SASO Musicians Head to Music Festival in Brazil

TUCSON, AZ – The well-traveled Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is headed for another international performance – this time in Brazil.

Forty SASO musicians will join members of the Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte and other Brazilian musicians for two concerts at the Gramado In Concert International Music Festival. Linus Lerner, a native of Brazil, is artistic director of both orchestras and founder of the festival.

With Lerner conducting, SASO previously toured China twice and performed at the Oaxaca Opera Festival in Mexico the past three summers. SASO musicians will spend five days in Gramado participating in the festival. Many will then spend three days in Rio de Janeiro before returning to Tucson.

Gramado is a European-style tourist town in the mountains of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The inaugural festival took place in early 2015 and the second will run from Feb. 12 through Feb. 21. The festival includes an extensive program of recitals, master classes and concerts.

The festival orchestra will present two concerts. The first will be Feb. 14 at the Palacio das Convenções and the second on Feb.16 in a specially constructed auditorium in the Rua Coberta. Both programs include Morton Gould’s American Salute and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, known as “From the New World.”

In addition, acclaimed violist Brett Deubner will play two contemporary American viola concertos, one at each concert. More than 80 works for viola have been dedicated to and premiered by him, including both these concerti. This will be the premiere performance of Max Wolpert’s Viola Concerto No. 1, “Giants.” The other featured concerto is Amanda Harberg’s Viola Concerto. Deubner plans to record both these pieces with SASO in Tucson this spring.

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