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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s February Programs

Donna Fisk | January 24, 2023

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s February programs include groundbreaking accordionist Hanzhi Wang, Broadway star Marria Wirries, and Olivier Messiaen’s WWII prisoner-of-war camp composition “Quartet for the End of Time”

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2023) – Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota will present three concerts in February: the groundbreaking accordionist Hanzhi Wang on February 9 at the Sarasota Yacht Club; Sarasota’s own Broadway star Maria Wirries on February 23, outdoors at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens; and Olivier Messiaen’s moving masterpiece written in a WWII prisoner-of-war camp, “Quartet for the End of Time” featuring Lincoln Trio and Bharat Chandra, clarinet on February 28 at the Historic Asolo Theater. For more information and tickets, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call (941) 306-1202.

Praised for her captivating stage presence and performances that are technically and musically masterful, the groundbreaking young musician Hanzhi Wang is the only accordionist to ever win a place on the roster of Young Concert Artists in its 61-year history. In the five years since, she has debuted at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center and was named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month in 2018. Wang will perform works by Bach, Lohse, Tchaikovsky, and Piazzolla on February 9, 11:00 a.m. performance followed by lunch at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Maria Wirries – Sarasota’s own Broadway star – comes back home for an evening of musical theater gems on February 23, 5:30 p.m., outdoors at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Most recently a member of the Broadway cast of “Dear Evan Hansen,” Wirries has been hailed for three albums of her own music. With her former teacher and mentor Alan Corey at the piano, the evening promises to be an emotional homecoming.

“Quartet for the End of Time” will be performed by the Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio – Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; and Marta Aznavoorian, piano – with Sarasota Orchestra’s principal clarinetist Bharat Chandra, on February 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater. French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote this piece while being held in Stalag VIII-A, a WWII German prisoner-of-war camp. Captured in June 1940, a few of Messiaen’s fellow prisoners were professional musicians. Messiaen managed to obtain paper and a pencil and wrote this moving and unforgettable masterpiece for them to perform. It premiered at the camp on January 15, 1941.

Daniel Jordan, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts and concertmaster of Sarasota Orchestra, stated, “My first experience with ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ was when I performed it myself on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. There was an emotional impact beyond the usual concert experience, and that struck me as something I wanted to bring to the Sarasota audience. It’s a unique piece of musical history.” This concert is sponsored by Barbara Staton.

For tickets and more information, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call (941) 306-1202.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Inc.’s 2022-2023 season is supported in part by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County; Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes); The Exchange; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.