Artist Series Concerts Celebrates A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS With Ensemble Frisson

Their holiday program features such classical and classic holiday favorites as Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, and more.

By: Oct. 25, 2021

Artist Series Concerts Celebrates A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS With Ensemble Frisson

Artist Series Concerts welcomes the holidays with Frisson, a dynamic ensemble made up of seven young master musicians performing together under the artistic direction of oboist Thomas Gallant, himself an acclaimed artist who the New Yorker has hailed as "a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit."

Their holiday program features such classical and classic holiday favorites as Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, their own arrangements of selections from Handel's Messiah and Vivaldi's Gloria and more.

The concert takes place on December 5, 7 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Tickets are $20 - $55 and are available online at or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Based in New York City, Frisson features the best and brightest of classical music's rising stars, most of them recent graduates from such prestigious schools as the Manhattan School of Music, the Yale School of Music and the Juilliard School. "It is a delight to present a live holiday concert again, and especially with this dynamic ensemble," says Marcy Miller, executive director of Artist Series Concerts. "These young musicians are each brilliant in their own right and together under the artistic direction of Thomas Gallant, their musicianship and programming truly sparkle." Founded in 2016, Frisson has since become known for its diverse repertoire and inventive musical arrangements that showcase masterworks both rare and familiar. The ensemble performs in over 25 cities annually including appearances in such diverse venues as the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles and at the Bermuda Festival.

Collectively, the resumes of Frisson's seven young musicians (Adelya Nartadieva, violin; Caeli Smith, founder, associate director and viola; Julian Schwarz, cello; Sam Suggs, double bass; Ji Weon Ryu, flute; Bixby Kennedy, clarinet and Rémy Taghavi, bassoon) include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, the BBC Proms and the Mostly Mozart, Verbier and Yellow Barn festivals. Two of them hold principal positions with the Albany and New Haven Symphony Orchestras and four have been participants in Ensemble Connect, the highly selective two-year fellowship under the joint auspices of Juilliard, the Weill Institute and Carnegie Hall. Artistic director and virtuoso oboist Thomas Gallant is the unofficial 'father figure' of the group. Gallant himself achieved initial success at a very young age but then stopped performing and only in recent years has returned to the concert stage. Hailed by critics as "excellence personified" (Borrego Sun) and for his "full throttle technical brilliance and musicality," (Palm Beach Daily News), Gallant was a first prize winner of the Concert Artist Guild's International competition and has performed at major venues and festivals throughout the world, including Avery Fischer Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Spoleto Festival in Italy and as a guest soloist with the Kronos Quartet and Cuarteto Casals amongst others.

"It's not often one comes across an ensemble of stellar young musicians like these who shine individually but also play together so beautifully," says Daniel Jordan, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts. "Be it on violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, double bass or bassoon, theirs is an individual and collective brilliance that is not to be missed."

COVID-19 update: Artist Series Concerts' top priority remains the health and safety of its patrons, performers and staff. The organization is a partner in SafeArts Sarasota and will be following the policies and protocols set forth by this initiative. Protocols will continue to be revisited and revised and Artist Series Concerts will also continue to comply fully with the current requirements of each of its eight venues. Updates and the most recent COVID-19 statement can be seen at