Artist Series Concerts Of Sarsota Announces 2020-21 25th Anniversary Season

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Artist Series Concerts Of Sarsota Announces 2020-21 25th Anniversary Season

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has announces its 2020-21 25th Anniversary Season.

The silver anniversary lineup includes more of the innovative and outstanding young talents that are the bright future of classical music, as well as the return of favorite artists from seasons past.

Highlights include performances by the first classical accordionist and the first classical saxophonist to make the roster of Young Concert Artists in its 59-year history; cellist Alexander Hersh, a winner at Artist Series Concerts' 2018 National String Competition, with his ensemble NEXUS Chamber Music Chicago; the return of soprano Kendra Colton, who performed during Artist Series Concerts' very first season back in 1997; and the "Ultimate Piano Grand," the fifth edition of the sell-out keyboard extravaganza, this time with nine pianists tickling the ivories of five Steinway concert grand pianos on one stage.

(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota celebrates its 25th season of bringing a variety of exceptional musical experiences to the region with an exciting array of both established and emerging classical, jazz and pops artists. From its beginnings in 1996 as a series of informal musical soirées hosted in the living room of co-founders Lee and Jerry Ross, Artist Series Concerts has blossomed over the past two-and-a-half decades into a vital and influential presence on the area's rich cultural scene. The 25th season, which runs from September 2020 through May 2021, features 25 performances at venues throughout Sarasota and Venice. The programs cover Artist Series Concerts' trademark range of diverse musical offerings, including classical recitals, pops, jazz and world music, chamber soirées, and luncheon and dinner concerts.

While the pandemic has made planning for next season a bit of a logistical roller coaster ride, Artist Series Concerts is still looking forward to a stellar 2020-21 season. "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," says Marcy Miller, executive director of Artist Series Concerts. "We have a spectacular group of artists lined up and, it feels fantastic to reach a quarter century of presenting extraordinary live music."

"Our 25 planned performances offer something for everyone," adds Dr. Joseph Holt, director of artist programs. "Vocal music lovers, chamber-music lovers and piano lovers are in for a treat this 25th anniversary season. But what we're most excited about is the long roster of amazing young emerging artists, many of them past Artist Series Concerts competition winners, who will be part of this special season. They truly embody our mission of promoting excellence in live musical performance by presenting acknowledged stars of the next generation."

Classical highlights include performances by a coterie of musicians from Young Concert Artists: the fresh and compelling Omer Quartet, with accordion virtuoso Hanzhi Wang (October 11); classical saxophonist Steven Banks, already renowned for his "glowing mahogany tone" and "breathtaking" performances" (January 31); flutist Anthony Trionfo, praised as a "musician of prodigious talent and scintillating personality," with another rising young star, pianist Albert Cano Smit (March 14); from Concert Artists Guild comes the bold, new and fiercely creative Merz Trio, performing with violist Jordan Bak who has been hailed by critics as "as star in the making" (February 14); NEXUS Chamber Music Chicago with violinist Brian Hong, violist Zoë Martin-Droike and a past Artist Series National String Competition winner, cellist Alexander Hersh, (November 15); a sparkling holiday concert with Frisson, the eight-piece ensemble comprised of the best and brightest of classical music's rising stars (December 13); Japanese piano virtuoso Harumi Hanafusa, performing a solo recital followed by a second, duo piano performance with her sister Mami Hanafusa (January 9 and 10); Olga Kern International Piano Competition winner Antonio Chen Guang, celebrating the lighter side of Beethoven with Turkish March and Rage Over a Lost Penny (February 28); and a "homecoming" performance by soprano Kendra Colton, who was part of Artist Series Concert's very first season back in 1997.

On the jazz and pops side, vocalist Anthony Nunziata returns just in time for a Valentine's Day tribute with "Amore - The Greatest Love Songs" (February 10); jazz piano wizard Bill Buchman and his Art of Jazz Quintet take a musical journey through the world-wide roots of jazz (March 10); and the "grand finale," the fifth edition of the five-piano sensation, Piano Grand V: The Ultimate Piano Grand (May 8).

The season also features ample offerings of luncheon and dinner concerts, pre-concert receptions, and of course, the popular Soirée Series performances held at the lovely Fischer-Weisenborne residence; an especially fitting nod to the origins, 25 years ago, of Artist Series Concerts.

The organization is also looking forward to the next edition of the Suncoast Music Scholarships as well as ongoing school and community outreach programs.

Holt also acknowledges that with the almost daily developments happening with the ongoing pandemic, some further changes might be in the cards. "We will keep our patrons and supporters apprised as soon as possible of any changes - we've joked that 'nimble' is going to be the operative word for us and for many other organizations this season, and we're ready. It's all a part of keeping the music playing because after all, as Plato said: 'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.'"

Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota's 2020-2021 season will be available soon by mail and by phone. Details about the upcoming season are online at For more information, call 941-306-1202, M - F, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. or email

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