The Venice Symphony will enter its 2018-19 season this November with a new music director/conductor at the helm, and the first fund-raising gala (to honor its 45th anniversary) it’s held in several years.
New artistic leader Troy Quinn was announced last month, after a conductor search that began in 2015 and originally fielded 164 applications, winnowed to seven finalists who each conducted a concert last season. Quinn, who just completed his three-year tenure as music director of the Juneau Symphony, also continues to serve as music director of the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky. He’s a member of the conducting facility at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and resides in Los Angeles. Symphony executive director Christine Kasten says that Quinn is “the right person at the right time to lead The Venice Symphony into the future.”
Quinn’s engagements have included performances with the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Boise Philharmonic. At home in the pops and commercial world as well as the classical, he has also performed and recorded with The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson and Jackie Evancho, and has appeared on TV’s Glee, The Voice and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Quinn will conduct six of the seven classical and pops concerts of the coming season, which was programed by Leif Bjaland (former director of the Sarasota Orchestra).
The schedule kicks off with "Festa Italia," Nov. 16 and 17, featuring works by Shostakovich, Respighi and Saint-Saens (concertmaster Marcus Ratzenboeck solos on this work). A "Holiday Pops" concert, conducted by Steven Jarvi, is up next, Dec. 14 and 15, and includes selections from The Nutcracker, Brazilian Sleigh Bells and more.
Quinn returns to lead the orchestra on works by Strauss, Schumann and Mendelssohn (welcoming guest pianist Andrew Tyson on Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Op 54), on Jan. 11 and 12. Gershwin’s ever popular Rhapsody in Blue is a highlight of the Feb. 1 and 2 concerts, with Sarasota’s own Dr. Joseph Holt playing piano on that work and also on I’ve Got Rhythm.
"European Masters" are highlighted in the Feb. 22 and 23 concerts, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 a showpiece. Mozart and Mahler have their turn in the spotlight March 22 and 23, with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, D Major (Titan) filling the bill. The season will conclude April 26 and 27 with "American Roots," saluting great American composers from Duke Ellington to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Foster and John Williams.
All concerts take place at the Venice Performing Arts Center, and tickets start at $25. Season subscriptions and packages are available now; individual concerts and online sales begin Sept. 1, at thevenicesymphony.org.
Oh, and don’t forget to get your tickets for the symphony’s Sapphire Gala celebrating its 45th anniversary, Nov. 10 at Venetian Golf Club. Dinner, live music and a visual journey through the symphony’s history are all part of the evening. For more info and tickets, call 207-8822 or visit the symphony office, 1515 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 7, Venice.