Sarasota Orchestra Music Director Anu Tali announced Oct. 25 that she will step down from her position at the close of the 2018-2019 season.
Tali cited the desire to focus on her international career and guest conducting as her reason for leaving, which will be effective at the end of her contract in the spring of 2019. She will have served as director for six seasons by the time she leaves.
"I am very grateful to have been provided the privilege and opportunity to work with my incredible colleagues in the Sarasota Orchestra and to perform for the passionate audiences of this very special community," Tali said in a release.
Since joining the orchestra staff in 2013, Tali has attracted an expansive group of guest artists from around the world, including the Grammy Award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. She also conducted the American premiere of Erkki-Sven Tüür's “Strata” and performed the Florida debut of Heiner Goebbels' “Songs of Wars I Have Seen.”
Tali said in a release that she looks forward to the experience her final two seasons with the orchestra will bring. She also reiterated her support for the organization's new concert hall.
"Anu's contributions to our orchestra and region have been impressive,” Board Chair David Steves said in the same release. “She energized audiences, advanced our orchestra artistically and provided the foundation for the artistic case for a new concert hall. We respect her decision and are appreciative for all she has done for the Sarasota Orchestra.”
Steves said a search committee for a new music director will be appointed by the end of the calendar year and will include representatives from the staff, board and orchestra members.
"This is a process we want to get right,” she said. “We appreciate that Anu has afforded us the time to plan and perform a comprehensive search, and we are especially appreciative that our unparalleled momentum under Anu's leadership has enriched lives and improved our community."