Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents “Rejoicing in Ravel” With Baritone John Brancy

February 19  Faith Lutheran Church

This critically acclaimed baritone, who performs with leading opera companies around the world, teams up Peter Dugan on piano, Betsy Hudson Traba on flute, and Christopher Schnell on cello for a celebration of French arias, chansons and more.

“John Brancy is a vibrant, resonant presence—dashing and strong-voiced” The New York Times


(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents “Rejoicing in Ravel,” featuring rising vocal star John Brancy, baritone, with Peter Dugan, pianist, and flutist Betsy Hudson Traba and cellist Christopher Schnell. The program features works by Debussy, Schumann and Ravel, including Ravel’s “Chansons madécasses” (Madagascan Songs) cycle—three poems set to music for voice, flute, cello and piano. The concert is February 19, 3:00 p.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $30 (general seating), and are available at or by calling 941-306-1202. Student tickets, for $10, are available at the door. The recital is part of the French Festival of Music, a community-wide tribute to the music, composers and culture of France, February 12 through March 24. For a complete schedule of festival events visit

Joseph Holt, director of artistic programs for Artist Series Concerts, recalls John Brancy’s breakthrough performance last season as a featured artist of SILL’s Music Mondays. “This versatile baritone brought the crowd to its feet, and charmed the audience with his engaging personality, and his latest CD recording, ‘A Silent Night: A WWI Centenary Tribute in Song,’ with pianist Peter Dugan. This concert features selections by Maurice Ravel as part of the French Festival of Music, as well as Schumann’s incredibly expressive song cycle, “Poet’s Love” (Dichterliebe). Joining John and Peter are two of Sarasota’s finest musicians for a performance of ‘Chansons madécasses,’ a rarely heard chamber music treat of exotic color and emotional exuberance.”

Hailed as “a vibrant, resonant presence, dashing and strong-voiced” by The New York Times, John Brancy is an operatic baritone who performs with leading opera companies around the world. His 2016/17 season includes the title role in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” with the Florida Grand Opera, a Russian debut as Albert in a concert version of Massenet’s “Werther in Moscow,” and an Opera National de Lorraine debut. Brancy is considered to be one of his generation’s leading interpreters of song, “a young artist who’s got his teeth in it, and who loves the challenge of art song.” (Opera News)

Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan have been friends and collaborative musical partners since they met as students at the Juilliard School in 2007. The duo’s recent Kennedy center debut was a critical success with Dugan being hailed “a formidable soloist” by the Washington Post. Prizing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms. This season, Dugan debuts as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and recently performed duos with violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell.

Since 1995, Christopher Schnell has been assistant principal cello of the Sarasota Orchestra and cellist with the orchestra’s Sarasota Piano Quartet. He rounds out his busy schedule with additional performances with the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Key Chorale, Gloria Musicae and with summer stints as a cellist with the Santa Fe Opera. Schnell has also been a member of the Florida Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony, and has been a frequent substitute in the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Betsy Hudson Traba has served as principal flutist of the Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Wind Quintet since 1993. She is the former principal flutist of the Hofer Symphoniker in Hof, Germany, where she performed as a featured soloist on nine concerts during a two-year period. Hudson Traba is heard frequently as a soloist throughout Florida, including guest artist performances with the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Artist’s Series Concerts of Sarasota, Charlotte Symphony and in multiple performances with the Sarasota Orchestra. During the summer, she performs at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, under the direction of Marin Alsop.

Brancy and Dugan will also participate in SILL’s “Musical Conversations” with June LeBell, Monday, February 20, 10:30 a.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; and with Joseph Holt, the same day, 3 p.m., at Venice Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto, in Venice. A special $8 discount for Artist Series Concert ticket holders will be offered at the door with an ASC ticket stub. For details about the SILL events, visit