Two Hermitage Artist Retreat fellows will give special performances this month at the Historic Asolo Theater inside the Ringling Museum.
The program is part of the Art of Our Time programming at the theater and the artists are invited to work at the Hermitage Retreat in Englewood in exchange for being provided a living space there.
The Hermitage Series at the Historic Asolo Theater costs $5 for the general public and is free to museum members, students and those purchasing museum admittance on event days. Programs begin at 7 pm.
“We are starting the new year with some terrific programs by our artists,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, Hermitage executive director. “These artists work around the world performing their art or having it performed by others. We feel very fortunate to have them accept our invitation to come to Sarasota County to work basically uninterrupted and be inspired by our beachfront surroundings. In exchange they give a hint of their artistry back to us in a program of their choosing. It’s always interesting to hear what they are working on and sometimes even get a sampling of whatever and wherever they are in their process.”
The first one kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 10 featuring composer, conductor and Chinese folk singer Huang Ruo.
Huang Ruo will play and sing examples of his music for orchestra, opera, film and multimedia, which he wrote for the Houston Grand Opera, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the great orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Hong Kong and others.
His music draws inspiration from Chinese Folk, Western avant-garde, rock and jazz. The New York Times rated his music as second in the “Top Ten Classical Moments of the Year.” Huang Ruo was also cited by the New Yorker as “one of the most intriguing of the new crop of Asian-American composers.”
Composer and pianist Nathan Currier takes the stage on Thursday, Jan. 31. Currier will share parts of the cello sonata he is writing at the Hermitage. A former teacher at Julliard, as a composer he won the Rome Prize and as a pianist he won the Silver medal in the International Piano Recording Competition, among other honors. In addition, Currier is also a sought-after speaker on climate change and a scholar of Gaia principles of ecology. He will briefly discuss the Gaia theory and play some sections of his oratorio, Gaian Variations.
“Never your everyday programming,” Rodgers continued. “That is what we like most about this series. We can expose our community to what’s next on the artistic horizon. Not even we know what these talented artists are going to reveal. Come be inspired, challenged and entertained."