SASO’s Season Finale Features Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

TUCSON, AZ – Music aficionados take note. There’s a mighty milestone ahead.

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra will present three performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with Brazilian-born guitarist Roberto Capocchi, and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.

The Beethoven is considered by many to be the greatest piece of music ever written. It features four vocal soloists plus the SASO Chorus and the familiar melody known as “Ode to Joy.” The complex and powerful masterpiece is a joyful celebration, a universal human anthem. This Choral Symphony is what Leonard Bernstein chose to conduct at the international celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This formidable program will be May 10, 11 and 12 and conducted by Music Director Linus Lerner.

Rodrigo was born in Spain and lost most of his vision at age three. He played piano and violin and composed his music using Braille. He held the Manuel de Falla Chair as professor of music at Madrid University. The Concierto de Aranjuez is his most popular work, inspired by the gardens at the King of Spain’s Royal Palace of Aranjuez near Madrid.

Soloist will be guitarist Roberto Capocchi, a graduate of Lins de Vascocelios Conservatory and Carlos Gomes College, both in Brazil. He has performed in North, Central and South America, as well as Belgium. He’s on the faculty at New Mexico Highlands University, United World College and Adams State University. He released a solo CD in 2010 with music by Isaac Albéniz, Regino Sainz de la Maza, Joaquín Turina and Francisco Tárrega. He’s completing a doctoral degree at the University of Arizona.

Andy Bade, also a doctoral candidate at the UA, will prepare the SASO Chorus. He’s a music educator, musician and member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Soloists for the Beethoven include Eloisa Molina, soprano; Erika Coyote, contralto; Jorge Jiménez, tenor, and Gabriel Navarro, baritone. They are all from Mexico and performed with SASO at an opera festival there last summer.

The SASO program opens with the Festive Overture by Shostakovich, which he composed in just a few days for a concert at the Bolshoi. This music became the theme of the 1980 Summer Olympics.

The 2013-2014 SASO season is sponsored by longtime supporter Dorothy Vanek.

The concerts will be presented Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive in SaddleBrooke; Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte in northwest Tucson; and Monday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre, West Campus,, 2202 W. Anklam Road.

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

Tickets to the St. Andrew’s and Pima Community College concerts are $20 can be ordered by phone at 308-6226 or online at Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

Complimentary tickets are available at the St. Andrews performance for students age 17 or younger.

Maestro Lerner has led orchestras, operas, choruses and instrumental groups in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and China. SASO has toured China twice under his baton. In the summer of 2013 he directed the inaugural Oaxaca Opera Festival in Mexico, coaching singers from Mexico and conducing SASO musicians. Plans are to return in August. Lerner also is music director of the Symphony Orchestra Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil.

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. For more information, visit or call 308-6226.

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