Buy Tucson Series Tickets and CDs

Sunday, January 28, 2018 – 3:00 PM

Chinese New Year Celebration with the Tucson Sino Choir
  • Lu: Ode to the Red Flag
  • Zhou: Robe of the Clouds (Jing Xia, guzheng)
  • Liu: Great Wall Fantasy (Xiaoyin Zheng, erhu)
  • Wang-Lang: Dream of the Red Chamber

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Sunday, March 11, 2018 – 3:00 PM

  • Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Christi Amonson, soprano)
  • Fine: Electric Guitar Concerto No. 2 (Pete Fine, guitar)
  • Poulenc: Gloria (SASO chorus; Christi Amonson, soprano)
  • … and the winner of SASO’s Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition

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Sunday, April 15, 2018 – 3:00 PM

  • Theofanidis: Rainbow Body
  • Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Lauren Roth, violin)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances

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2017 Ford Explorer Platinum Raffle Tickets

All proceeds to to SASO when you purchase a raffle ticket through this link! First prize is a 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum. Second prize is two round-trip, first-class airline tickets to anywhere in the world. Third prize is $5000 cash. Raffle tickets cost $25 each, or five for $100.

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Order Our “New” CD!

Listen up. SASO’s new CD features the premiere of two viola concertos written for and performed by the acclaimed Brett Deubner. Composers Amanda Harberg and Max Wolpert are known for their appealing styles full of engaging melodies and vital rhythms. Linus Lerner, SASO’s artistic director, prepared the orchestra and conducted the recording sessions. This groundbreaking CD was just released by Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label based on the number of new releases and the extent of its catalog. Order online now. The price is $10.00 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling.

SASO CD “Celebration”

SASO “Celebration!” CD

Celebration! is SASO’s first CD, presenting attractive music by Tucson composers Pete Fine, Bruce Stoller, Jay Vosk, Richard White, Brian Goodall and A. F. Schultz. Linus Lerner conducts the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in pieces that are alternately exciting, soothing, engaging and moving. This is the only disc where you’ll find such intriguing music as Bruce Stoller’ s Open Spaces for yucca shakuhachi flute (played by the composer) and Richard White’s tenderFor Patte– A Simple Song, written in memory of a beloved longtime SASO musician. The price is $10.00 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling.


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SASO’s Story

Composer, pianist and conductor Warren Cohen served as music director for eight seasons, routinely commuting from his home in Phoenix, but one year all the way from Hawaii. His wife, coloratura Carolyn Whitacre, was a favorite soloist.
One spring SASO proved it has animal attraction. When it played at the Reid Park Zoo, some of the critters sang along with the music
The most colorful performance was a Halloween concert in Nogales—a ghoulish event where the conductor was a clown and all the musicians were in costume.
Our most famous alumnus is Rico Saccani, associate conductor of SASO our inaugural year and piano soloist for the second concert. He later conducted opera companies and orchestras around the world and was music director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985 to 2005.
In December 1995 SASO was the first to present a concert at SaddleBrooke. This was the brainstorm of concertmaster Sam Kreiling. The concert sold out, as did a four-concert series the following year. SASO has performed there ever since.
Brazilian-born Linus Lerner, in his first year as music director, challenged the orchestra to learn his native Latin rhythms by playing Villa-Lobos. This proved surprisingly hard to do. We finally got it, but not until the week of the concert.
The largest event SASO has produced was Berlioz Te Deum, presented at the Tucson Community Center Music Hall with the Tucson Civic Orchestra, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Pima College Singers.
The first concert was Oct. 28, 1979, conducted by former University of Arizona music professor Henry Johnson, featuring Jonathan Kramer in a Boccherini cello concerto.
The visionary founders of SASO were Barbara and Bill Chinworth, Scott Bracher and Janet Lombard. Barbara has played with SASO through its entire history, originally in the horn section, now on bass.
Turkish maestro Orhan Salliel, after guest-conducting SASO in the fall of 2012, wrote to us, "The time in Tucson I shared with you in SASO for me was so special. I felt the real love of music from the bottom of everyone's hearts. It was something I do not feel often—never, ever in the professional world anymore. Please keep it, save it, try to build everything from this power of love for music."
SaddleBrooke is home to many of our loyal donors and the place where we’ve held our gala celebrations—first a black-tie dinner with music from "Phantom of the Opera" and later our annual StarStruck Gala evenings from 2008 through 2013.
Alan Schultz became music director in Year 2 and continued leading SASO for 15 seasons. He frequently conducted from the keyboard—organ or harpsichord. He also composed several works premiered by SASO.
Early audiences had to be loyal followers of this itinerant orchestra, which performed all over the city, frequently in churches. In the 1980s SASO rented the Temple of Music and Art for a concert. The City of Tucson condemned the building the morning of the dress rehearsal and the concert was canceled.
Adam Boyles was the music director for three seasons, bringing bountiful youthful energy and a passion to serve the music. Then the Tucson native moved East to brave the snow and conduct the orchestra at MIT in Boston.