Sarasota Music Festival Announces 51st Anniversary Highlights

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The 51st Sarasota Music Festival (SMF) will take place June 1st through June 20, 2015. Primarily a chamber music festival, participants attend master classes and coaching sessions, participate in the SMF orchestra, create outreach concerts for the local community and perform chamber music.

"It is a fast paced, intensive experience with phenomenal mentoring. The faculty changes each week providing immense exposure for these pre-professionals. They coach students in chamber groups and often perform with them in ensembles." - RoseAnne McCabe

The 51st Sarasota Music Festival (SMF) will take place June 1st through June 20, 2015. Primarily a chamber music festival, participants attend master classes and coaching sessions, participate in the SMF orchestra, create outreach concerts for the local community and perform chamber music. Led by Artistic Director Robert Levin, the hallmark of the Festival is that student participants choose what pieces they wish to perform and can create their own chamber ensembles each week.

The three Festival conductors for Saturday Symphonies are Nicholas McGegan, Larry Rachleff and Hugh Wolff. This year, veteran faculty members including: Pam Frank, Alex Kerr, Joseph Silverstein, Kim Kashkashian, Carol Wincenc, Charles Neidich and Julie Landsman are joined by three new faculty members Ralph Kirshbaum (cello), Hugh Wolff (conductor) and William VerMeulen (horn).

2015 Festival Highlights Include:

  • Frank Huang, Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and SMF participant in 2000, performing as the featured soloist for the second orchestra concert on Saturday, June 13.
  • Veteran faculty member Carol Wincenc (flute) featured performance of the Nielsen Flute Concerto under the baton of Nicholas McGegan in week one, June 6.
  • Artistic Director Robert Levin’s insightful and informative public lectures.
  • In addition to the 12 formal concerts that faculty and students present, SMF participants also create, produce and perform a concert for local camp students. SMF students perform more than 10 concerts in the community during their 3 weeks in Sarasota.
  • Featuring a commitment to bringing a variety of repertoire to Festival audiences, 21 works will be performed at the 2015 SMF for the first time in its 51 year history.

About the Sarasota Music Festival:
For three weeks each June, guest artists and student musicians come together in Sarasota to study and perform chamber music. Nearly 500 students worldwide audition to participate in the Sarasota Music Festival each year, but only 60 are accepted. These students work side-by-side with a group of 45 master faculty musicians.

Co-founded by Paul Wolfe, the Sarasota Music Festival began in 1965 as a one-week event with seven guest mentors. In just two years, the Festival grew to three weeks and was drawing students from across the United States. In 1984 it was designated by the Florida State Legislature as the "Official Teaching and Performing Festival of the State of Florida."

Today, led by Artistic Director Robert Levin, there are more than 45 guest artists, including many of the festival's own alumni. These masters represent nearly all major American orchestras and a cross-section of renowned music schools, conservatories and institutes of music.

Additional Information: about the Sarasota Music Festival is available at: http://www.sarasotaorchestra.org/festival. Patrons can reach the Box Office at: (941) 953-3434.

About the Sarasota Orchestra:
After completing an international search, in 2013, the Sarasota Orchestra announced the appointment of Anu Tali as the fifth Music Director in the Orchestra’s 65 year history. Tali, a native of Estonia, will conduct Masterworks performances and serve as the Music Director for the organization. Each year the 80-member Orchestra performs more than 100 classical, pops and family concerts, and thrives as the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida. The Sarasota Music Festival is a program of the Sarasota Orchestra. For more information about the Sarasota Orchestra please visit http://www.SarasotaOrchestra.org. Come as you are. Leave different.

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Rebecca Bute
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