Sarasota Orchestra takes look back

Revisits its first concert and music of the 1960s in two different productions

October 10, 2013 

John Miller, principal bass and Margot Zarzycka, violin, will perform in the Sarasota Orchestra's "Mad Men." PUBLICITY PHOTO

The Sarasota Orchestra traces its beginnings to 1949 when it presented its first concert under its original name, the Florida West Coast Symphony.

To kick off its 2013-14 season, the orchestra is re-creating that first concert, a program of short classical pieces plus Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night," which at the time was only 12 years old.

This time around, the concert's called "Then and Now," and it's set for Saturday.

Christopher Confessore, music director of the Brevard Symphony, conducts Nicolai's "Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor," Schubert's "Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (Unfinished)," Saint-Saens' "Danse bacchanale" from "Samson and Delilah," Berlioz' "Hungarian March" from "La Damnation de Faust" (Op. 24), Grieg's "Last Spring" from "Two Elegiac Melodies for String Orchestra," (Op. 34), J. Strauss Jr.'s "Perpetuum mobile," (Op. 257) and Gleiere's "Russian Sailor's Dance" from "The Red Poppy," plus the Porter song.

The orchestra has another concert with nostalgic overtones coming up, too. The "Mad Men" concert, scheduled for Oct. 16-19, features popular music from the 1960s, with selections from Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, and some of the era's best Broadway songwriters. Dirk Meyer conducts.

Details: "Then and Now" Oct. 12, "Mad Men" Oct. 16-19, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 8 p.m. Oct. 12 and 19, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and 18, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. Tickets: $24-$49. Information: 941-487-2701,

-- Marty Clear

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