For the first time in three years, approximately 60 young musicians will gather in Sarasota to study with professionals and perform three weeks of chamber and orchestral concerts at the annual Sarasota Music Festival.
The Sarasota Orchestra-sponsored festival, which began as a week-long event in 1965, was canceled due to COVID in 2020. Last year, artistic director Jeffrey Kahane hosted a series of concerts before a limited audience and without students or scholarship holders. , studying.
“We can call it a revival and a comeback as we celebrate so many different aspects of what we do,” Kahane said.
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Each week, Fellows, chosen from hundreds of applicants, perform in their own concerts called Rising Stars and join faculty members for chamber and orchestral programs. This year’s festival runs from June 5-25.
Kahane said he wanted to mix up the standard schedule, which typically featured chamber concerts on Fridays and orchestral programs on Saturday nights. And it expands musical styles while emphasizing composers/performers.
Among them is Jeffrey Scott, a prominent French horn virtuoso in the classical and jazz worlds. “And he’s a fantastic songwriter,” Kahane said. “He will present one of his plays, a tribute to ragtime, which he will also coach and teach.
Scott’s “Startin’ Sumthin’” will be performed June 17 at the Sarasota Opera House in a program that also includes Caroline Shaw’s “Stucco & Brocatelle” and works by Bach and Handel.
Shaw will appear in person with Kahane’s son, Gabriel Kahane, for a “Creative Voices” program on June 21 at Holley Hall.
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“They’re two of the most gifted songwriters/performers/instrumentalists out there,” Kahane said, adding that he wasn’t just trying to promote his own son. “It’s a whole evening of their own music, where they’ll play, sing and perform with eight of our string mates in a string ensemble.” There will also be a question and answer session after the concert.
Gabriel Kahane’s latest album “Magnificent Bird” was released in March.
The Calidore String Quartet, who performed last summer, return to open the festival (and teach) with concerts on June 9 and 10. Two of its members, Ryan Meehan and Jeremy Berry, are festival alumni. On June 11, another alumnus, pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, will perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor in a concert conducted by guest conductor Yaniv Dinur. The concert also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and “Starburst” by Jessie Montgomery.
Jeffrey Kahane and longtime faculty member and former Artistic Director Robert Levin will talk about musical topics related to the festival, providing insight into some of the pieces and composers featured at 1 p.m. June 15 at Holley Hall.
Levin will be the piano soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in a June 18 program that Kahane will also conduct with the String Sextet No. 2, Op. 36 and “Entrée de Polymnie” by Rameau.
Violinist Francesca Anderegg, another festival alum, will be the guest soloist of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor in a concert that also includes George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings” and Symphony No. 4 in A major (“Italian”) by Mendelssohn. . Mendelssohn’s piece will be performed by the Sarasota Orchestra at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Kahane said the festival will take certain COVID precautions, including having attendees wear masks when possible. “We are doing everything in our power to make it as normal as possible as a festival. There may be fewer master classes open to the public.
This year will have about seven new faculty members, and about the same number of fellows who expected to be part of the 2020 festival are returning this year.
Kahane said that despite the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on the arts world, “one of the things that was particularly heartening was that the number of applicants was huge. I believe that was the maximum we had for at least two decades.
And Kerry Smith, director of artistic planning for the orchestra, said “the judges said it was one of the highest quality groups of fellows” they had.
Kahane said it was no surprise. There’s a pent-up demand for such programs “and a thirst to do things they couldn’t do, but the level of players in our conservatories and young players just keeps rising. It’s just amazing and I think we’ll hear it in the performances.
Sarasota Music Festival
Concerts are presented at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, and the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Ticket information: 941-953-3434; www.sarasotaorchestra.org