The Sarasota Orchestra: “Stars in Sarasota” Broadcast

This week’s Tuesday Masterwork with The Sarasota Orchestra is called “Stars in Sarasota” with two superstars who played with the orchestra; pianist Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven, and violinist James Ehnes playing Shostakovich. Anu Tali conducts.

The Conductor

Anu Tali is currently one of the most exciting conductors in classical music. Tali studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She was the music director of The Sarasota Orchestra from 2013 to 2019 and is the co-founder of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra. Notably, Tali has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, to name a few.[1]

The Works

Beethoven began composing his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1794. Ironically, this was the second piano concerto he composed but was the first to be published. Beethoven continued to perfect this concerto until it reached its final form in 1800. He composed a beautiful piece filled with a colorful melody and charming harmonies.[2]

In 1948, Joseph Stalin began banning artistic works that did not represent the Soviet Union’s ideals, and Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 was one of them. His concerto finally premiered in 1955, two years after Stalin’s death. The concerto opens with a grim tone but ends with quick and exciting fiddling from the violinist.[3]

Stay Connected

Classical WSMR thanks The Sarasota Orchestra for sharing this music and giving us the chance to broadcast it for everyone to enjoy. At a time when it matters most – we are working together to keep the music playing! Stay up to date with the Sarasota Orchestra on their website at And listen every Tuesday for a Masterwork with the Sarasota Orchestra. You can listen live at 89.1 or 103.9, on, and from your smartphone with the WUSF Public Media App. Also, you can ask your Smart Speaker to play Classical WSMR. If you miss a broadcast, you can listen to it on-demand at for 30 days after the airdate.


[1] “Anu Tali.” HarrisonParrott, 1 Apr. 2020,

[2] “Bold and Beautiful: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.” Houston Symphony, 16 Oct. 2019,

[3] “Fiddler on the Roof? A Guide to Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1.” Houston Symphony, 9 Nov. 2017,