Sarasota Music Festival - Three Weeks of Musical Bliss

Jazz Festival

One of the best beach towns in Florida to retire to is Sarasota—for dozens of reasons, the least of which is the amazing Sarasota music scene. From folk to jazz to classical, there is something for everyone. From June 9th to the 25th, classical musicians and mavens will enjoy fabulous lectures, master classes, and performances given by young and established talent at the 2016 Sarasota Music Festival.

The Festival, a program of the Sarasota Orchestra, began in 1965 and engages student musicians as well as visiting virtuosos, conductors, composers and music scholars. Sixty of the best students from conservatories and college music programs around the world spend three weeks with a distinguished guest faculty perfecting their art. Boomers and retirees who enjoy lifelong learning Sarasota-style can take in a variety of concert events during the series:

  • Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. – Faculty artists perform at the Artist Showcases in Holley Hall at Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center.
  • Fridays at 8 p.m. – Friday Festivals concerts open with student ensembles followed by faculty ensembles (with some students) performing chamber masterworks at the beautiful Sarasota Opera House.
  • Saturdays at 8 p.m. – Full symphony concerts are the order of the evening at Saturday Symphonies, featuring a student orchestra and faculty artists, also at the Sarasota Opera House.
  • Sundays at 3 p.m. – Student Recitals highlight talented young musicians at Holley Hall.

Ticket prices range from $5 to $60, and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 941-953-3434 or toll-free at 866-508-0611. For a complete list of all events and concerts, visit

Music is a passion for many Boomers, and retirement communities in Sarasota offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy your genre of choice. Sarasota’s rich cultural community is unparalleled. The city supports professional theatre and dance companies as well as a choral society, an opera, and a symphony orchestra—all of which offer meaningful volunteer opportunities, too. From September to May, the Sarasota classical music calendar is crowded with world-class performances by resident musicians and singers, and visiting artists such as Itzhak Perlman or the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Music festivals punctuate the summer months, and lovers of live musical performances are never without a venue. Pop concerts, folk festivals, and jazz or big bands abound. For those whose tastes run to blues, R&B, rock, Ska, bluegrass or dance music, the Sarasota live music scene can’t be beat. Check out the great bands and fun at venues like The 5 O’clock Club or Siesta Key Oyster Bar.

No matter where your musical tastes lie, you’ll find excellent opportunities to enjoy or participate in the vibrant Sarasota cultural milieu. Come for a visit and see for yourself why Sarasota is one of the best beach towns in Florida to retire in without giving up anything you love – including the symphony.

Don't be afraid to ask for our free Sarasota relocation information to help you learn more about the area. It's our pleasure to help!

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