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SASO Season

Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 11:30 pm MST

Sometimes it’s important to step back from the real news, fake news and discord to relax and enjoy transformative music, played by passionate musicians in delicious harmony. That’s what Linus Lerner and the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra offer – fresh, innovative, inspiring, provocative and joyful music-making. It’s good for the soul.

The 2017-2018 season features:

o American composer Amanda Harberg’s lush Solis, which debuted at Carnegie Hall in October
o Paraguay’s stellar Diego Sánchez Haase guest conducts with Tbilisi-born pianist Yelena Beriyeva performing Rachmaninov
o A rare concerto for the electric guitar, written and performed by Tucson musician and self-taught composer Pete Fine
o A Chinese New Year celebration with the Tucson Sino Choir and soloists playing ethereal selections on traditional instruments – the guzheng and erhu.
o Southern Arizona’s own Lauren Roth, concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, performs Wieniawski first violin concerto

With SASO you can expect the unexpected. Music Director Lerner challenged himself to not repeat any major work in his first decade of programming for SASO, founded in 1979. The next season explores new works, welcomes eight guest artists and invites audiences to savor both familiar and esoteric selections. Season tickets for the five-concert series are on sale now.

SASO concerts are always eclectic, always enticing. Here’s the lineup:

o Oct. 14-15 – American violinist Chloé Trevor returns to SASO to perform Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto and Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons. Also featured are Harberg’s Solis and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances Nos. 5-8. The program opens with Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No 1.

o Nov. 18-19 – Paraguay’s globe-trotting Diego Sánchez Haase guests conducts Beethoven’s evocative Pastoral Symphony and Rachmaninov’s third piano concerto featuring Tbilisi-born Yelena Beriyeva in her second appearance with SASO. The program opens with Rossini’s Overture to William Tell.

o Jan. 27-28 – SASO’s Chinese New Year celebration features soloists on the guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, and the erhu, or two-stringed Chinese violin. University of Arizona faculty member Jing Xia plays the guzheng in Zhou’s Robe of the Clouds. Xiaoyin Zheng solos on the erhu in Lui’s Great Wall Fantasy. Other selections are Lu’s Ode to the Red Flag and Wang-Lang’s Dream of the Red Chamber.

o March 10-11 – Don’t miss Electric Guitar Concerto No. 2 written and performed by Tucsonan Pete Fine. His first concerto premiered in 1999. This concert also features SASO’s favorite soprano Christi Amonson, performing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Poulenc’s Gloria with the SASO Chorus, plus winners of SASO’s annual Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition.

o April 14-15 – TSO concertmaster Lauren Roth joins SASO to perform Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Also on the program are Theofanides’ Rainbow Body and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances.

SASO’s stimulating concerts are performed twice each cycle – first on Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr., and again on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 7575 N. Paseo del Norte in northwest Tucson.

Season tickets for the SaddleBrooke series are $92, a savings of $23. They can be purchased by calling (520) 825-2818 or

Season tickets for the St. Andrew’s series are $90, a savings of 25. Call (520) 308-6226 or order online at

SASO also will perform its third-annual Mexican Independence Day Concert on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theatre, featuring music of Mexico’s composers, a mariachi ensemble and opera arias sung by winners of the Linus Lerner International Voice Competition to be held this summer in San Luis Potosí in Mexico. This event is sponsored by the Mexican Consulate in Tucson and the Instituto Cultural Mexicano de Tucson. The free tickets will be distributed by the Mexican Consulate, 3915 E. Broadway. Call the consulate at 882-5595, Ext. 404 after Sept. 1.

The well-traveled charismatic Lerner is fluent in the universal language of music. He has conducted SASO musicians both here and abroad, including two tours of China, one in Brazil and several opera festivals, first in Oaxaca and now in San Luis Potosí.

Philanthropist and musician Dorothy Vanek is SASO’s season sponsor for the 11th 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 is sponsored by the Arizona Lottery. Individual concert sponsors include Tom and Carolyn Cochran, Jerry Levine in memory of Carole Levine, and Beatrice Simpson. Additional sponsorships are available.

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


Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 8:00 pm MST
Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 11:30 pm MST
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