First, the Sarasota Orchestra announced last month its plans to build a new multimillion-dollar home at a site on Fruitville Road (between Honore and Cattleman), where an 1,800-seat concert hall and 700-seat recital hall will welcome audiences to a state-of-the-art acoustical concert center. Now, the orchestra has announced its 2022-23 concert season, its first full season led by music director Bramwell Tovey.
The season offers a line-up of five different subscription series in all—along with a special gala performance featuring world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The "Masterworks" series commences Nov. 4-6, with Tovey conducting and pianist Joyce Yang guesting on works by Grieg and Berlioz. “Luminous Colors” follows Dec. 2-4, with Lina Gonzalez-Granados conducting and violinist Bornsori Kim guesting, as works by Bruch and Dvorak are played. Tovey leads again (and welcomes longtime collaborator, violinist James Ehnes, along with soprano Laquita Mitchell) in concerts Jan. 5-8 that present Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Tovey returns once more for “A Romantic Affair,” Feb. 2-5, with pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2; and Copland and Stravinsky are the focus of concerts Feb. 24-26 led by Kensho Watanabe and featuring Karen Gomyo on violin.
Beethoven’s Emperor concerto and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 headline concerts March 16-19 (featuring conductor Paul Daniel and pianist Behzod Abduraimov); and the Masterworks series winds up March 31-April 2 with Tovey and the musicians joined by violinist Gil Shaham and works by Korngold and R. Strauss.
The Pops series, meanwhile, delivers an array of favorites from Broadway (April 21 and 22); classic British pop tunes from Noel Coward to James Bond (March 3 and 4); and a program of music by Billy Joel and Elton John (Jan. 20 and 21). All are at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
The orchestra’s “Discoveries” series features 75-minute programs designed to appeal to both newcomers and those more experienced with classical music. Works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky fill the bill Oct. 1; by Liszt and Bizet Dec. 21; and by Villa-Lobos and Mendelssohn, May 13. These concerts take place at the Sarasota Opera House.
One of the orchestra’s most popular series, "Great Escapes," blends light classics and popular favorites in concerts centered on “A Night at the Movies” (Oct. 12-15); “Seasonal Gifts” (Dec. 7-11); “A Little Night Music” (Jan. 11-15); “Date Night” (Feb. 8-12); “American Vibes” (March 8-12); and “Sounds of Spring,” April 12-15. The intimate, small-ensemble performances called “Chamber Soirees” will feature the Sarasota String Quartet (Oct. 9); Orion Weiss and Friends (Nov. 13); Wind Quintet and Trio (Dec. 18); “Scottish Songs” (Jan. 22); Schumann and Brahms (April 23); and something really special, as music director Tovey plays Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (Feb. 19).
Tovey will also conduct two special concerts this season, “The Thrill of a Lifetime” Feb. 18, which highlights the talents of the Sarasota Youth Philharmonic; and that gala evening (March 2) welcoming cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who will play Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.
For more details on performances and tickets, visit sarasotaorchestra.org.