Our 50th Year


Adelaide Boedecker - soprano

A rising star in the opera world, Adelaide Boedecker has appeared with the Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Sarasota Opera companies. A native of Sarasota, she frequently performs concerts with leading orchestras around the country.


Joshua Horne - French Horn

Joshua is co-principal horn with the Sarasota Orchestra and principal horn of the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia. A native of Texas, Joshua has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Charlotte Symphony.


Jonathan Gentry - oboe

Jonathan Gentry joined the Sarasota Orchestra as principal oboe in the fall of 2019. Previously, he was principal oboe of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and has also performed with the Fort Worth, San Diego, and San Antonio Symphonies.


Kevin Short - bass-baritone

Versatile American bass-baritone Kevin Short is thrilling audiences around the globe, including major roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Sarasota Opera Company, Spoleto Opera Festival, and Santa Fe Opera. He is also featured soloist with major orchestras around the world.


Steven Banks and Xak Bjerken - saxophone and piano

Steven Banks is recognized for his "glowing mahogany tone" an"breathtaking" performances. He is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 60-year history. He is joined by Xak Bjerken, pianist and Professor of Music at Cornell University.


Olga Kern - piano with Vladislav Kern, piano

Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation's great pianists. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years. Her son, Vladislav, also a pianist, joins her for this Music Monday appearance.


Lisa Chavez - mezzo-soprano

Lisa Chavez was born to play Carmen, equipped with the classic Carmen look, vocal power and attitude.” She is also hailed for “her buttery, richly colored Mezzo” by Opera News. She has appeared throughout the country and is a Sarasota Opera favorite, most recently appearing in Verdi's Nabucco.


Jennifer and Christopher Takeda - violins

One of the musical power couples in the Sarasota area. A native of North Carolina, violinist Jennifer Best Takeda currently serves as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Sarasota Orchestra, as well as violinist of the resident Sarasota Piano Quartet. Prior to joining the Sarasota Orchestra in 2005, Jennifer served as a Concertmaster of the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Christopher Takeda, a native of Albuquerque, NM was appointed to the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Sarasota Orchestra in the 2002-03 season. Since 2005, he has also held a position performing with the Santa Fe Opera. Both are avid chamber music performers.


Dick Hyman and Bobby White - piano and tenor

Legendary pianist Dick Hyman was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2017. Over many decades, his has enjoyed a busy musical career that got underway in the early 50s, functioning as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. In his lifelong singing career, the American tenor Robert White has sung for five U.S. Presidents, Britain's Queen Mother and Prince Charles, Monaco's Royal Family, and Pope John Paul II. He is a member of the vocal faculty at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.


Peter and Kara Dugan - piano and mezzo-soprano

Peter is the newly named host of NPR's From the Top and his wife, Kara, has been praised by the NY Times as an exciting singer with 'vocal warmth and rich character.' The husband and wife duo perform together at festivals throughout the United States and both hold bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music.


Tetiana Shafran - piano

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1989, Tetiana Shafran started playing piano at the age of three. She is the 2019 winner of the Second Triennial Olga Kern International Piano Competition and prizewinner of approximately 18 other international piano competitions. She has also performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls of Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia.


Maria Wirries - singer

Maria Wirries is a graduate from the Musical Theatre program at Penn State University and has spent the last two years, after a summer in the Broadway company, on the First National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen. She was born in Haiti and raised in southwest Florida. She has performed with the Sarasota Orchestra in their Masterworks and Pops Concert Series, the Sarasota Orchestra Jazz Ensemble, at the Players Theater, and at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.