Musical Insight, Lite Bites, and Cocktails with the Maestro

joe_writerKey Chorale Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins is known for his adventurous and bold programming for Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus. World premieres, unique collaborations and rarely performed works, alongside classical masterworks, have become his trademark. Join the Maestro at the elegant Bijou Café for Behind the Music as he shares his insight and passion about three of his favorite “Peak Performances” for this season.

Handel – Alexander’s Feast • October 26 • $30
The scene is a celebratory banquet after Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia. Alexander, with his mistress Thaïs by his side, is charmed by the musician Timotheus, who by the sheer power of music arouses a wide range of emotions from charmed to intoxicated, saddened and love-sick to rage and fury. Fortunately, St Cecilia, the patron saint of music, is on hand to set it all straight.

Charpentier and Music of the French Baroque • November 16 • $30 
Marc-Antoine Charpentier was the most important composer of his generation during the reign of King Louis XIV. He composed more than 550 works of spellbinding craftsmanship, beauty and drama, which laid completely forgotten until a historical revival some 200 years later. Virtually none of his music was published during his lifetime, due to a stranglehold on Parisian music by his archrival, Jean-Baptiste Lully. Discover why 300 years later, his place in French history is being rewritten.

Mozart’s Unfinished Masterpiece • January 11 • $30
Composed in thanksgiving for his wife Constanze’s recovery from illness, and in hopes of winning his father’s approval of their marriage, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor would have rivaled Bach’s monumental B Minor Mass in scope and scale, had he completed it. Learn the mystery behind one of Mozart’s most powerful and virtuosic works for choir and orchestra.



The Bijou Café is a charming Continental-American restaurant located in the heart of Sarasota’s downtown Theatre & Arts District, just two blocks from the Ritz Carlton. Over the years, our cuisine, award-winning wine list, and exemplary unobtrusive service have set the standard for dining on the Sun Coast and established us as one of Sarasota’s most sought-after fine dining destinations.

Since 1986, Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and his wife, Shay, have owned and operated The Bijou Café. It has grown from a small 50-seat restaurant to a seating capacity of 140 people in three separate dining rooms. The enchanting décor you’d expect in a quaint, but modern European café surrounds you with French windows and doors throughout, sparkling glassware, bouquets of freshly-picked flowers and the soft glow of candlelight.