Board Chair Anne Folsom Smith announced today the appointment of Anu Tali to the position of Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra.
Tali has agreed to a three-year contract and will officially begin her position as Music Director on August 1, 2013.
"The Board of the Orchestra recognizes the thorough job done by the Search Committee and approved the committee's unanimous recommendation of Anu Tali," Smith said.
"We believe Anu will take the Sarasota Orchestra to a higher level and in the process will ignite even greater passion for one of the region's cultural gems," added Smith.
Edward Alley, the community member selected by the Orchestra board to chair the Search Committee said, "This committee of musicians, board members, staff, and community representatives did an exemplary job. The committee was the best I have been privileged to serve with in over fifty years in the orchestra business."
Tali, 40, will be the fifth music director in the 65-year history of the Orchestra.
Tali's first concerts as music director will be November 8 - 10, 2013when the Orchestra opens the Masterworks season. She will also assume conducting of the Masterworks 5 concerts, February 20 - 23, 2014. Carlos Prieto, originally scheduled for that slot, will be a guest conductor in a future season.
Anu Tali (born June 18, 1972 in Tallinn) is an Estonian conductor. She started her musical training as a pianist, and graduated from theTallinn Music High School in 1991. She continued her studies in the Estonian Music Academy as a conductor with Kuno Areng, Toomas Kapten and Roman Matsov. From 1998 to 2000, she studied at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory with Ilya Mussin and later withLeonid Korchmar. She began conducting studies in 1995 with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
Anu Tali and her twin sister Kadri Tali founded the Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra in 1997, with Anu Tali as the orchestra's conductor and Kadri Tali the manager. The orchestra later took on the name of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The NSO performs five times each year and has young members from fifteen different countries. Themed concert seasons have included "The Musical Capitals of the World" (1998/1999), "Life and Death" (1999/2000), "Symphony" (2000/2001), "Musica Grande (2001/2002), "Passion or Passion" (2002/2003), "À la Russe" (2003/2004), "Face of North" (2004/2005), "Legends" (2005/2006) and "Apocalyptica" (2006/2007).
In North America, Tali made her US conducting debut with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in January 2005.  In April 2007, Tali was named Music Director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and scheduled to begin in the post September 2007. However, in November 2007, the orchestra announced that it and Tali were unable to agree on contract terms, and Tali never assumed the Manitoba post.
In the summer of 2006, Tali debuted at the Savonlinna Opera Festival with a new production of Carmen and also at the Salzburg Festivalwith the Mozarteum Orchestra. Her work in contemporary music includes conducting the US premiere of Heiner Goebbels' Songs of Wars I Have Seen.
Tali and the NSO made their debut recording in 2002 with "Swan Flight", for Finlandia/Warner Classics, which featured two world premiere recordings, the orchestral suites Ocean and Swan Flight by Veljo Tormis. This recording earned her the Young Artist of the Year award at the 2003 Echo Klassic Awards in Germany. She also received the Cultural Award of Estonia 2003 and the Presidential Award of Estonia in 2004. Anu Tali has also recorded Estonian music with the Frankfurt RSO. The second recording of the NSO and Tali is titled Action Passion Illusion (also on Warner Classics).
Tali made her first guest-conducting appearance with the Sarasota Orchestra in February 2011. In June 2013, the Sarasota Orchestra named Tali as its next music director, effective August 1, 2013, with an initial contract of 3 years.