Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota director of artist programs Dr. Joseph Holt acknowledges that “nimble is going to be the operative word for us and for many other organizations this season,” as the desire to keep the music playing faces the ever-changing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that hasn’t kept him and Artist Series from planning the 2020-21 25th anniversary season, set to begin in September.
“Despite, but also because of the setbacks that we and so many other arts organizations have experienced, we are excited and eager to be moving forward with plans for this milestone season,” according to executive director Marcy Miller in the press release announcing the season. “We have a spectacular group of artists lined up and it feels fantastic to reach a quarter century of presenting extraordinary live music.”
The programs offer a range of musical offerings, from classical recitals to pops, jazz, world music, chamber soirees and luncheon and dinner concerts. Twenty-five performances are planned in all for this 25th season.
The season commences Sept. 13 with a concert featuring Venice’s own Dick Hyman and the Florida Jazz Masters, at Temple Sinai, and continues through May 8, 2021, concluding with "Piano Grand V: The Ultimate Piano Grand," featuring, five, count ’em, five Steinway concert grand pianos on the stage of the Sarasota Opera House. Musicians Holt, Genevieve Beauchamp, Gail Berenson, Don Bryn, Sylvia Eckes, Andrew Lapp, Thomas Purviance, Lee Dougherty Ross (an Artist Series co-founder) and Michael Stewart will be the performers.
In between those season-stretching dates audiences will also hear the Omer Quartet with accordionist Hanzhi Wang; soprano Jennifer Kreider and tenor Austin Cripe; violinist Max Tan with Holt at piano; Nexus Chamber Music Chicago; a “Palm Court Treasures” concert with Holt, cellist Natalie Helm and violinist Chung-Yon Hon; and “A Classic Christmas with Frisson,” which includes selections from Nutcracker Suite and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
The new year of 2021 will ring in with Harumi Hanafusa and the Hanafusa Sisters Piano Duo, followed by a luncheon performance with baritone Todd Thomas; an afternoon with saxophonist Steven Banks and pianist Xak Bjerken; a dinner concert with vocalist Anthony Nunziata and pianist Eugene Gwodz presenting “Amore—The Greatest Love Songs”; and the Merz Trio, on Valentine’s Day. Also on the schedule: the Suncoast Music Scholarships Winners and stars of the Sarasota Music Conservatory; pianist Antonio Chen Guang; the World of Jazz with Bill Buchman’s Art of Jazz Quintet; flutist Anthony Trionfo teamed with pianist Albert Cano Smith; “Ventures in Brass” with the Venice Symphony Brass Quintet; the Vieness Piano Duo; violinist Rinat Erlichman joined by pianist Jun Cho; and soprano Kendra Colton performing with pianist Kayo Iwama.
Tickets will be available soon by mail and by phone, and details are available at artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling (941) 306-1202.