Guest Artists

This season’s guest artists come to us from around the world—and right here in Tucson.


Roberto Capocchi


Roberto Capocchi has played to critical acclaim throughout his native Brazil, the United States, and Mexico, as well as Canada and Belgium. He often plays and offers workshops at festivals in North and South America. Recent highlights include a tour with flutist Carol Redman; concerts and master classes for the Portland Classical Guitar Series, New Mexico Guitar Festival, and Springfield Guitar Society; and adjudicating for the Guitar Foundation of America New Mexico Symposium and for the New Mexico All-State Festival. Roberto Capocchi Plays Spanish Guitar Music is a solo 2010 CD with music by Isaac Albéniz, Regino Sainz de la Maza, Joaquín Turina and Francisco Tárrega. Tangos de Santa Fe: Matapolvos is a 2009 release of the music of Ron Strauss, where he plays the suite Tangos de Santa Fe with Carol Redman on flute and Pamela Epple on English horn. With violinist Ellen Chávez de Leitner, he released Duo Guadalupe: Music for Violin and Guitar in 2003.

Mr. Capocchi received music degrees from the Lins de Vasconcelos Conservatory and Carlos Gomes College in Brazil. He is a doctoral candidate in performance and music theory at the Bolton Guitar Studies Program at the University of Arizona, where he received a Master of Music degree in music performance. He is a recipient of the University of Arizona Dean’s Fund for Excellence, William Wolf Scholarship, and various travel grants. His teachers have included Thomas Patterson, Henrique Pinto and Sandra Costa (guitar instructors); Conrado Paulino and Kiko Moura (jazz and Brazilian music); and Ricardo Rizek (theory). Mr. Capocchi is on faculty at New Mexico Highlands University, United World College, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, New Mexico School for the Arts, and at Adams State University.

Zoran Stilin


Zoran Stilin is a native of Zagreb, Croatia and a prize-winner of the former Yugoslavia National Cello Competition. He was a performing soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio-Television Orchestra, Music Academy Symphony Orchestra, and Gaudemus Chamber Orchestra.

Zoran continued his studies in Switzerland, and later the University of Arizona, where he received a Master of Music under the direction of Gordon Epperson and Peter Rejto. During this time in Arizona is when Zoran first developed his skills as a restorer and maker of fine string instruments. He was a student of the late Karl Roy, German violin maker and one of the world’s leading authorities on violin making.

By combining his passion for music and fine instruments, Zoran offers a complete approach to instrument making and repair. His instruments and bows have won top awards at the Violin Makers Association of Arizona International Competition. He is a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra; principal cellist of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, with which he has performed as a soloist in previous years; and an active solo and chamber musician. In this concert, he will be performing on his latest-made cello.

Pervez Mody


Known for his deep and exciting performances, Pervez Mody enjoys a big reputation on the concert circuit. An exceptionally gifted child, he began learning the piano at the age of 4 with Feroza Dubash Labonne and Farida Dubash, teachers who profoundly influenced his musical interpretations and his understanding of classical music. Even in his youth he won a record number of competitions, prizes and distinctions and was in great demand as a concert performer. He then won a scholarship to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Margarita Fyodorava, who introduced him to the works of Alexander Scriabin. He undertook further studies with Fanny Solter and Miguel Proenca at the Karlsruhe University of Music. Since then he has appeared in concert across Europe and has performed on radio and television in India, England and Germany. He has made several CD recordings for Naxos, Thorofon and Antes, among others. He is presently recording the complete works of Scriabin on the Thorofon label.

Kalin Ivanov


Kalin Ivanov is a prominent soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and recording artist. Compared by the press to Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, Piatigorsky and Jacqueline du Pré, he is quickly gaining recognition as an artist whose “dramatic urgency and expressive tone” (The Strad) is matched by “his deep, emotional, and poetic performing style” (Moscow North). A former music critic of the New York Times, Harris Goldsmith, states that “Ivanov presents himself as a player with a fine grained, luscious tone” (New York Concert Review). A winner of the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival Concerto Competition, he has performed in major centers in Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, England, Russia, Caribbean Islands and the U.S. Mr. Ivanov’s solo performances include appearances with the top Bulgarian orchestras, as well as the Prague Sinfonietta, Moscow chamber orchestra “Cantus Firmus,” Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan Virtuosi and Ensemble du Monde. He is also a founding member of the Forte String Quartet and New York Empire Trio. Mr. Ivanov is on the faculty at Brooklyn College/CUNY and Adelphi University. He also appears regularly on radio and television programs, leads cello and chamber music master classes and is a judge of international competitions in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Ivanov records for MSR Classics and Gega New.

Edwin E. Soo Kim


Born in Korea, Edwin Eun Soo Kim began studying the violin at age 7 and won a local music competition a year later. He has since won several international competitions. After high school he moved to Vienna to continue his violin studies. He has soloed with numerous orchestras, performed recitals in Asia and Europe and released several recordings. His debut in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2007 was highly successful and he was invited back to perform the Mendelssohn, Dvorák and Tchaikovsky concertos. His debut with the Khachaturian concerto in Seoul was enthusiastically received. Currently, he is professor at Hanyang University in Seoul and lead soloist for the annual Lech Classic Music Festival at Lech am Arlberg, in western Austria.

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.
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."
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 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.
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.
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 first concert was Oct. 28, 1979, conducted by former University of Arizona music professor Henry Johnson, featuring Jonathan Kramer in a Boccherini cello concerto.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.