Our 50th Year

Mission and History
Board of Directors
A Message From The President

Welcome to the 50th season of SILL! From a small startup operation years ago, SILL now operates five venues (in normal times) and last year attracted more than 45,000 attendees.

Due to the coronavirus, our 2021 season will be conducted virtually. It will be offered free to everyone, our way of saying thank you for 50 years of wonderful subscriber participation. We will share the details of how to access the programs shortly. We suffered a big loss, over the summer, with the death of our beloved Edward Alley. Ed had taken over the music program from his wife, June LeBell and had done a fantastic job of recruiting and interviewing our wonderful musicians. Our 2021 season is dedicated to Ed who will be greatly missed by all of us. The music program will now be led by the very talented Joseph Holt who will continue the work of June and Ed.

Our SILL Music Monday program in 2021 will feature some truly remarkable musicians. Olga Kern, widely viewed as the best pianist in the world, will be joined by her son Vladislav Kern and together they will perform some wonderful music. Legendary jazz pianist Dick Hyman will team up with tenor Robert White in what I think will be a very exciting offering. Other performers include saxophone player Steven Banks, pianist Tetiana Shafran and soprano Adelaide Boedecker.

Our Global Issues program committee, chaired by Bob Deutsch, has booked some impressive speakers for 2021. Ambassador Dennis Ross will return to explore the current state of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Admiral Gary Roughhead will discuss our evolving military. Jeremy Suri will address presidential leadership in crisis while Susan Spaulding , former Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure at the Department of Homeland Security, will discuss the US under electronic siege. Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx, will explore lessons from the global pandemic. Ambassador Robert Ford will be talking about Syria and the Kurds. Our very popular SILL speakers Martin Walker, Baroness Margaret Jay, Dr. Moshen Milani, and Dr. Bob Barylski will return to illuminate their areas of expertise.

We hope you will join us for our 2021 season. Please invite your friends even if they don't live in Sarasota. We are looking forward to our season and hope you will join us to expand your horizons in both Music and Global Issues. Above all, please stay safe and healthy.

Beth Cotner