Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces its 2017-2018 Season

Artist Series Concerts’ 22nd season features 41 performances and covers a wide variety of musical offerings, including classical recitals, pops, jazz and cabaret concerts, a Bach festival, chamber soirées and the popular Lunch & Listen series. 

(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota enters its 22nd season bringing a diverse selection of musical experiences to the region with a dynamic line-up of established and emerging classical, cabaret, jazz and pops artists. The season, which runs September 2017 through May 2018, features 41 performances at a variety of venues throughout Sarasota County. Concerts cover a wide range of musical offerings, including classical recitals, pops, jazz and cabaret concerts, a Bach festival, chamber soirées and the popular Lunch & Listen series.

According to Dr. Joseph Holt, Artist Series Concert’s artistic director, the 2017-18 season will put everything “In Focus.” He explains that this year’s performances bring the work of individual composers and prevalent musical themes into crystal clarity. The season will also explore the work of film composers whose scores help frame the audiences’ understanding and emotional response to the images onscreen.

“Many of our concerts will explore iconic film scores that are inseparable from the movie experience,” says Holt. “The Rastrelli Cello Quartet showcases the music of James Bond films, and the Katona Twins, a European-based guitar duo, will celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with a movie-themed concert. Capping off the season is a celebration of film music at the Sarasota Opera House featuring some of the film scores that stay with you long after the credits roll.” Holt notes that, “Artist Series Concerts is thrilled to put the focus on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with BachFest Sarasota, a five-day, community-wide festival in November.”

Holt adds that Artist Series Concerts will continue to collaborate with leading national and regionally based organizations and musicians. “We’ll continue our successful collaborations with the Young Concert Artists of New York, with the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL), with musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra and Choral Artists of Sarasota, and with several regionally based groups,” says Holt. “These creative partnerships expand the diversity of our programming and our outreach into the community.”

John Fischer, Artist Series Concert’s managing director, notes that the organization presented its concerts in several new venues last season, due to construction at the Historic Asolo Theater. “That turned out to be blessing in disguise,” says Fischer. “We vastly expanded our audience—especially in Venice at the Venice Performing Arts Center. Although we’re thrilled to be returning to the Historic Asolo Theater this fall, we’ll continue to offer concerts at different venues throughout Sarasota County.”

The 2017-2018 season opens with “Piano Grand II” on October 7 at the Sarasota Opera House. Five world-class pianists on five Steinway & Sons concert grand pianos will command the stage. “We’re making good on our promise to reprise last year’s sold-out show,” says Holt. “We expect to fill every seat at the Opera House again with a brand-new program.”

Other season highlights include “BachFest Sarasota,” a five-day festival dedicated to the “greatest composer of all time,” says Holt, explaining that 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “Bach, a devout Lutheran, was one of the greatest of the Reformation composers. During this festival, we’ll learn about different aspects of Bach’s life as a composer—using the Reformation as a catalyst to reflect on how it deeply impacted the spiritual, social, and cultural terrain of the times.” The festival will take place at a variety of venues, November 15-19.

The season’s classical recital highlights include the acclaimed Calidore String Quartet performing a program showcasing music that influenced literary giants (October 28, 29); rising violinist star Bella Hristova (January 21); the renowned tango group Pablo Ziegler Quartet (January 28); Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quintet, a group known for taking classical works and transforming them into jazz arrangements(February 25); Sarasota Orchestra’s first chairsJoshua HorneDaniel JordanNatalie Helm, and Bharat Chandra with Joseph Holt, piano, in a program entitled “Principally Brahms” (March 22); and Narek Arutyunian, clarinet, and Steven Beck, piano (March 4).

Pops highlights include jazz vocalist June Garber in “Cool Yule,” a tribute to the arrangements made by popular by Ella Fitzgerald (December 16, 17); pianist Richard Dowling in an homage to Scott Joplin (February 10, 11); the guitar duo Katona Twins performing a movie-themed concert celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday (February 18); pianist Richard Glazier in “From Broadway to Hollywood” (March 17); the Rastrelli Cello Quartet in a concert devoted to the music of James Bond movies (April 28, 29); and soprano Jennifer Sheehan with tenor Tad Czyzewski (May 13) celebrating the great film scores with the Choral Artists of Sarasota in “Showtime!” (A full season listing is included below.)

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

Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2017-2018 season go on sale May 15. Visit to view the full schedule and ordering information, or call 941-306-1202 to request information by mail.