Venice Monday Series

Music - Venice
Music - Sarasota
Advisory Board
Music Hosts


Pedja Muzijevic

Pedja Muzijevic must be one of our busiest pianists, since he has appeared with almost every major Music Festival and Symphony Orchestra in the world as soloist, in recital or chamber music. With stories and performance, Muzijevic takes time out of his busy concert schedule to open the 2019 Season of Music Mondays.


Kara Shay Thomson

Sarasota Opera audiences have raved about Kara Shay Thomsons's performances in "Tosca", "Fidelio" and "Tiefland." Kara has been making history with the Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera and New York City Opera among others, and will be singing the title role in Puccini's "Turandot" this season in Sarasota. She stops by Music Mondays to talk about her life as a "Traveling Diva" and sing for us as well.


Sarasota Young Voices

For over 10 years, the singers of Sarasota Young Voices, trained and conducted by their founder Genvieve Beauchamp have been enchanting audiences. In addition to Sarasota, this group of high school age singers has performed in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Vatican in Rome, Ireland, and a stirring tour of Greece this past summer. They are not to be missed.


George Nickson and Samantha Bennett

George Nickson is Principal Percussionist and Samantha Bennett is Principal 2nd Violin of the Sarasota Orchestra. Three years ago they founded "ensembleNEWsrq," devoted to the music of our time. In their second appearance on Music Mondays, George and Samantha will share their enthusiasm, skill, and delight in, as well as explain and introduce us to some new sounds in music.


Katherine Siochi

Katherine Siochi is principal harpist of the Sarasota Orchestra and an internationally acclaimed soloist. She has appeared twice on NPR's "From the Top," on WQXR's "Young Artist Showcase," and "Performance Today." Katherine is a frequent substitute with the New York Philharmonic in NY's Lincoln Center.


Mary Beth Peil

You may have seen Mary Beth Peil as Grams on "Dawson's Creek," or other roles on TV, or on one of her many appearances on Broadway. Her most recent role was the Dowager Empress in "Anastasia," where she received her second Tony nomination. But did you know Mary Beth also had quite a career in opera, singing with the Metropolitan Opera National Company and New York City Opera? Indeed she did, and will tell us about both careers and sing a few songs as we get acquainted.


Olga Kern

Olga Kern catapulted to fame with her Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the first woman to do so in over 30 years. She maintains an almost impossible schedule of recitals and concerto appearances worldwide, and has appeared in Sarasota with the Detroit Symphony and in solo recital. As gracious and lovely as she is talented, Olga is delighted to join us on Music Mondays.


Hanzhi Wang

Hanzhi Wang is a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Competition -their first accordionist - and is also a first for Music Mondays. Praised for her engaging stage presence and her musically and technically outstanding performances, she comes to Music Mondays closely following her New York debut in Carnegie Hall. Trained at the Beijing Conservatory and the Royal Danish Academy of Music, she will astound and capture all of us with her artistry.


Natalie Helm

Natalie Helm is principal cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, and also enjoys a dynamic career as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. A top prize winner in several international competitions, she has appeared throughout Italy and Japan, and premiered and commissioned many works. She is founder of Upward Notes, performing for prisoners, homeless shelters and dementia assisted living facilities throughout the United States.


Richard and Peter John Stoltzman

Richard Stoltzman has appeared as soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, in recitals, chamber music, and jazz and is a two-time GRAMMY award winner. Son Peter John Stoltzman is first and foremost a jazz pianist with appearances at Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and venues world wise. Now on a special joint tour, they are an unbeatable duo in both jazz and classics, bringing both to Music Mondays.


Fernando Traba

That smiling face behind all those wonderful bassoon sounds in the Sarasota Orchestra belongs to Fernando Traba, who is celebrating 25 years as principal bassoonist. A native of Mexico, he trained at the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School and is married to Betsy Traba, principal flutist. Fernando's hobbies are cooking and - of all things - auto mechanics!


Dr. Joseph Holt

Joseph Holt is pretty much a moving musical target in Sarasota, since in addition to being alternate host for Music Mondays in Venice, he is also Artistic Director of Choral Artists of Sarasota and Artist Series Concerts, Music Director of Faith Lutheran Church, a sought after soloist and chamber music pianist, and a darned good cook. If we can keep him in once place long enough, Joe will tell us about his career as pianist for the US Army Chorus and other facets of his interesting life.