AS THE VENICE SYMPHONY launches individual concert ticket sales, seats are already limited for several concerts in the 2019-20 season, including the Nov. 16 premier of Bohemian Beethoven, and the March 27-28 Linda Eder concerts. All performances take place at the state-of-the-art Venice Performing Arts Center and tickets are available at thevenicesymphony.org now.
This is the first season programmed by Troy Quinn, who was named Music Director in 2018. “Our patrons have really responded to Troy’s innovative and dynamic programming,” says Christine Kasten, Executive Director. “They love the mix of traditional classical and modern works and they are obviously thrilled about Linda Eder’s return to Sarasota.”
Quinn named his premiere program “A Season for All” for a reason. “I want to excite the Symphony’s long-time fans and people who may have never attended our concerts before,” he says. “We would especially like to see more young people and families, and I feel that every concert this season accomplishes that goal.”
Kasten believes that the growing reputation of the musicians, featuring Concertmaster Marcus Ratzenboeck, the modern venue and affordable ticket prices are drawing more new people to The Symphony. “Many of our pre-season sales are to people who have never been to The Venice Symphony or just attended our Patriotic Pops concert this May at CoolToday Park,” she says.
The Symphony’s 46th season opens with Bohemian Beethoven, pairing Beethoven’s epic Fifth Symphony and Queen’s modern-day masterpiece Bohemian Rhapsody. After Saturday’s concert, many of the musicians, led by Quinn, will be playing at The Symphony’s annual Gala, at the Plantation Golf and Country Club.
In addition to Eder, guest soloists include Sarasota’s Key Chorale for the Symphony’s popular A Very Merry Holiday Pops, Dec. 20-21 and acclaimed young pianist Daniel Lebhardt at Romeo and Juliet, February 28-29.
Quinn and Kasten also promise to make this season more of an interactive experience for concertgoers. There will be video to enhance the Cosmic Convergence concert Jan. 10-11, photo opportunities, and trivia at Shaken Not Stirred: The Music of James Bond, Feb. 7-8. Expect a visit from characters from a “galaxy far, far away” when the season closes with The Movie Maestro: A Tribute to John Williams, on April 24-25. The organization will once again offer patrons the opportunity to play the bass drum on the National Anthem and to guest conduct “Sleigh Ride” at the holiday concert.
In addition to single concert tickets, The Venice Symphony will present a Saturday Night at the Symphony package, offering the best available seats at a discount for the Saturday 7:30 p.m. Holiday Pops, Cosmic Convergence and James Bond concerts. "I see these concerts as the perfect introduction to The Symphony and by offering them as a package, people will experience a variety of truly memorable and beloved symphonic music,” says Quinn.
Group discounts remain available and students 17 and younger always pay half-price. Season sponsors are Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council.
The Symphony will continue to offer its Meet the Maestro pre-concert talk series, sponsored by Bank of America. “These talks really took off last season,” says Kasten. “I think the word is getting out there that they are free to the public and it’s a great way to learn more about symphonic music.”
Last season several concerts sold out and Kasten urges people not to wait to buy tickets this season. “There’s a lot of buzz about our Maestro and this program,” she says. “While this is The Venice Symphony’s 46th year in the community, it seems in a way like a new beginning.”