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Sarasota Orchestra, set for 'Musical Landscapes' featuring Eric Whitacre's 'The River Cam' / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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The Sarasota Orchestra launches a new Discoveries series of shorter and more conversational programs with lower ticket prices. Three different conductors, two of them new to Sarasota audiences, helped put together each of the three concerts from the Sarasota Opera House highlighting both contemporary composers and soloists from the Sarasota Orchestra.

Stefan Sanders, who conducted a Sarasota Orchestra chamber orchestra concert last October, returns to lead "Musical Landscapes" on Jan. 6. The program features Eric Whitacre's "The River Cam," with cellist Natalie Helm as soloist. Sanders, who was recently appointed music director of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and is resident conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, shared an apartment suite with Whitacre while they both attended the Juilliard School. "One of the neat things about being a conductor is that you come across composers and compositions that you're passionate about through your life," he said. "You just need to find the right opportunity to program their music and now I'm finding the right opportunities to perform Eric's music." The choice of "The River Cam" - which Sanders said creates "the idea of a slow-moving river in the English countryside" - led him to the concert's other selections.

READ THE FULL Sarasota Herald-Tribune ARTICLE