Sarasota Orchestra's Coming Season Bids Farewell to Music Director Anu Tali

The 2018-19 season also marks the orchestra's 70th anniversary.

By Kay Kipling June 19, 2018

Sarasota Orchestra music director Anu Tali

Image: Kaupo Kikkas

The upcoming 2018-19 Sarasota Orchestra season will be one of celebration—for the orchestra’s 70th anniversary—and a bit of farewell, as it will be the final year of music director Anu Tali’s tenure here.

Tali has served as music director for six seasons, counting the coming one, and has been especially noted for attracting musicians and presenting works from around the world, including her native Estonia. With her departure, she will focus on her own international career and guest conducting.

But first, she will lead the orchestra through a busy and diverse musical season, featuring five concert series in all. Here’s the line-up for each.

The Masterworks series commences in early November with Tali conducting the orchestra and welcoming guest violinist Sergei Dogadin on works by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. Masterworks 2 features the piano-playing Naughton sisters, under the baton of guest conductor Ward Stare, on Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos. Masterworks 3, conducted by Tali, features Bradenton-based violinist and Grammy Award-winning violnist James Ehnes, in January.

The Naughton Sisters


Violinist James Ehnes

Acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax returns to Sarasota for Masterworks 4 in January, again led by Tali. Clark Rundell arrives to conduct Masterworks 5 later in January and early February, starring violinist Viviane Hagner on Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5.

Pianist Emanuel Ax

And Tali leads the final two Masterworks concerts, with orchestra members Daniel Jordan, Bharat Chandra, Fernando Traba and Joshua Horne stepping out from the ensemble in a program featuring pieces by Grieg, Ravel and Glinka in February, and Beethoven’s joyous Symphony No. 9 closing out the season in April.

The Pops Series focuses on film this season, with January’s "La La Land in Concert" reliving the magic of that Oscar-winning movie; "An Evening with Judy Garland" combining Garland’s voice with live orchestra and film footage in March; and "Hollywood Hits" in April, presenting music from classics including Gone With the Wind and Ben Hur.

The Great Escapes series, offering pops and light classics, consists of concerts with the titles "Musical America," ''Tis the Season," "Animal Farm," "A Many Splendored Thing," "Shuffle" and "Dance, Dance, Dance!," starting in October and playing into May. The eight-concert Chamber Series explores both classic and new repertoires, with a highlight of the season Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in February that showcases the talents of orchestra violinists Jordan, Christopher Takeda, Jennifer Best Takeda and Samantha Bennett.

And the orchestra’s Discoveries Series, now in its second year, features three 75-minute programs of shorter works, led by guest conductors Ruth Reinhardt, Jeffrey Milarsky and Guillermo Figueroa. Expect music from Dvorak, Faure, Berlioz, Hindemith and Copland, among others.

Conductor Giullermo Figueroa

Season subscriptions are on sale now; call the box office at 953-3434 or visit to receive a subscription brochure.

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