The 60 student musicians participating in the 49th annual Sarasota Music Festival come from music conservatories and universities around the country and even the world — the future of classical music, in the words of festival director Robert Levin.
While student musicians are worked into the Friday Festival and Saturday Symphony concerts over all three weekends, where they really shine is in the Student Recitals, where a dozen or so chamber music ensembles ranging from trios to seven or eight musicians perform at Holley Hall over the course of a couple of hours. Price of admission? Five dollars. Italian ice is sold in the lobby for two bucks. A deal that's hard to beat. Two opportunities remain this year: June 16 at 7:30 p.m. and June 21 at 3 p.m. at 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
Festival faculty, meanwhile, get their chance to shine at Thursday afternoon Artist Showcases, also at Holley Hall. At 4:30 p.m. today, works by Tower and Bruch will be performed, followed by "Masterpieces of Cabaret" Weill, Bolcom, Poulenc, Flanders and Swann. Tickets are $20 and $25.
Friday's Festival Concert program is Shostakovich's Piano Quintet, Op. 57; Poulenc's Sextet and Verdi's String Quartet in E Minor, along with two student ensembles. Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Tickets are $25-$40.
Festival director Levin will deliver a "Levin Lecture" at 1 p.m. Saturday at Holley Hall. $5.
This week's Saturday Symphony, also at the Opera House, has the theme "Walk in Nature." Conductor Larry Rachleff will lead faculty and students in the chamber version of Copland's "Appalachian Spring;" Franck's Symphonic Variations and Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Op. 68 (Pastorale). Tickets are $29-$55.
For more information: 953-3434; www.SarasotaOrchestra.org.