It's a Sweet 75 for the Sarasota Concert Association

The association celebrates its 75th anniversary with its coming 2020 season.

By Kay Kipling June 21, 2019

Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor Riccardo Muti

Turning 75 is a milestone for any individual—or arts organization. In this case, it’s the Sarasota Concert Association that’s announcing its 75th anniversary season, starting in January 2020.

The association began its series of concerts featuring internationally renowned symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and ensembles and soloists back in 1938, as a project by members of the Women’s Club working with Columbia Artists Community Concerts. Back then, it presented only two seasons before being interrupted during World War II. Postwar, however, the concert series was revived, and since then SCA has brought to Sarasota such stars of the classical music world as Rudolf Serkin, Rise Stevens, Leontyne Price, and the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras.

Prior to 2017, the SCA presented its five-concert series (“Great Performers Series” is the official title) at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, January through March. That year, SCA expanded its season to include a sixth concert at the Riverview Performing Arts Center.

Leading off the 2020 season will be pianist Behzod Abduraimov. Winner of the London International Piano Competition at the age of 18, Abduraimov has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others. He will perform here Jan. 15 at Van Wezel.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra pays a return visit to Sarasota Jan. 29. Founded in 1972, Orpheus is a conductorless orchestra that highlights a spirit of collaboration and intimacy with its performances; this concert is also at the Van Wezel.

Miho Saegusa of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, now under the baton of Riccardo Muti, has been heralded as “one of the top five orchestras in the world” by Gramphone magazine. It’s a rare opportunity to see and hear them here, Feb. 12 at Van Wezel.

Violinist Gil Shaham joins innovative New York-based ensemble The Knights in concert next, Feb. 25 at Riverview Performing Arts Center.

The Pacifica Quartet

The Pacifica Quartet, which played recently during the 2019 Sarasota Music Festival, returns to town with pianist Orion Weiss, March 12 at Van Wezel. And the season wraps up March 30 at Riverview with Musicians from Marlboro, an offshoot of the Marlboro Festival created by Rudolf Serkin that’s now marking its fifth decade of performances. Artists fostered at the beginning of their careers through Musicians from Marlboro include Yefim Bronfman, Richard Goode and Richard Stoltzman.

Full six-concert subscriptions are on sale now; single tickets and mini-packages will be available on Aug. 1. Visit for more information.

Show Comments