It's been almost a year since Anu Tali was appointed music director of the Sarasota Orchestra. And local classical music aficionados have known her work for even longer, thanks to her appearances as a guest conductor with the orchestra.
But the recently announced 2014-15 season is the first one that's been programmed under her leadership.
The Masterworks season leans heavily on the work of the familiar masters -- Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms are all represented in masterworks concerts -- but the orchestra will also perform works by some less familiar composers, including Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Tali, who was the co-founder and principal conductor of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra before she came to Sarasota, said her experiences as guest conductor with the orchestra made her decision to take the job here an easy one.
"What it takes to be an amazing orchestra is already there," she said. "They have as much passion for what they do in life as I do, and so we can do anything. This is like a good family. Each of them has something that makes them exquisite."
Tali will conduct five of the seven masterworks concert, including the first one in November.
Here's the entire Masterworks season schedule. All Masterworks concerts are performed at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota and the Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton.
Nov. 7- 9: "Framed." Anu Tali, conductor. Alexander Toradze, piano.
Shostakovich "Gadfly Suite," Prokofiev "Piano Concerto No. 3," Mussorgsky "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Dec. 5-7: "American Dream." Evans Haile, conductor and piano soloist.
Nelson "Savannah River Holiday," Tower "Sequoia," Copland "Lincoln Portrait," Barber "Adagio for Strings," Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue."
Jan. 9-11: "In Love." Anu Tali, conductor, Sergei Na
kariakov, trumpet and flugelhorn.
R. Strauss "Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration)," Tchaikovsky "Rococo Variations (Friday and Sunay only), Mozart "Concerto No. 4 for Horn" (Saturday only); Tchaikovsky "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture," Ravel "Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2."
Jan. 29-Feb. 1: "Enigma." Anu Tali, conductor Stephen Hough, piano.
Pärt "Cantus in Memoriam to Benjamin Britten," Beethoven "Piano Concerto No. 4," Elgar "Enigma Variations."
Feb. 20-22: "Fantastique." Carlos Prieto, conductor.
Beethoven "Symphony No. 4," Berlioz "Symphonie fantastique."
March 5-8: "Six." Anu Tali, conductor, Xavier de Maistre, harp.
Sibelius "The Wood Nymph," Gliere "Harp Concerto," Tchaikovsky "Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique)."
March 27-29: "Grande Finale." Anu Tali, Conductor, Benjamin Schmid, violin.
Rautavaara "Cantus Arcticus," Korngold "Violin Concerto in D Major," Brahms "Symphony No. 2."
Besides the masterworks concerts, the Sarasota also offers a pops series, a "Great Escapes" series of pops and light classics with commentary by the conductor, and a chamber series.
All the concerts in the Pops Series are conducted by principal pops conductor Andrew Lane at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Jan. 16-17: "Voices of the Movies," featuring guest vocalist Susan Egan.
March 19, 20: "The Music of Billy Joel & More," featuring guest vocalist Michael Cavanaugh.
April 10-11: "On Broadway," featuring guest vocalists Alli Mauzey and Kevin Kern.
The Great Escapes Series are held at Holley Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center:
Oct. 1-18: "Twilight Zone." Dirk Meyer, conductor
Dec. 10-13: "Jingle All the Way." Andrew Lane, Conductor.
Jan. 21-24: "Here, There & Everywhere." Christopher Confessore, conductor.
Feb. 1-14: "Be Mine." Christopher Confessore, Conductor.
March 11-14: "Rock Around the Clock." Dirk Meyer, conductor.
April 15-18: "Downton Abbey." Andrew Lane, Conductor.
The Chamber Series, also at Holley Hall includes:
Sept. 18: Flute
Nov. 16: String Quartet
Jan. 25: Trumpet
Feb. 5: Oboe
March 22: Cello
April 23: Violin
There's also a special event slated for Nov. 20-21 in Holley Hall. Tali will conduct a concert titled "Songs of Wars I Have Seen."
For more information, call 941-953-3434 or go to sarasotaorchestra.org.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.