SASO Finale Features Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Chilean Violinist Mendoza, Local Composer Pete Fine

TUCSON, AZ – The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra closes the season with Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 with soloist Francisca Mendoza and the premiere of Tucson composer Pete Fine’s Landscapes.

Music Director Linus Lerner conducts.

The program opens with Landscapes, inspired by a 2011 trip through Rocky Mountain National Park. Fine was born in New York City in 1950 and moved to Tucson in 1974. A guitarist, sitar player and self-taught composer, he also wrote a Concerto for Electric Guitar, which premiered in 1999.

Born in Chile to a musical family, Mendoza began playing violin at age of 4, gave her first recital at 8 and soloed with the Youth Orchestra of the National Conservatory at 14. She won a scholarship from the Organization of American States to study in the United States and a merit scholarship from the University of Michigan. She’s a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and holds a masters’ degree from the Eastman School of Music. An internationally acclaimed soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, she’s on the faculty of the Amati Conservatory in New Jersey, the Amati Music Festival in New York and Mount Royal University in Calgary.

Saint-Saëns, who was active as a poet, mathematician, astronomer and archaeologist as well as a musician, composed the last of his three violin concertos in 1880 for the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, who introduced the work in a concert in Paris.

Russian-born Rachmaninoff’s romantic second symphony nearly was never composed. According to musicologist Michael Steinberg, “The premiere of his Symphony No. 1 in 1897, horribly conducted by Alexander Glazunov, was such a disaster that it took three years of psychotherapy and hypnosis before Rachmaninoff could again face writing a large-scale composition. It was the instantly popular Piano Concerto No. 2 that freed him then – but even so, it was a long time before the notion of ‘symphony’ ceased to make him shudder.” Rachmaninoff wrote the symphony between October 1906 and April of 1907. It would be nearly 30 years before he wrote another.

The final program of the SASO season will be performed twice – Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. in SaddleBrooke – and Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte.

The 2013-2014 SASO season will be announced at the concerts.

Tickets to the SaddleBrooke concert are $21 in advance or $23 at the door. Order them online at http://tickets/ or call 825-2818.

Tickets to the St. Andrews concert are $20 in advance or at the door. At the St. Andrews concert, tickets are complimentary for students age 17 or younger. Reserve online at or call 308- 6226.

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 January the orchestra completed its second performance tour of China.

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