The Sarasota Orchestra’s December programs include its annual holiday-themed Grand Escapes and second masterpieces of the season, as well as chamber music and the upcoming installment of Discover Mozart.
Great Escapes 2: Christmas Lights
Sarasota Orchestra’s classic holiday tradition offers concert regulars and newcomers the chance to savor the joy of the season through music. Broadway conductor William Waldrop leads the Orchestra in a program of seasonal favorites including “Feliz Navidad,” Festive Sounds of Hanukkah and Christmas at the Movies.
William Waldrop recently completed a much celebrated career as Music Director and Conductor of the Broadway cover of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the Neil Simon Theater in New York City. He has directed productions of Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh (nationwide tour). In 2014, Waldrop completed a 30-city tour as Music Director and Conductor of the Evita revival. His most recent symphonic engagements include concerts with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Beach Symphony. As comfortable on the podium with the orchestra on stage as he is directing from the pit, Maestro Waldrop has been praised for his “dynamic directing” and has been praised in cities across the United States and internationally.
The Sarasota Orchestra’s Great Escapes series programs feature a mix of light classics and popular favorites. In this series, conductors share stories and commentary throughout each performance.
December 1 | 5.30 p.m. | Holley hall
December 2 | 7:30 p.m. | Holley hall
December 3 | 5.30 p.m. | Holley hall
December 4 | 8:00 p.m. | Holley hall
December 5 | 4:00 p.m. | Holley hall
How: Tickets start at $ 42, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434
Masterpieces 2: American Voices
Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring is the cornerstone of this Sarasota Orchestra program that features new works and treasured classics. The program opens with a work written by guest conductor Teddy Abrams – his overture in sonata form. Pianist Conrad Tao performs solo in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid’s Petrichor invites listeners into an immersive soundscape.
Teddy Abrams is the widely acclaimed Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Orchestra, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist and composer. An advocate for the power of music, Abrams has fostered interdisciplinary collaborations with organizations such as the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed ââArt Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Recent guest conducting highlights include engagements with the San Francisco, Houston and Vancouver Symphonies and at the Kennedy Center. He has a long-standing relationship with the Indianapolis Symphony and recently conducted them with Time for Three for a PBS special. He was Deputy Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012 to 2014.
Soloist Conrad Tao has appeared around the world as a pianist and songwriter, and has been dubbed a musician of “convincing intelligence and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, which also quoted him as ” one of five faces of classical music to watch âin the 2018-19 season. He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which he will perform in this program, and has performed with prestigious orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. Tao is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Fellowship and has been named Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years honoring America’s most promising new generation pianists.
December 10 | 8:00 p.m. | Van Wezel
December 11 | 8:00 p.m. | Van Wezel
December 12 | 2:30 p.m. | Van Wezel
How: Tickets start at $ 35, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434
Bedroom Party 4: Sarasota String Quartet
Sarasota String Quartet presents a selection of works intended to show the unlimited potential of these four instruments. Friedrich Schiller’s poem âThe Gods of Greeceâ inspires the collection of works on the program. In Schubert’s âRosamundeâ Quartet, the composer quotes himself, sampling the artistic song he originally based on Schiller’s verses. Mozart’s String Quartet No. 14, nicknamed âSpringâ, is the first of six quartets he dedicated to Haydn, who had crystallized the form and fashion of the classical string quartet with 68 of his own. The architecture and landscaping of the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Washington, DC sparked Plan & Elevation by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Caroline Shaw. The work is a reimagining of the potential of the string quartet and a mark of Shaw’s unique voice as one of today’s most famous young composers.
In collaboration with the Florida Studio Theater, the program opens with a dramatic reading of Schiller’s “The Gods of Greece” by actor Kim Crow.
When: December 19, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Holley Hall
How: Tickets start at $ 38, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434
Discover Mozart 2: Winter Dreams
In the second installment of the Sarasota Orchestra’s Discover Mozart series, Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony is one of many familiar works in a program the Orchestra promises to rejuvenate and elevate. Directed by guest conductor Sameer Patel, the program of shorter works for chamber orchestra includes Debussy’s Impressionist Petite Suite as well as scenes from Respighi’s âThe Adoration of the Magiâ. Young violinist Geneva Lewis joins Massenet’s “Meditation” by ThaÃ¯s and Vivaldi’s “Winter” concerto glacial “Four Seasons”.
Sameer Patel is Associate Conductor of the Sun Valley Music Festival and recently completed an acclaimed tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony. Recent performances include Puccini’s Tosca with the Houston Opera House in the Heights, as well as concerts with orchestras from Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, New Jersey, Phoenix, Knoxville, Naples and Jacksonville. He has also performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. As a product of public school music education, Patel spends time in his schedule each season working with youth orchestras and orchestras from all states across the country. Patel’s work has led to recognition from the Solti Foundation US, which has awarded him three consecutive Career Assistance Awards.
New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis is the recipient of a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Fellowship and winner of the 2020 Concert Artist Guild’s Victor Elmaleh Competition Grand Prize. Other recent accolades include the fact of being named a finalist in the Naumburg 2018 competition and a Young Artist in Residence of Performance Today. Lewis is currently in the Artist Diploma program as the recipient of the Charlotte F. Rabb Presidential Fellowship at the New England Conservatory, studying with Miriam Fried. She has collaborated with renowned artists such as Kim Kashkashian, Ida Kavafian, Mitsuko Uchida and the Borromeo String Quartet, among others. She also regularly participates in the Marlboro Music Festival.
When: December 22, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sarasota Opera House
How: Tickets start at $ 27, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434