This beloved series features performances and lively conversations with renowned and emerging performers and conductors. The series is held in Church of the Palms in Sarasota, and Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice.
(December 15, 2022) SILL’s popular Music Mondays series entitled “Musical Conversations with Great Performers” features informal performances and lively conversations with renowned performers of all disciplines. The 2023 Music Mondays, hosted by Dr. Joseph Holt, run January 9 through March 27. The morning sessions are at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road. Afternoon sessions are at 3 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto. Season subscriptions for the Music Mondays series are now available for purchase for $85 for 12 sessions. A Flex Pass for 12 tickets to be used at any SILL event throughout the season is $115. Single-day tickets are available at the door and are $10. A new “Invite a Friend” initiative offers a free ticket to all series subscribers. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit SillSarasota.org or call 941-365-6404.
Joseph Holt, the host of SILL’s Music Mondays series, says he’s thrilled to announce “an incredible season.” Highlights include Dean Shostak, who has dedicated his career to the revival of Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica. “If you’ve been to Williamsburg, you’ve likely heard Dean perform on glass instruments or if you’ve watched the Ken Burns documentary on Benjamin Franklin, you’ve definitely experienced the artistry of Dean Shostak,” notes Holt. “Composers of the 18th century were enchanted with glass instruments and Franklin invented the glass armonica, among other notable life achievements.”
Other Music Monday highlights include the Dover String Quartet, which is, according to Holt, “one of the country’s finest chamber ensembles. This appearance marks the first time we’ve highlighted an ensemble of musicians and we will revel in their lively conversation centered on the pinnacle of musical experiences found only in a string quartet.” Holt adds that the season also features three sessions devoted to singing artists—Danielle Talamantes and Kerry Wilkerson, Catherine Wethington, and J. Warren Mitchell. Piano lovers will be charmed by Sergei Kvitko, who is also a renowned recording engineer. At the intersection of music and social justice, Modern Marimba are two musicians who are passionate in their pursuit of cultural awareness. Jazz enthusiasts will enjoy the stylings of award-winning trombonist Conrad Herwig and the series will continue to highlight musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra with principal tubist Aaron Tindall. Stefan Jackiw, one of America’s foremost violinists, will captivate audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Rounding out the season Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, artistic director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance, will discuss the magic collaboration between music and dance and Troy Quinn, conductor of the Venice Symphony, takes us into the fascinating world of the jet-setting conductor.
The 2023 Music Mondays Series at a Glance
- January 9: Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY-nominated Dover Quartet has followed a meteoric trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. The Dover Quartet was formed at Curtis, and its name pays tribute to “Dover Beach” by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
- January 16: Soprano Danielle Talamantes earned a spot on the Metropolitan Opera roster in 2011 and has performed to great acclaim ever since with the company. She has also performed across the country with major opera houses and symphony orchestras, and is an accomplished recitalist, frequently partnering with her husband Kerry Wilkerson. A resonant singer with unique evenness in register, baritone Kerry Wilkerson has been described by the Washington Post as an “exuberant performer having the amber tone of a lyric baritone with the imposing weight demanded by Handel’s low-lying writing.” His solo concert career has taken him up and down the east coast performing renowned oratorios and recitals.
- January 23: The career of Sergei Kvitko is as diverse as it is successful. As a pianist, Kvitko has captured the attention of music critics with his “masterful, intuitive playing” and “’arresting artistry” and has made solo, chamber and orchestral appearances in the United States, Canada, and across Europe. What makes Kvitko’s career truly unique is that his artistic accomplishments are balanced by his reputation as an internationally sought-after classical recording engineer and producer of the highest caliber. As a composer, he has also garnered multiple awards.
- January 30: American conductor Troy Quinn is quickly establishing himself as one of his generation’s most versatile young artists. Lauded for his energetic, riveting, and yet sensitive conducting, Quinn is in his sixth season as music director of the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky. He is also the music director of the Venice Symphony and serves as music director of the Santa Monica Symphony.
