Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents “Dueling Pianists” with Rich and Stacy Ridenour
February 6 • Plantation Golf & Country Club
Artist Series Concerts expands its Lunch & Listen concert series to Venice with the piano wizardry of this captivating duo.
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota launches its inaugural Venice “Lunch & Listen” series with “Dueling Pianists,” a piano four-hands performance by Rich and Stacy Ridenour. The duo brings new spark to such popular favorites as “Star Spangled Banner,” Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma,” Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” an abridged version of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and more, Tuesday, February 6, at 11:00 a.m., with lunch to follow at 12:15 p.m., at Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Boulevard, Venice. Tickets are $47.50, which includes lunch. For tickets and more information, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202 (Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.).
Critics hail pianist Rich Ridenour as astoundingly versatile, masterfully musical and wickedly funny. A Steinway Artist, Ridenour established his career performing his own musical arrangements of classical masterworks and today’s popular piano favorites. With hundreds of engagements to his credit, Ridenour has performed with major orchestras across the country and has collaborated with such renowned performers as Martin Short, Carol Lawrence, Robert Guillaume, Smokey Robinson, Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), Larry Gatlin, David Ogden Stiers, Jim Nabors, Richard Hayman and Jennifer Holiday. Ridenour was also a featured pianist in Artist Series Concerts’ hit concert “Piano Grand!”
A trained concert pianist and successful arts administrator, Stacy Ridenour met her future husband, Rich, when both were students at the University of Michigan. Ms. Ridenour went on to pursue a career in music administration but has never abandoned her performance roots, frequently taking time out from her busy schedule as director of development for the Sarasota Opera to perform popular duo and four-hands piano concerts with her husband, including an appearance in last season’s hit, “Piano Grand!”
“Rich and Stacy Ridenour are skilled and engaging performers who never fail to bring the house down,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “I can’t think of a better act to kick off our new Lunch & Listen series in Venice.”
2017-2018 22nd Season at a Glance
(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)
- Young Concert Artists International: Narek Arutyunian, clarinet and Steven Beck, piano. Young Concert Artists clarinetist Narek Arutyunian is an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity” (Washington Post). Arutyunian is joined by pianist Steven Beck for a program of works by Bernstein, Poulenc and Verdi. March 4, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota.
Pops and Special Performances
(Check individual listings for dates, times and venue.)
- “The King of Ragtime Writers: Scott Joplin” with Richard Dowling, piano. Concert pianist Richard Dowling appears regularly across the United States in solo recitals, at jazz/ragtime festivals, at chamber music concerts, and as a guest soloist in concerto performances with orchestras. Audiences and critics have acclaimed him for his elegant and exciting style of playing. In these two concerts, each featuring a separate program, Dowling celebrates Joplin’s life and works—including ragtime and waltzes—commemorating the 150th anniversary of his birth. February 10, 7:30 p.m. and February 11, 3:00 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- Global Jazz & Exotic Chamber Music with Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “a perfect cocktail of chamber, jazz, classical, and world music,” Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica references the exotica of composers ranging from Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich to George Gershwin, Martin Denny, and John Adams, creating global jazz and exotic chamber music laced with world-music flavors sourced from Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. February 25, 3:00 p.m., Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
- “The Celluloid Guitar” with guitar virtuosos the Katona Twins: Critically acclaimed by the Daily Telegraph as “the classical world’s best-known guitar duo,” brothers Peter and Zoltán Katona move effortlessly between classical repertoires and more popular musical genres. In this concert, they perform a movie-themed repertoire that includes a celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, as well as music from “Pink Panther,” “The Deer Hunter,” and “Game of Thrones.” February 18, 3:00 p.m., at First Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota
- “From Broadway to Hollywood” with pianist Richard Glazier. An evening of tunes that found earlier fame on Broadway and later made it to the movies, including “Send in the Clowns,” “People,” “One,” and medleys from “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “My Fair Lady.” Glazier shares his lifetime love of each song and its origin with fascinating backstage stories and rare film clips. Mr. Glazier’s shows have won multiple awards, including four Telly Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment. He has been featured on the PBS NewsHour and has produced six CDs for Centaur Records. March 17, 7:30 p.m. and March 18, 3:00 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- “Broadway Our Way:” Carnegie Hall headliners Will and Anthony Nunziata bring their soaring tenor voices to “Broadway Our Way.” This high-energy concert includes such hits as “Somewhere,” “The Impossible Dream,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Feeling Good,” “New York State of Mind,” and many more. March 25, 3:00 p.m., at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice.
