Sarasota Concert Association presents

Bring a friend! Enjoy free concerts from accomplished, regional musicians who perform a vast array of musical styles. All concerts are at noon in David Cohen Hall, at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Space is limited and no reservations are accepted, so we invite you to come early.

WED | DEC 11, 2019 | NOON

Francisca Mendoza, violin, and Aza Torshkoeva, piano

Praised by The Washington Post as a “musician of uncommon individuality and power,” violinist Francisca Mendoza has distinguished herself internationally as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In 2015, she was invited by the Museo Del Violino Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy, to adjudicate its International Violin Making Competition, and to perform in a gala concert at the prestigious Teatro Ponchielli. Mendoza returned to Cremona in 2018 by invitation of Museo del Violino, the Stradivari Foundation and the Si-Yo Music Society Foundation to perform on a Stradivari violin from their collection for two special concerts at Teatro Arvedi. An active and dedicated teacher, Mendoza has served as a member of the faculty at the Amati Conservatory and the Amati Music Festival, and now holds a private studio in Sarasota, where she currently resides. Her performances have been broadcast on radio and television in The United States, South America, Spain, Mexico and Poland.

Aza Torshkoeva received her master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of South Florida. Tereshkova has performed in Manhattan with the Florida Orchestra, and was the winner of the Florida Orchestra Concerto Competition and the State of Florida Piano Competition. She has also won more than 30 Russian regional and international piano competitions and was a prize winner of the International Piano Competition in Finland. Torshkoeva was the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship and was included in the Encyclopedia of the Most Talented Children of Russia. She currently plays piano duos, piano with string instruments, piano trios, concertos with orchestras and gives solo performances. She was an accompanist and taught piano at the University of South Florida’s School of Music.

SCA Music Matinees presents Francisca Mendoza
Aza Torshkoeva, piano
Russell Andrade performs in Music Matinees
SCA Music Matinees presents Lee Dougherty Ross

WED | JAN 22, 2020 | NOON

Russell Andrade, tenor, and Lee Dougherty Ross, piano

Portuguese-American Russell C. Andrade is hailed as having a “liquid, clear as a bell tenor quality” to his voice and a “big beautiful tenor voice perfect for heroic roles.” He has participated in recitals and concerts as a leading operatic tenor with orchestras throughout the United States of America, Brazil and India. As a leading tenor, Andrade has performed the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Teatro Simon Bolivar in Sao Paolo, Brazil; the role of Don Jose in Carmen at Hubbard Hall in New York; and covered the role of Romeo in Romeo et Juliette with the St. Petersburg Opera in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was recently called back to cover Canio in I Pagliacci. As a recitalist, Andrade has performed all over the southeastern United States, in Firenze, Italy, in Dubai, U.A.E., and in Goa, India. He has performed with numerous orchestras and concert bands around the world. In addition to his singing, Andrade is also a composer, having written and produced three operas and several chamber pieces that have been performed around the United States.

Lee Dougherty debuted at age 12 as a piano soloist with the Norfolk Virginia Symphony Orchestra and later performed the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto with the Eastman Rochester Symphony. She graduated from Eastman School of Music with a double major in both piano and voice. Dougherty’s singing career included performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Broadway stage in New York, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and The Kennedy White House. Her years of performance in New York resulted in friendships with many musical artists and she and husband, Jerold Ross, began to host musical soirees in their home with principal players of the symphony, conductor, soloists, local artists, music teachers and friends. Since locating to Sarasota in 1996, she and her husband created what is now known as Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota.

TUES | FEB 11, 2020 | NOON

Harry Miedema and The Blue Heron Sextet

The Blue Heron Sextet has been entertaining audiences with its unusual front line of two trombones and tenor sax. The group includes many of Sarasota’s best jazz performers, including Tom Pizzi, Todd Jeffris, Don Parker, David DeWitt, Harry Miedema, and Bob Schaer. 

From 1976 to 1998, Harry Miedema was the musical director and saxophonist for the O’Jays, who received a gold record in 1991 for their album Emotionally Yours. He has made appearances on many TV programs, including NBC’s Today Show, Oprah, UPN’s Vibe, Sinbad’s Summer Jam, and the Showtime special, The Beach Boys. Miedema retired from the University of Indianapolis in 2014 as professor emeritus of Jazz Studies.

SCA presents Sarasota Opera Studio Artists

WED | MAR 18, 2020 | NOON

Sarasota Opera Studio Artists

The Sarasota Opera’s Studio Artists is a select and auditioned group of emerging artists who perform in mainstage productions by understudying principal roles and performing supporting roles, gaining valuable experience in the process. With dozens of roles needing understudies each season, the Studio Artists often step in to substitute for an ill or injured principal, sometimes with little notice. <new graf>The Studio Artists are also Sarasota Opera’s ambassadors of opera, bringing music to communities outside the Sarasota Opera House as part of Sarasota Opera’s ongoing mission to entertain, enrich, and educate our communities. They perform concerts of operatic and non-operatic works throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties for a variety of audiences who might not otherwise be able to attend a performance. These outreach initiatives are held in schools, retirement homes, community centers, at guild meetings, and other locations. Studio Artists not only return to Sarasota Opera as principal artists, many have also gone on to perform with major opera companies around the world, including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and the Paris Opera. The group’s director is Steven Aguiló-Arbues.

WED | APRIL 15, 2020 | NOON

Angela Galestro, flute, and Jonathan Smith, guitar

Flutist Angela Galestro received her bachelor’s degree in orchestral flute performance from Stetson University in 2012 and her master’s degree in flute performance from the University of Akron in 2014. She has played flute, piccolo, and alto flute professionally in symphony orchestras, opera orchestras, musical theatre, and chamber music ensembles around the country and the world. Galestro performs regularly with her husband, guitarist Jonathan Lee Smith, in the award-winning flute and guitar ensemble Galestro-Smith Duo, which offers a diverse repertoire of classical, jazz, Latin American and popular music. The duo recently won second place in The American Prize Chamber Music Competition.

Guitarist Jonathan Smith continues to earn recognition as a superior artist through his versatile performance skills, teaching style, and collaborations. Though trained as a classical guitarist, he is equally at home with jazz, pop, rock and fusion styles. Teaching music and developing his own pedagogical methods is at the forefront of Smith’s career. He manages and teaches at Glaize Avenue Studios, which holds a network of students well on their way to making music. Smith received a Master of Music degree from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Guitar Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory. 

David Cohen Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center