- February 6: Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, a Cuban American artist and teacher with rhythm inextricably in her bones, found her voice through dance at an early age. As the founder and artistic director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance, she has the privilege of using those bones to create art that has been called “stunning and imaginative.” As artist-in-residence/dance instructor for over a decade at New College of Florida, Wilmott shares her love of dance as an influential member of Florida’s dance community. Leymis pioneered the Dance and Healing certificate at the University of Florida and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University.
- February 13: Dean Shostak has dedicated his career to the revival of Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica. He has toured the country appearing in concert halls, universities, music festivals and schools. Shostak has appeared on many national television programs, but his favorite was appearing as the final musical guest on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He is featured in Ken Burns’ new documentary, “Benjamin Franklin.”
- February 20: Modern Marimba, founded by Tihda Vongkoth and Steph Davis, has completed three seasons of concert programs that celebrate the true diversity of music while sustaining equitable partnerships and respecting its local community. Tihda Vongkoth has performed as a guest orchestral percussionist with Sarasota Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Opera Tampa, St. Pete Opera, and Jacksonville Symphony. Vongkoth is committed to music education as a tool for healing and liberation. Described as a ‘captivating storyteller” and “sensitive” player, Steph Davis is a Boston-based artist and marimbist obsessed with ancestry, critical consciousness, and self-actualization. Their work is created through a spiritual process of resting, feeling, thinking, reflecting, and reading. Through performance, Davis shares generations of Black stories, as well as their own thoughts about race, gender, and society.
- February 27: Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.
- March 6: Hailed by the Ruppiner Anzeiger as “The New, Young Pavarotti,” American tenor J. Warren Mitchell is an emerging star in the opera world with a voice that “can trumpet notes and make extraordinary throbbing sounds hearkening back to a golden age when gods like (Giuseppe) di Stefano still roamed.” (OperaWire.com). In addition to being a featured performer in concert with orchestras all over the US and abroad in Germany, Mitchell is a 2012 Midwest regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; a recipient of the Agnes Varis Career Encouragement Grant; a two-time winner of the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg International Opera Competition (Rheinsberg, Germany); and the 2019 grand finalist and award winner in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition in Los Angeles.
- March 13: New York-based jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig is considered one of the world’s top jazz performing and composing musicians. To date, he has released 20 recordings, and has contributed to nearly 200 other recording sessions with some of the most notable artists in jazz, including Miles Davis, Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, among many others.
- March 20: Catherine Wethington, rising star of a new generation of American coloratura sopranos, has dazzled audiences in North America and Europe with her “sumptuous coloratura and otherworldly pianissimi” (Herald Tribune). Opera Canada Magazine describes Ms. Wethington as having the “vocal power and dramatic finesse… [and] vocal fireworks” necessary for bel canto opera. In 2019, Wethington was a finalist and winner in the Concorso Lirico Internazionale Gigli-Franci, in Rome. She has been a featured soloist in concerts and recitals in North America and in Europe, including in a televised concert celebrating tenor Carlo Bergonzi.
- March 27: With his orchestral playing praised as “a rock-solid foundation” and his solo playing described as being “remarkable for both its solid power and its delicacy,” Aaron Tindall is the principal tubist of the Sarasota Orchestra and the associate professor of tuba and euphonium at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. In the summers he teaches at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC, where he also serves as principal tuba with the EMF Festival Orchestra. Tindall is a frequent soloist, guest artist/clinician, and orchestral tubist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has been featured at all of the International Tuba and Euphonium Conferences since 2006, performed in England with the National Champion Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band, and his solo playing has been heard on NPR’s “Performance Today” radio show.
About the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning
The Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) is a non-profit organization that offers an expert lecture series to provide information on and discussion of the arts and contemporary global issues. SILL is guided by an all-volunteer board committed to modest pricing and enhanced outreach. Visit www.sillsarasota.org.