- “James Bond in Cello Case” featuring the Rastrelli Cello Quartet. A singularly unique ensemble, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet has been thrilling audiences with their renderings of non-traditional programming since 2002. Founder and artistic director Kira Kraftzoff formed the ensemble with a mission to perform music “between the genres.” The quartet applies its magic to music from such iconic James Bond soundtracks as “Casino Royale,” “Moonraker,” “Diamonds are Forever,” “Live and Let Die,” “From Russia with Love,” “A View to a Kill,” and more. April 28, 7:30 p.m. and April 29, 3:00 p.m., at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
- “Showtime! Music from the Movies” features soloists Jennifer Sheehan, soprano, and Tad Czyzwewski, tenor, with the Choral Artists of Sarasota. The concert showcases favorite musical hits from the big screen, including Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald love duets, a tribute to Judy Garland and Mario Lanza and a medley of hits from classic Hollywood musicals. Complete with film clips, this Mother’s Day concert evokes memories of magical moments from Hollywood. May 13, 3:00 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.
- “Hurray for the Red, White & Blue” featuring the patriotic sounds of the Capital Brass Quintet, direct from Washington DC, with baritone Bob McDonald. May 19, 7:30 p.m. and May 20, 3:00 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
Lunch & Listen: Sarasota
One-hour concerts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota.
- “Ring Them Bells,” featuring the hand bell artistry of Ring Sarasota. The area’s premier handbell ensemble performs “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Fly me to the Moon,” “Hey Jude” and more. It’s everything you’d never expect to hear from a handbell ensemble and then some. March 1.
- “Principally Brahms:” Pianist Joseph Holt, Wolf Trap Brahms award winner, performs with four first chair musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra: Joshua Horne, French horn, Daniel Jordan, violin, Natalie Helm, cello, and Bharat Chandra, clarinet. The program includes Brahms Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano Brahms Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano. March 22.
Lunch & Listen: Venice
One-hour concerts at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Boulevard, Venice.
- “Heavenly Duets,” with Jenny-Kim Godfrey, soprano, Robyn Rocklein, mezzo-soprano and Joseph Holt, piano. Hailed as “a fearless and confident performer with a beautiful high voice with excellent flexibility,” coloratura soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey is quickly gaining notoriety for her “nightingale tone” and as an “invigorating stage animal and gifted recitalist. Mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein is known for her vibrant and flexible zwischen-fach voice and has appeared as a soloist in England, Austria, Germany, and throughout the USA. Pianist Joseph Holt joins them in a program of works tailor-made to showcase the entrancing voices of this duo. March 13.
Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. and Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. At the Fischer/Wisenborne residence. Call for more information and address.
- “From Cuba to Broadway” with soprano Sandra Lopez and pianist Paul Posnak: Internationally acclaimed soprano Sandra Lopez joins renowned pianist, recording artist and scholar Paul Posnak, performing Broadway favorites and works by renowned Cuban composer Ernesto Recuona. The program also includes a sampling of Posnak’s transcriptions of the original bravura improvisations of George Gershwin and Thomas “Fats” Waller. April 1 and 2.
Other special events
- Artist Series Concerts Friends presents its annual fundraiser in support of Artist Series Concerts’ competitions, as well as educational/community outreach programs. The event nets more than $70,000 annually. The 2017 ASC Friends’ gala is March 7 at Michael’s On East.
- Artist Series Concerts National Competition for Strings will feature young musicians and takes place on April 7. The competition rotates each year between singers, pianists, and string instrument players. From its inception in 2007 through 2015, Artist Series Concerts’ statewide young musician’s competition has come to be one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida, awarding more than $275,000 to nearly 80 talented young musicians. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursued successful music careers. In 2016, the competition was opened to young musicians nationwide and awarded $26,000 to seven winners.
- The Suncoast Music Scholarships, a new annual collaborative competition conducted and funded by Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Music Club, awards another $20,000 to young musicians from high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The SMS auditions are scheduled for April 28.
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as Artist Series of Sarasota. The non-profit organization presents world-class musical experiences in a diverse range of genres, including classical, cabaret, pop, Broadway, orchestral and opera. A central focus of Artist Series Concerts’ mission is to spark a lifelong love of the musical arts by exposing young people to interactive music experiences. It accomplishes this through its performance-based outreach programs in area schools, creating unique learning opportunities for thousands of students and educators every year. In addition, Artist Series Concerts’ preeminent Sarasota National Music Scholarship Awards grants more than $20,000 annually to gifted, young musicians from around the country. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursued successful music careers. For more information, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org.