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See Tomorrow’s Musical Stars Today

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents and supports talented young classical musicians, as it has for 25 years.

Presented by Artist Series Concerts November 4, 2020

This season, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota celebrates its 25th anniversary of bringing world-class music to Sarasota and providing meaningful performance opportunities to scores of young artists.

Having begun in 1996 as a series of informal musical soirees hosted in the living room of co-founders Lee and Jerry Ross, Artist Series Concerts has blossomed over the years into a vital and influential presence on the area’s cultural scene, offering well over 20 concerts per season at a variety of venues.

“While our organization’s new mission and focus on promoting acknowledged stars of the next generation was adopted in 2019, emerging young artists have been featured throughout its 25-year history,” says Marcy Miller, executive director of Artist Series Concerts.

Pianists Andrew Armstrong (2003), Antonio Pompa-Baldi (2008), and Joyce Yang (2009), violinists Augustin Hadelich (2010) and Stefan Jackiw (2011), baritone John Brancy (2017), and vocalist Carole Bufford (2015) are just a few of the young artists who have performed for Artist Series Concerts early on in their careers and who have since gone on to reap major awards as well as audience and critical acclaim worldwide.

“Even with the challenges presented by COVID-19 this season, we’re adapting and forging ahead with a stellar lineup of new, groundbreaking young artists,” adds Miller.

Highlights of that lineup, put together by ASC’s director of artist programs, Joseph Holt, include:

Classical saxophonist Steven Banks with Xak Bjerken, piano

Steven Banks

Image: Chris Lee

Banks is the first saxophonist in 59 years to earn a place on the roster of Young Concert Artists, the agency that helped launch the early careers of such classical stars as Emanuel Ax, Dawn Upshaw, and Pinchas Zukerman. Banks is one of the innovative young stars pioneering the evolution of great classical music. January 31 at Faith Lutheran Church

The Merz Trio with violist Jordan Bak

Merz Trio

Image: Dario Acosta

The Merz Trio is a bold, new, and fiercely creative ensemble that has been hailed as “impressive” by the New York Times and “impeccable” by Fanfare. Gold medalist at the 2019 Fischoff Competition, the trio has been praised for its “stunning virtuosity and ensemble work.” The trio is joined by another young “star in the making,” violist Jordan Bak. February 14 at Faith Lutheran Church

Anthony Trionfo, flute, with Albert Cano Smit, piano

Anthony Trionfo

Image: Matt Dine

Praised as a “musician of prodigious talent and scintillating personality,” flutist Anthony Trionfo is fast gaining a reputation for virtuosic performances laced with his own vibrant music personality and compelling stage presence. Trionfo is joined by his Young Concert Artists colleague Albert Cano Smit, who himself has been praised by critics as “an artist to watch.” March 14 at Faith Lutheran Church

Vieness Piano Duo

Vieness Piano Duo

Each a prize-winning young artist in their own right, as the Vieness duo, Eva Schaumkell and Vijay Venkatesh, have enthralled audiences around the world with electric and captivating performances that cover a wide range of repertoire. As a featured artist during the Sarasota Music Festival, Venkatesh was hailed for his “dazzling pianism verging on the impossible, effortless technical command and authority with a sense of poetry and refinement that belies his years.” April 4 and 5 at Faith Lutheran Church

Rinat Erlichman, violin, with Jun Cho, piano

Rinat Erlichman

Artist Series Concerts welcomes spring with a performance by this bright young Israeli violinist, who is an alumna of the Perlman Music Program Suncoast and continues her studies at Juilliard under the tutelages of Itzhak Perlman and Lin Lin. Pianist Jun Cho has performed at Carnegie Merkin and Alice Tully Halls. He is currently the studio pianist of Itzhak Perlman. April 11 at Faith Lutheran Church

Omer Quartet

Omer Quartet

Image: Matt Dine

From Young Concert Artists comes one of the most versatile string quartets in classical music today. The Omer Quartet is quickly gaining a reputation for “fearless renderings” of the standard quartet repertoire as well as compelling performances of works by today’s composers. The ensemble burst onto the scene with top prizes at Borciani, Trondheim, and Bordeaux in Europe all in one year. May 23 at Faith Lutheran Church

“We urge all music lovers to come see these amazing young artists, and to check out the rest of our season as well,” says Miller. “These performances are a wonderful way to experience great music played by exceptional artists, in safe settings! Details about the concerts and artists, current COVID-19 safety protocols, and other season updates can always be found on our website, ArtistSeriesConcerts.org.”