Sarasota News Events:
The Sarasota Chamber Orchestra Announces New, Expanded Season
The Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota proudly announces its seventh season with an expanded number of concerts and a prestigious line-up of guest artists. The season will include three orchestral concerts at First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota and two recitals at St. Boniface Episcopal Church on Siesta Key. In addition, the Chamber Orchestra will perform a side-by-side concert with the Venice High School Orchestra in the Venice Performing Arts Center.
The Chamber Orchestra was established by conductor Robert Vodnoy and violinist Laurie Vodnoy-Wright in 2017, aspiring to fill the niche of the chamber orchestra repertoire. “We’re delighted that the orchestra has grown so rapidly in the six years since we started,” Vodnoy said. “We have wonderful musicians in the ensemble and a loyal and growing audience. It’s so rewarding to be able to perform so many and such diverse programs. To meet the increasing financial and production demands, we have expanded the Board of Directors to bring more business acumen and broader roots in the community. We’re proud to welcome Peter Blanton, Jacob George, and Harvey Cohen to the Board of Directors.”
In November, Vodnoy will be returning to Florida from northwest Indiana, where he just completed his 24th season with the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra.
Orchestra Series: First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota
Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 7:30 pm — Holiday Gems
Giuseppina Ciarla (harp) and Rafael Ramirez (mandolin)
The chamber orchestra’s season opens with its annual holiday concert featuring music by Debussy, Vivaldi, Mahler, and Tchaikovsky, plus holiday favorites. Harpist Giuseppina Ciarla and mandolinist Rafael Ramirez are the soloists.
Italian-born Giuseppina Ciarla is a classical musician and a groundbreaking crossover performer combining her artistry of harp and voice. Principal harpist with the Sarasota Opera since 2002, Giuseppina Ciarla performs in the US and in Italy.
Beginning his viola studies at an early age in Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez became involved in classical music with “el Movimiento Simon Bolivar” in 1992. His honors include First Prize winner of the chamber music competition at Florida International University (2006 and 2007).
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 7:30 pm — Celebrating Chopin
Matthew Graybil, piano
The Chamber Orchestra commemorates the 175th anniversary of the death of Frédéric Chopin with a performance of his romantic Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, arranged for piano and string orchestra with prize-winning pianist Matthew Graybil. The program opens with Joseph Bologne Chevalier Saint Georges’ Symphony Concertante in G Major, and includes American composer Samuel Adler’s Concertino No. 3.
Praised by The New Yorker as an “exceptional young artist” and by the Sarasota
Herald-Tribune as a “major talent,” American pianist Matthew Graybil has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. He is a prize winner in numerous national and international competitions.
Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7:30 pm —Mozart + Haydn
George Maxman, violin
The season concludes with the music of Mozart and Haydn. Internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso George Maxman performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major (Turkish). The program opens with the overture from Haydn’s comic opera “Fidelta Premiata” and concludes with his Symphony No. 83 (The Hen).
George Maxman was born in Moscow, Russia. He attended the Moscow Conservatory, studying violin with David Oistrakh and composition with Dmitri Kabalevsky. He emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1980 and has built an international career, with teaching and performing in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth symphonies), the United States (Houston, Boston symphonies), Canada (Symphony Nova Scotia), and China (Shanghai Conservatory Symphony Orchestra as conductor).
Recital Series: St. Boniface Episcopal Church on Siesta Key
Wednesday, January 17, 7:30pm — Unsung Heroes: Viola and Mandolin
Rafael Ramirez, viola/mandolin, Tina Giorgio, piano
The debut concert of the new recital series features music written for two marvelous, unsung heroes: the richly timbered voice of the viola and the scintillating sound of the mandolin. The program features virtuoso violist/mandolinist Rafael Ramirez and Steinway Ambassador Tina Giorgio. This extraordinary program includes viola and mandolin music by Bruch, Schubert, Bartok, Bach, Handel, and Beethoven.
Rafael Ramirez is Principal Violist with the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota, Venice Symphony, Lakeland Symphony, and plays viola and mandolin with the Sarasota Opera. Ramirez holds an Artist Diploma and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Miami. As a music educator, Dr. Ramirez has created Music Educational Tools® didactic tools to aid string performers to acquire the necessary skills to develop technique.
Pianist Tina Giorgio is a Steinway Company Ambassador. Giorgio began her studies with Madame Genia Robinor and is a graduate of the Manhattan Conservatory of Music. Giorgio holds a diploma from the Orazio Frugoni Institute in Arezzo, and has performed in Festivals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Iceland, and Italy. She was recently inducted into the Steinway Hall of Fame.
Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 7:30pm — Beethoven the Transcendent:
Sonatas for Cello and Piano
Scott Kluksdahl, cello, Grigorios Zamparas, piano
Beethoven composed five cello sonatas over the course of his creative life. This deeply rewarding program includes the youthful Sonata opus 5 no. 2, and the opus 102 sonatas which contain many features typical of the master’s late period, exploring unconventional form, rich emotional expression, and complex exploration of fugue.
Cellist Scott Kluksdahl has performed for nearly four decades as chamber musician, recitalist and soloist in the United States, Europe, Israel, and Central and South America. Strings Magazine has identified Scott Kluksdahl as “a simply superb cellist, playing with consummate technical ease, a beautiful sound, total conviction, authority and dedication to the music.”
Kluksdahl has made acclaimed recordings on the CRI, Centaur, Triton, Pierian, Nimbus, Crystal, and Albany labels. Scott Kluksdahl serves as Professor of Cello at the University of South Florida.
Pianist Grigorios Zamparas has received critical acclaim for his versatile performing career as recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician in Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, former Yugoslavia, Austria, Russia, Brazil, South Korea and the US. The Newport Daily News called him “…sensational…” He is a Professor of Music and the head of the piano program at The University of Tampa. He has recorded seven albums for Centaur Records.
Venice Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 7:00pm — Making Music Together, II
Venice High School Orchestra, Christopher Riley, conductor
The Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota joins forces with the Venice High School Orchestra for the second year in a row to present Making Music Together. The Chamber Orchestra, under Vodnoy’s direction, will perform Baroque masterpieces by Vivaldi and Marcello, American composer Adolphus Hailstork, and the Trepak from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. A gifted performer and dedicated teacher, Chistopher Riley is principal bass of the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota and the Venice Symphony. The VHSO will perform several works under Christopher Riley and then join forces with the Chamber Orchestra for the grand finale of the concert. The concert is free to the public.
How to Buy Tickets
Tickets for Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota concerts range from $30-39 and can be purchased online on the orchestra’s website or at the box office, one hour before concert time. Student prices are available at only $5.00. The orchestra concerts can be purchased as a series at a 10% discount. For more information, visit the orchestra’s website at www.chamberorchestrasarasota.org, or call 219-928-8665.