Composers, artist featured guests at Hermitage

ENGLEWOOD — Visual artist and set designer Anne Patterson remembers the last time she was in town.

It was fall 2011, and she was here for a restful retreat from her life in New York.



“It was incredible and really private,” Patterson said. “It’s fantastic to go, and it’s a sanctuary from my busy life.”

Patterson, along with composers Robert Spano and Julian Grant, will be featured as artists-inresidence May 17 at the Hermitage Artist Retreat for “Stories of Music at Sunset,” where they will discuss their experiences working with orchestras, operas and other performing arts ventures.

“With these three artists, it’s a great opportunity to share their work,” said Lisa Rubinstein, Hermitage spokeswoman. “They’re doing cutting-edge work, and it’s great that they’re sharing their experience.”

Artists stay at the Hermitage for free but are asked to give free community programs while they are in residence. Artist programs include talks at schools, libraries, community centers and free sunset beach readings.

“We recently had four creative conversations during the Greenfield Prize weekend and each presentation was filled,” Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director for the Hermitage Artist Retreat, said in a statement. “Our beach readings have become popular events that draw from all around our region. With these amazing artists here this month, we decided to combine these two successful events and continue the conversation, using our beach as a creative venue to talk about art.”

Patterson visualizes music in her designs.

“I have a thing called synesthesia,” she said. “My work in the performing arts is I see colors and shapes when I listen to music.”

Patterson does five panels in a year.

“Englewood is very beautiful, small and quiet,” she said. “There are a few people I’ve met and they’ve been responsible, and I’m amazed how open-minded they are.”

Patterson frequently works with Spano, providing visual art for his performances.

“Robert’s got a good sense of humor and should make for an interesting, informative and entertaining discussion,” Patterson said.



Spano is the music director of the Atlanta Symphony, as well as the Aspen Music Festival and School. This will be Spano’s third visit to the Hermitage. His first appearance was as the keynote speaker for the Greenfield Prize when it was presented in music in 2012, according to Rubinstein.

Spano could not be reached for comment.

It will be Grant’s first time in Englewood. Grant’s composition specializes in musical theater and opera in the United Kingdom. Grant’s work has been featured on the BBC, and with the English National Opera, the Almeida Opera, the Mecklenburgh Opera and the Royal Opera House Garden.



“It sounded like a brilliant idea to come,” Grant said. “I’m looking forward to coming (to Englewood). I have two teenage daughters. It’s hard to be creative when you’re surrounded by distractions.”

The Hermitage is located at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. The event will begin with a tour of the Hermitage House at 6 p.m., followed by the discussion at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and visitors are encouraged to bring their beach chairs and refreshments.

For more information, go to, or call 941-475-2098.

About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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