as a standout, “whose voice has an authoritative edge and who acts with ease.” Most recently he appeared in the Washington Concert Opera’s production of Strauss’ Guntram and with the Mediterranean Opera Festival in Gianni Schicchi. 

Now in its 39th season, Choral Artists of Sarasota features 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers. The group celebrates the rich, artistic expressiveness of choral music through innovative repertoire, inspired performances and stimulating educational outreach. Under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, Choral Artists of Sarasota performs a repertoire spanning four centuries, and includes symphonic choral works, intimate madrigals, folk songs, close-harmony jazz, and Broadway show music. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works—particularly music by living American composers.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces Winners of the 2018 National Competition for Strings

Photo 1-ASC 2018 Nat Comp_John Fischer and Lee Dougherty Ross with Winners_Rod Millington (LR).jpg

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces Winners of the
2018 National Competition for Strings
$21,600 Awarded To Eight Contestants

Eight gifted young musicians won prestigious recognition and thousands of dollars in prize money in this year’s competition for string players.

(Sarasota-Manatee) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota announces the winners of the 2018 National Competition for Strings. The competition rotates between piano, voice or string instruments and is open to talented young musicians between 18 and 25 years of age who are residents of the United States. The finals of this year’s competition were held April 7 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. A total of $21,600 was awarded to eight contestants.

This year, it was eight young string players who competed in the semi-final round. Of these, four were chosen to continue to the final round. The finalists were then presented in an evening public performance that was judged by a diverse and distinguished panel of renowned musicians and educators. This year’s first-prize winner, and recipient of the $8,000 Jerold & Lee Dougherty Ross Award (funded by Artist Series Concerts Friends), is violinist Shannon Lee, 25 and a student at Curtis Institute of Music.  The second place winner and recipient of a $5,000 prize (funded by Ernest Kretzmer), is cellist Alexander Hersh, 24, a student at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, Germany. Placing third and winner of the $4,000 Mary Theines-Schunemann Award (endowed by Dr. R. Lawrence Thienes), is violinist Max Tan, 24, of Harvard and the Juilliard School.  The fourth place prize of $3,000 (funded by Edith Winston), went to violist SoHui Yun, 22, a student at the New England Conservatory. 

        This year's finals and semi-finals judges included: violinist Glenn Basham, concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and artist faculty member of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Basham has also performed with the Detroit symphony and has been a featured musician on recordings by former Tonight Show bandleader Skitch Henderson; Linda Cerone, co-founder of the renowned Encore School for Strings and one of the country’s foremost pedagogues and adjudicators; internationally renowned bassist and educator Tom Knific; critically acclaimed composer Richard Sortomme, whose works have been commissioned and premiered by such major symphony orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra; and Bruce Uchimura, a professor at Western Michigan University where he teaches cello, coaches chamber ensembles and conducts the critically acclaimed University Symphony Orchestra. From 1985 to 2007 Uchimura also served as head of chamber music and member of the cello faculty at the legendary Encore School for Strings under the directorship of David Cerone.

The four semi-finalists were each recognized with a $400 Donald Britt Award, funded by Donald Britt and Katherine Lauder.  Those four semi-finalists are Jiye Bae (25, Rice University), Tong Chen (20, New England Conservatory), Ismael Guerrero (19, Peabody Institute of Music) and Sophia Anna Szokolay (21, New England Conservatory).

Now in its 16th year, the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Scholarship Program sponsors one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida. Under the guidance of Lee Dougherty Ross, co-founder of Artist Series Concerts and director of outreach and competitions, the program developed in size and quality and has resulted in substantial awards funded by supporters of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. According to Dougherty Ross, past winners often go on to pursue successful music careers. She says that in selecting the semi-finalists, judges look for “accuracy, artistry and technique.”

“Our adjudicators are all brilliant music educators and musicians,” says Dougherty Ross. “Their participation raises the bar to a whole new level.  Being judged and counseled by such a celebrated panel of artists and teachers is exciting and an honor that will remain with the performers for a lifetime."

“One of the primary goals of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is to take an active role in building the next generation of professional musicians by providing support to promising young musicians,” says John Fischer, managing director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. “Over the past decade we’ve awarded over $300,000 to 80 gifted young musicians. Our focus is the future. The support we get to present this competition makes that future possible.”

Since 1996 Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and emerging artists. The current season concludes on May 19 and 20 at the Historic Asolo Theater with “Patriotic Brass” a musical tribute to National Armed Forces Recognition Day. The concert features the Capital Brass Quintet from Washington DC, with baritone Bob McDonald. For more information about Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202.