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Rising young violinist Randall Goosby makes his debut with The Sarasota Orchestra this weekend

Violinist Randall Goosby recording "Adoration" by Black American composer, Florence Price
Courtesy of The Sarasota Orchestra
Violinist Randall Goosby recording "Adoration" by Black American composer, Florence Price

Violinist Randall Goosby knows the city well, but this weekend will feature his first performances with The Sarasota Orchestra.

Violinist Randall Goosby is only 27, but he’s already racked up a long list of professional achievements. He credits his Korean mother with insisting he and his siblings take up an instrument when they were young.

“Little, little kids, she grew up in Japan. And so, music education was very, very important to her and was a fundamental part of every childhood education growing up in pretty much every other country outside of the U.S., unfortunately,” Goosby said.

By the time he was nine, he’d already made his debut with the Jacksonville Symphony. He became the youngest ever participant to win the Sphinx Concerto Competition at 13. And in 2018, he was a prize winner at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

This weekend, he’ll perform with The Sarasota Orchestra for the first time. But he is no stranger to the city.

Goosby knows Sarasota well, because he has studied for 10 years with the great violinist Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School and spent years visiting for the Perlman Music Program Suncoast.

“My time in Sarasota began in, I think it must have been winter 2011 for the PMP Suncoast residency. I was 15 at the time, and I continued going back to the winter residency for the next five years,” Goosby said.

For his performances this weekend, he will be the soloist for the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3, with The Sarasota Orchestra, which will be led by guest conductor, Johannes Debus.

“Obviously, the 'Mozart G-major Concerto' was made, certainly at this point in time, my favorite. I say that in part because I'm playing it, so it kind of has to be my favorite. But it's, really the sort of epitome of why I love Mozart so much. Mozart is probably my number one, if not top two, or three desert island composers,” Goosby said.

This year, Decca Records released Goosby’s second album, which was recorded live with The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

It features two violin concertos by Black American composer Florence Price. As well as her work, “Adoration.”

He said he wanted to highlight different parts of his musical voice and personality. And Price is close to his heart.

“From a cultural standpoint, as well as really taking every possible opportunity to expose audiences to new music, that meaning, you know, music that's been around, actually, for quite some time, but it's new to most of our ears,” he said.

A black and white picture of a young Black violinist in a suit, holding his violin and petting a dog.
Courtesy of The Sarasota Orchestra.
Violinist Randall Goosby petting a dog on the sidewalk.

It's clear music education is important to Goosby, who spends time reaching out to play music to public school students, in children’s hospitals and in music programs across the country.

And for older adults who aren't able to get around.

But he also makes time for fun in his life and said he hopes to get some golf in while he is in town.

I love telling stories about my home state. And I hope they will help you in some way and maybe even lift your spirits.