Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard

Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Guest conductors vie for maestro post
As the Sarasota Orchestra continues its hunt to replace Artistic Director Leif Bjaland, the organization will pad next season’s Masterworks Series with guest conductors from around the world, including Jamie Laredo, director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Wilkins, director of the Omaha Symphony; Anu Tali, conductor of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Hege, former director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; Alessandro Siciliani, former director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Grams, former assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra; and Peter Bay, director of the Austin Symphony.

I suggest you play close attention to the programs they lead. The organization’s music director search committee is considering some of these folks for Bjaland’s job.

I wonder if the Estonian-born Tali, who blew audiences away last year when she appeared as a guest conductor with the Sarasota Orchestra, is among one of the candidates?

At 30, the classically trained pianist founded the Nordic Symphony Orchestra with her twin sister, Kadri Tali. The only female guest conductor on the Sarasota lineup, she’s already a crowd favorite.

Subscription packages are now on sale. Call 953-3434 or visit

+ Comic’s ‘Today’ show segment gets bumped (again)
If I were comedian Gid Pool, I’d be setting my DVR to record every episode of the “Today” show.

When Jane Pauley interviewed the retired real-estate agent last month for the “Today” show at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, producers said the segment would air Tuesday, May 8, on NBC.

However, since then, the air date has changed twice. The latest update puts Pool on TV Tuesday, May 22.
Until then, you can catch a teaser of the AARP-sponsored bit on

According to a behind-the-scenes post written by Executive Producer Kim Sedmak, Pool and Pauley hit it off like old friends. The typically sarcastic comedian succeeded in brown-nosing the journalist when he showed up for the interview with a box of truffles.

Funny, he didn’t bring me chocolate when I interviewed him.

Hey, Gid, we little guys like sweets, too. I don’t even need expensive truffles. Generic peanut butter cups will do.

Sarasota Blues Brews: Admit it: You’re tired of the same, tame music. With summer almost upon us, you’re itching to get out of your seat and dance like a teenager again. The Cock & Bull Pub has got the cure for your blues. The Sarasota Blues Brews kicks off at noon Sunday, May 27, at the Cattlemen Road watering hole.
The lineup includes Berry Oakley’s Jive-Ass Revue, Kettle of Fish, Twinkle, the RJ Howson Band, the Selwyn Birchwood Band, Mike Tozier and Lauren Mitchell. For more info, call 363-1262.


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