The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) is pleased to announce the third annual concert in the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage, featuring award-winning composer and pianist Conrad Tao. This event will take place on Thursday, March 28th at 7pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This alumni music initiative was launched in 2022 to a full-capacity crowd at Selby Gardens with “Soulful Strings: An Evening of Harp Music,” featuring celebrated harpist and Hermitage alumna Ashley Jackson. Last year’s concert, “The Pop-Folk World of Zoe Sarnak,” featured award-winning New York City-based Hermitage alum Zoe Sarnak,withSarasota-based vocalists and musicians performing Sarnak’s original songs at Nathan Benderson Park.
This year, the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage returns to classical music with world-renowned pianist, composer, and Hermitage Fellow Conrad Tao. Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer – including acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and more. He has been dubbed “the kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music” by New York Magazine and an artist of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times.
The Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage offers the opportunity for a distinguished Hermitage alumni composer or musician to return for additional residency time and a special community concert. This initiative is made possible by a generous multi-year gift from the Ruby E. and Carole Crosby Family Foundation. Current Hermitage Board President Carole Crosby initiated this gift as a special tribute to her mother Ruby, who helped to inspire her own deep love of music. A musician herself, Carole Crosby graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and played the harp in both the Atlanta Symphony and Detroit Symphony.
“The Hermitage brings some of the most impressive performers in the world to our community,” said Crosby. “Music was always incredibly important to me and to my mother, so it’s an honor to celebrate her memory with this initiative spotlighting and supporting some truly extraordinary composers and musicians. I am continually inspired by the Hermitage’s commitment to these artists and the impact these magnificent talents are having in our region.”
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Conrad Tao back to Sarasota to share his talents with our growing Hermitage audience,” added Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “Anyone who has seen Conrad perform knows that is one of the most extraordinary and innovative pianists of his generation. As we continue to reengage with and provide more opportunities for Hermitage alumni, this generous gift from Carole Crosby in honor of her mother allows us to celebrate some of the groundbreaking musical talents who have come to know Sarasota through their time at the Hermitage and to share their latest work with the members of our community.”
Hermitage Fellow Conrad Tao captures and energizes the essence of popular classical music through his undeniably gifted lens of improvisation and imaginative composition to elevate the future of music. He has amassed a steady stream of awards and critical acclaim for his performances, compositions, and recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and symphonies around the world. A returning Hermitage Fellow, Tao is the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and was named a Gilmore Young Artist – an honor awarded only once every two years to highlight the most promising American pianists of the new generation.
“Piano Classics Remade” will be presented outdoors at Selby Gardens (Downtown Sarasota) on Thursday, March 28th at 7pm. This program is free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org. Capacity will be limited, and registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis, at which time registration will shift to a waitlist. Early registration is strongly encouraged.