Musical Musings

A Hilarious History: the Kinship of Classical Music and Classic Cartoons

“There’s an old joke that if you stand on a street corner of any great American city and sing the first few bars of Wagner’s ‘Ride of The Valkyries’ to passersby, 90% of the world will find the mantra ‘Kill da wabbit’ popping into their heads.” In this exclusive blog for Sarasota Orchestra, conductor George Daugherty delves into the indelible association Looney Tunes with Wagner—and Rossini, Liszt, J. Strauss, von Suppé, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Donizetti, and any other number of golden age composers. 

Fernando Traba Remembers the Reinerts and an Extraordinary Legacy

The personalities that make up the Sarasota Orchestra are truly extraordinary. Each musician is unique as an artist and contributor to our great community. Likewise, the personal connections that our musicians form with patrons are equally unique and special. Throughout the years, we have heard many beautiful stories of friendships that have formed both on and off the stage. This is one such story about Sarasota Orchestra's principal bassoon Fernando Traba, and the patrons who left a lasting impact on his life and his playing. Stories like this illustrate how music is so much more than an art form. It brings people together in a way that nothing else can.

Reed Tucker, Alum of Sarasota Youth Orchestras, Joins Sarasota Orchestra Bass Section

The orchestral music community is small and close-knit. To create a level playing field and ensure fairness, orchestra auditions occur behind a curtain. When Sarasota Orchestra’s most recent auditions for a section bassist ended, Principal Bass John Miller was overjoyed to find out the winning performance had been rendered by his former student, Reed Tucker.

Read the Press about Our 2019/2020 Masterworks Conductors

None of our 2019/2020 Masterworks season's seven visitors are strangers to the spotlight, and all have earned tremendous acclaim for their work on the podium. Read on to find out what journalists and classical music critics are saying about our amazing Masterworks guest conductors! And don't forget: There's still time to subscribe to the series and save up to 35% off Masterworks single ticket prices. 

Sarasota Orchestra Musicians Look forward to a Season Celebrating Beethoven

As orchestras everywhere honor the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in their 2019-2020 seasons, Sarasota Orchestra has infused this year’s concert series with the composer’s ingenious musical creations. Audiences will experience the might of his symphonies and piano concertos in the Orchestra’s Masterworks and Discover Beethoven series, as well as the innovative brilliance of his chamber works in Chamber Soirees. Even in the Orchestra’s crowd-pleasing Pops and Great Escapes, concert-goers will feel the sense of eternal hope that defines Beethoven’s staying power.

Meet Devin Moore

Festival Fellows Share Favorite Experiences and Memorable Moments of SMF 2019

As the 2019 Sarasota Music Festival draws to a close on Saturday, the four Fellows of this year’s oboe studio share their most treasured experiences from their time at the Festival. Read on to hear about their memorable Festival moments and how these talented young women plan to spend the rest of their summer.

Faculty + Fellow Perspectives: On Beethoven’s “Party Music” and More

Beethoven looms larger than life in the collective imagination—take it from the title of Saturday’s concert, Three Titans, which features an early Beethoven work, the Octet in E-flat Major for winds. We spoke with two members of the octet who prepare to share the work with Festival audiences this week: oboe faculty Nancy Ambrose King and horn Fellow Austin Ruff.

Jeffrey Kahane Extends Festival Leadership Contract

The Sarasota Orchestra today announced that Jeffrey Kahane signed a three-year contract renewal as Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival. Kahane was also appointed as Artistic Advisor for Sarasota Orchestra while a search is underway for a new music director.

Faculty + Fellow Perspectives: Tackling the String-Wind Decet

The theme of this week’s Festival Concert on Friday, June 14, centers around large-ensemble chamber works. The program opens aptly with Dixtuor by Jean Françaix, a prolific composer of the 20th century. Dixtour is the French word for the decet—an ensemble of 10 musicians! Françaix’s example masterfully balances a wind quintet against a string quintet. Between their first and second rehearsals of this remarkable work, we sat down with flutist and longtime Festival faculty artist Carol Wincenc and viola Fellow Mark Liu to talk about the process of bringing 10 different instruments together in perfect harmony.

Four Violin Fellows to Ignite Vivaldi’s “Harmonic Inspiration” on Saturday Symphony

This weekend’s Saturday Symphony holds a rare treat for Festival fans as four Fellows team up on the solo violin parts of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in B Minor from L’Estro Armonico (which translates rather poetically to “the harmonic inspiration”). We were lucky enough to gather all four of them together to chat about festival life, as well as the particular challenges and sheer fun coming up for them in Saturday’s concert. 

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Gifts to the Annual Fund ensure that Sarasota Orchestra can continue to share the gift of music with our community through concerts, education and outreach programs. Please join us by making a donation today. Together, we can keep the music playing, now and always.

Don't Miss These
Special Events

Deepen your connection and make great memories with Sarasota Orchestra at these delightful happenings.


Special Concert and Gala featuring Yo‌-‌Yo Ma
March 2, 2023

Masterworks Dinner
March 28, 2023

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