A&E Insider

Meet Jeffrey Kahane, the New Sarasota Music Festival Director

The festival celebrates its 53rd anniversary this year.

By Kay Kipling May 25, 2017

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Jeffrey Kahane

The 53-year-old Sarasota Music Festival takes place this month under the direction of new music director Jeffrey Kahane. Concert pianist and conductor Kahane first played at the festival two years ago. “I was floored by the level of students and the collegiality of the musicians,” he says. We asked Kahane, who is finishing his 20th and final season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, what he’s most excited about.  

“For the first time ever, we’re devoting an entire evening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos [June 9]. That will join faculty and students together and be great both for the audience and the musicians.”

“I’m thrilled to bring back an alum, Jasmine Choi, as a soloist [for the orchestra concert June 10]. I think she’s one of the top five flautists in the world.”

“I’m introducing [on June 17] an extremely gifted young conductor, Brett Mitchell, who’s the new music director for the Colorado Symphony.”

The six-member Music ensemble will play in a June 23 concert and do a workshop with students, giving them “the opportunity to experience musicians who’ve played both classical and pop, to broaden their thinking about what they do, and to learn about entrepreneurship, because they built [the ensemble] on their own.”

“And for the final concert [June 24], I’m both soloist and conductor, from the piano, of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue—the original jazz band version.”

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