TUCSON, AZ – The ambitious season of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra features five Tucson composers, plus powerhouse favorites by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, de Falla, Sibelius, Debussy, Hindemith, Mahler, Wagner, Hanson, Hohvaness, Saint-Saens and Rachmaninoff.
The 2012-2013 season includes three world premieres by Tucson artists. They are Running the Rim by Jay Vosk, If Life Were As It Seems from Rappaccini’s Daughter by Richard White and Landscapes by Peter Fine. Two other works by local composers are Walk Without Fear by Brian Goodall and Open Spaces Suite by Bruce Stoller.
These pieces will be recorded for possible inclusion in the orchestra’s first professional CD release which will highlight Tucson’s talented composers.
The season opens Oct. 6 and 7 with the Vosk premiere, followed by Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, known as the Emperor Concerto, with soloist James Dick, plus Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor. Following Dick’s recitals in St. Petersburg, Russia and New York’s Carnegie Hall, the New York Times reported this is “modern piano playing at its best.”
Vosk is a former New Yorker and graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He has composed more than 75 works and has called Tucson home since 1980. He was recently commissioned to write a piece for the National Symphony Orchestra.
Founded in 1979, SASO presents five concert programs a year with two performances each – Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. in SaddleBrooke, and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte. Season tickets are $75, a savings of $25 over single ticket admission. At the St. Andrews concerts, tickets are always complimentary for ages 17 and under.
The second SASO program will be on Nov. 17 and 18, featuring de Falla’s El Amor Brujo: Ballet Suite with mezzo soprano Kristin Dauphinais, a member of the voice faculty at the University of Arizona, plus The Oceanides, Opus 73 and Debussy’s La Mer. Guest conductor is Orhan Saliel, who is considered Turkey’s most outstanding young conductor and composer.
Composer Goodall was commissioned to write Walk Without Fear following the tragic shootings in Tucson on January 8, 2010 where six died and 13 others were injured. The work premiered the weekend of the first anniversary events. His compositions over the past 18 years are written for full orchestra, string ensembles, voice and film.
On Feb. 23 and 24 SASO will present the premiere of an aria from White’s opera Rappaccini’s Daughter with soprano Christi Amonson and a female quartet. Born in Brooklyn, White’s musical output spans every facet of composition. He was greatly influenced by American composer Elie Siegmeister with whom he worked for nearly a decade. The program also includes Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher with violist Hong- Mei Xiao, who is on the UA music faculty, plus Mahler’s Symphony No.4 in G major with Amonson as soloist.
Stoller’s Open Spaces Suite will be presented April 6 and 7. Stoller is also a pianist, flute maker and teacher. That program also features Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture and Hovhaness’ And God Created Great Whales. Brazilian flutist James Straus is featured in Glen Roger Davis’ Tattoo Notes and Hanson’s Serenade, Opus 35. Strauss is one of the last “disciples” of renowned French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, who called Strauss “an authentic Latin representative of the French school of flute playing.” This program also will feature the winner of the SASO Youth Competition.
The SASO season concludes May 18 and 19 with the premiere of Fine’s symphonic work inspired by a 2011 trip through Rocky Mountain National Park. Also a guitarist and sitar player, he wrote Concerto for Electric Guitar which premiered in 1999. The program also features Saint-Saens’ Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor with Chilean soloist Francisca Mendoza and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor.
Music Director Linus Lerner will conduct four of this year’s programs. Lerner, who completed his doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Arizona, also serves as artistic director of the Bayou City Performing Arts in Houston. He’s conducted orchestras, operas, choruses and instrumental groups in his native Brazil, the United States, Spain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Australia and China.
Continuing a three-year SASO fundraising tradition, the first downbeat of the season will be given by an audience member who won the opportunity to conduct the orchestra. This year the guest will be J. V. Bevan Olyphant, who was sponsored by longtime SASO donor and photographer Irving Olson, who at age 96 won the bid to conduct SASO two years ago.
Longtime supporter Dorothy Vanek is sponsoring the SASO season for the sixth consecutive year. A musician, artist and arts advocate involved with many local organizations, she received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professions in 2010.
Season tickets are on sale now. Order the SaddleBrooke Series online at http://tickets/saddlebrooketwo.com or call 825-2818. Order the St. Andrews Series online at www.sasomusic.org or call 308-6226. Individual concert tickets also can be reserved in advance or purchased at the door.
Founded in 1979, SASO is a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a passion for music. The orchestra presents world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and classical favorites. In 2009-2010 the orchestra toured in China, giving six performances in five cities, including Beijing. For more information, visit www.sasomusic.org or call 308-6226.
Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra – 2012-2013 Season
- DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr., SaddleBrooke
- St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte
Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30pm, SaddleBrooke & Sunday, Oct. 7, 3 pm, St. Andrew’s
- Vosk: Running The Rim
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, E-flat major (Emperor Concerto) James Dick, piano
- Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, E minor, Opus 64
Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 pm, SaddleBrooke & Sunday, Nov. 18, 3 pm, St. Andrew’s
- Guest Conductor: Orhan Saliel
- Goodall: Walk Without Fear
- De Falla: El Amor Brujo: Ballet Suite Kristin Dauphinais, mezzo soprano Sibelius: The Oceanides, Opus 73
- Debussy: La Mer
Saturday, Feb. 23, 7:30 pm, SaddleBrooke &Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 pm, St. Andrew’s
- White: “If Life Were As It Seems” from Rappaccini’s Daughter Christi Amonson, soprano and female quartet
- TBA Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher Hong-Mei Xiao, viola
- Mahler: Symphony No.4, G major Christi Amonson, soprano
Saturday, Apr. 6, 7:30 pm, SaddleBrooke & Sunday, Apr. 7, 3 pm, St. Andrew’s
- Wagner: Tannhauser Overture Davis: Tattoo Notes James Strauss, flute
- Hanson: Serenade Op. 35 James Strauss, flute
Stoller: Open Spaces Suite
Youth Concerto Competition Winner Hovhaness: And God Created Great Whales
Saturday, May 18, 7:30 pm, SaddleBrooke & Sunday, May 19, 3 pm, St. Andrew’s
- Fine: Landscapes
- Saint-Saens: Violin Concerto No. 3, op. 61 in B minor Francisca Mendoza, violin
- Rachmaninoff: Symphony No 2, op. 27, E minor