TUCSON, AZ – Violin virtuoso Edwin Kim returns to Tucson for his third solo appearance with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, this time to perform Elgar’s Violin Concerto on Jan. 27, 28 and 29. The program also includes Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 and Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake.
The first performance is in Green Valley at the Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino del Sol on Friday at 7 p.m. Additional performances are in SaddleBrooke on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Elgar concerto was written for and premiered by Fritz Kreisler in 1910 with Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Kreisler considered Elgar to be “the greatest living composer. I place him on an equal footing with my idols, Beethoven and Brahms,” he once told an English newspaper. “I wish Elgar would write something for the violin.” And several years later he was commissioned to do just that. The premiere was considered a “complete triumph.” A violinist himself, Elgar said this concerto is “awfully emotional, too emotional—but I love it,” according to biographer Michael Kennedy.
SASO soloist Kim began studying the violin at age 7 and one year later won a music competition in his native Korea. After high school, he moved to Vienna to continue his studies and went on to win the top prize at five international music competitions. Kim has soloed throughout Europe and Asia. He’s released several recordings, including one supported by the city of Verona and another celebrating the 200th year of Schumann’s birth. He is music professor at Hanyang University in Seoul and lead soloist for the annual summer Lech Classic Music Festival in the Alps of western Austria. Kim previously performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with SASO in November of 2013 and the Beethoven Triple Concerto in February of 2015.
Tchaikovsky wrote the ballet Swan Lake which was not well received at its premiere performance in 1877. Several later he wrote a letter to his friend and music publisher Pyotr Jurgenson stating, “I wanted very much to save this music from oblivion, since it contains some fine things. And so I decided to make a suite from it.” Seven years after Tchaikovsky’s death, in November 1900, Jurgenson published a suite of six numbers from the ballet. Despite the composer’s concerns, Swan Lake became one of the most popular of all ballets
- Tickets to the Green Valley concert are $23 in advance or at the door. Order online at www.sasomusic.org or call SASO at (520) 308-6226.
- The Jan. 28 concert is at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. in SaddleBrooke. Individual tickets are $24 in advance or $25 at the door and can be purchased at http://tickets.saddlebrooketwo.com or by calling (520) 825-2818. This concert is sponsored by Linda L. Griffin.
- The Jan. 29 concert is at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte. Individual tickets are $23 in advance or at the door. Tickets are complimentary for ages 17 and younger. Order online at www.sasomusic.org or call (520) 308-6226.
SASO Music Director Linus Lerner conducts all three performances. Since 2008 he has led the orchestra in Tucson and abroad, including two tours of China, three trips to Oaxaca, Mexico and one to Brazil. Most recently SASO musicians traveled with him to participate in the inaugural San Luis Potosí Opera Festival in Mexico. Lerner conducts chamber groups, orchestras, operas and choirs around the globe, from North, Central and South America to Europe, Eastern Europe, Israel, South Korea, China and Australia. Through these travels he meets exceptional artists from many cultures and introduces them to SASO audiences.
Two compelling works yet to come this season are Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto and Fauré’s Requiem with vocal soloists and chorus on March 17, 18 and 19. The single-name saxophonist Ashu will play the Glazunov along with tangos by Argentina’s Piazzolla. The final concert cycle will be April 22 and 23, featuring young Russian conductor Anton Shaburov. That program includes Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Schumann’s Piano Concerto, performed by Melanie Chae, who previously soloed with SASO in 2015.
Philanthropist and musician Dorothy Vanek is SASO’s season sponsor for the 10th consecutive year. She also underwrote SASO’s first professional CD—Celebration!—featuring the compositions of six Tucson composers. She later sponsored SASO’s pending CD of contemporary music featuring viola concertos by Amanda Harberg and Max Wolpert, both performed by internationally acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner. SASO’s music acquisition this season is sponsored by the Arizona Lottery.
SASO is a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a passion for music. Founded in 1979, this orchestra presents world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and classical favorites. For more information call (520) 308-6226 or visit www.sasomusic.org.