Hermitage Announces Second Annual Concert in the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce the second annual concert in the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage, featuring award-winning composer and lyricist Zoe Sarnak. This alumni music initiative was launched last year to a full-capacity crowd at Selby Gardens with “Soulful Strings: An Evening of Harp Music,” featuring celebrated harpist and Hermitage alumna Ashley Jackson. This year’s event will be presented in partnership with the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy. Sarnak is a New York City-based Hermitage alum whose songs and musicals have premiered throughout New York, Los Angeles, and across the United States at venues such as the Public Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, and more. Joined by Sarasota-based vocalists and musicians, Sarnak will perform her original songs, including some of her latest work. Presented by the water at Nathan Benderson Park, this outdoor event is free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Tickets will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis, at which time registrations will shift to a waitlist.

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. Hermitage Trustee 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. Following the success of classical musician Ashley Jackson’s performance in 2022, Zoe Sarnak is an exciting contemporary pop-rock-folk composer making waves in the world of musical theater, as well as television and film. Sarnak was a compelling selection for this initiative, as her work combines the Crosby’s love of music with an equal passion for theater and storytelling.    

“I am continually inspired by the Hermitage’s commitment to artists and the impact these magnificent talents are having in our community,” said Hermitage Trustee Carole 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.”

Frequently cited for her ability to blend the contemporary music world with other genres like traditional musical theater to create a sound that is uniquely hers, Sarnak’s work has been heralded by VarietyBroadwayWorldSeattle Times, and more. She is the recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, and a finalist for the Ebb Award, the Kleban Prize, and the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. Her works have been performed at such noted institutions as Second Stage, The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage & Film, The Guggenheim, Geffen Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, and New York Theatre Workshop, amongst many others. She recently opened the world premiere of The Lonely Few starring Tony Award winner Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill) at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse for which she created music and lyrics alongside Hermitage Fellow, award-winning playwright Rachel Bonds, as well as film and television projects with Netflix and CBS. Full bio below; also available at ZoeSarnak.com.

Zoe Sarnak’s concert and Hermitage residency are made possible through the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage. This second concert in the annual series, “The Pop-Folk World of Zoe Sarnak” will be presented outdoors at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota on Wednesday, April 26th at 7pm. (Estimated running time: 60-70 minutes).