Coming Up

Sarasota Music Festival Offers a World Premiere and Much More

The festival gets underway June 4 and continues through June 23, bringing a host of musical talent to town.

By Kay Kipling May 29, 2018

New York-based chamber ensemble yMusic performs a world premiere to climax the festival on June 23.

A host of talented young musicians and their renowned faculty members start tuning up next week for the 54th annual Sarasota Music Festival, taking place June 4-23.

That means a wide range of classical music concerts, master classes and open rehearsals is headed our way. For the full schedule of performances, you’ll want to head to, but here’s a sneak peek at what your ears can expect to hear.

The concert weekends open with an evening devoted to “Love Songs,” June 7 at Holley Hall, followed by “Brilliantly Baroque” June 8 at the Sarasota Opera House, which features Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons and a Bach concerto. The June 9 concert at the Opera House will feature the Sarasota debut of violinist Angelo Yu on Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, as well as a performance of Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

Violinist Angelo Yu makes his Sarasota debut June 9.

The festival’s second weekend promises “Musical Treasures,” June 14 at Holley Hall, with works by Mozart and Shostakovich on the program, followed by “Appalachian Spring” June 15 at the Opera House. Yes, Aaron Copland’s famous work with that title will be a highlight, but you can also hear music by Dvorak and Milhaud. On June 16, at the Opera House, “Influences and Individuality” offers 2017 festival alum pianist Vijay Venkatesh playing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2, along with other works.

Sarasota Music Festival music director Jeffrey Kahane.

Pianist Vijay Venkatesh will perform Saint-Saens' Concerto No. 2.

The third and final weekend of the festival presents festival music director Jeffrey Kahane and former director Robert Levin teaming up on two Schubert works designed for piano duos on June 21 at Holley Hall. June 22’s “Summer Serenades” at the Opera House presents works by Mozart, Dohnanyi and Brahms. And the festival winds up June 23 at the Opera House with the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s Luminous Bodies, commissioned for the festival by Kahane and acclaimed chamber ensemble yMusic, a group of six young New York City instrumentalists whose appearance at the fest last year was a hit. They’re back for this tribute to five musical geniuses who inspired Sirota: George Gershwin, Lili Boulanger, Aaron Copland, Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny Hensel and Leonard Bernstein.

In all, the festival welcomes more than 40 guest artists, including many of the event’s own alumni, in this second season under Kahane’s leadership. For tickets, call 953-3434 or again, visit

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