PLEASE NOTE: The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra welcomes children to its performances. Students under the age of 17 are admitted free.
SOUTHERN ARIZONA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Contact: Tim Secomb at 626-4513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SASO Launches Season with 14-year old PIANO SENSATION
Performances Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m.
The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra will launch its 32nd season with 14-year-old piano virtuoso George Li performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
This is the piece the ninth-grader played in August to win the inaugural Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition over 40-plus pianists from around the world. His $10,000 prize includes performances with orchestras in Shanghai and Beijing and a full tuition scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory.
Li won his first piano competition at the age of six and has been performing publicly since age nine. He’s been featured on NPR’s From the Top radio program and his Carnegie Hall debut was televised. He’s well traveled – performing in the United States, China, Venezuela, Sweden and Italy. Li is a student at Walnut Hill School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where he studies piano with Wha Kyung Byun. One reviewer described Li as having “a talent and technique somewhat larger than this solar system.”
Conducted by Music Director Linus Lerner, the SASO program also features the Mussorgsky/Ravel “Pictures at an Exhibition” and the premiere of "Celebration" composed by Richard White and dedicated to longtime season sponsor Dorothy Vanek. Composer White also is a SASO violist. Another orchestra supporter, 96-year-old Irving Olson, will conduct Johann Strauss’ Tritsch-Trasch Polka.
This season the orchestra will present two concerts in a single weekend – the first on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Desert View Performing Arts Center at 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive in SaddleBrooke and the second on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, SW Sanctuary, 7575 N. Paseo Del Norte in Tucson.
There are two special features only for the Sunday concert at St. Andrews:
- To accompany the “Pictures at an Exhibition” performance, there will be a display of art from the Muscular Dystrophy Association Art Collection, now celebrating its 18th year of showcasing the creations of artists affected by neuromuscular diseases. The collection has more than 375 pieces, many by children, and has traveled an estimated 150,000 miles to 50 cities. <EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos are available from MDA. Contact Joanne Shortt at email@example.com or call 529-2000 ext. 6489.>
- To give back to the arts community, SASO will donate 75 percent of each ticket purchased to a non-profit arts organization designated by the purchaser when ordering online at www.sasomusic.org. Just type in the complete name of the non-profit organization in the Promo Code box when ordering tickets to the St. Andrew’s performance. The organizations will receive $15 for every ticket designated. Lerner said, “This is SASO’s own local arts stimulus package. We want the arts to continue to thrive in our community.”
The full SASO season includes five subscription concerts, one special concert and the 5th annual fundraising gala. The subscription series includes the September concert with George Li, plus:
- Nov. 20 at 7:30 pm and Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. – Guest conductor Tao Fan and guest cellist Kai Fu are featured in the Dvorak Concerto for Violincello in B minor. The program also includes Ao Chang-Qun’s Tibetan Dance and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major.
- Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb.13 at 3 p.m. – The program includes Ravel’s Bolero and Concerto for Piano in G Major with guest artist Jesus Maria Figueroa, plus Granger’s Colonial Song and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.
- April 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 3 p.m. – This concert features the winner of the second annual SASO Youth Concerto Competition, plus Verdi’s La Forza del Destino Overture and Puccini’s Suor Angelica with soprano Ana Paula Brunkow, mezzo-soprano Kerry Grubel and the Southern Arizona Opera Company.
- May 21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 22 at 3 p.m. – The season finale includes Chabrier’s Espana, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto for Two Guitars with soloists Eduardo Costa and Gabriel Navia and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major.
Special events, not included in a season subscription, include:
- Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. – SASO’s Fifth Annual Gala, held at Saddlebrooke, features fine dining, musical entertainment, live and silent auctions.
- Mar. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Mar. 13 at 3 p.m. – A collaborative celebration of the 300th anniversary of Padre Kino’s death featuring SASO, the Catalinas Community Chorus and Tucson Masterwork Chorale with soprano Christi Amonson and mezzo-soprano Angela Diel. The program includes Mozart’s Coronation Mass, plus choral and orchestral works.The first performance will be at St. Augustine Cathedral downtown. The second location has yet to be determined.
SASO season tickets are $75. For the SaddleBrooke Series order at http://tickets/saddlebrooketwo.com or call 825-5318. Individual tickets for SaddleBrooke are $21 in advance or $23 at the door. For the St. Andrews Series, order online at www.sasomusic.org or call 323-7166. Individual tickets are $20, on sale in advance or at the door.
For more information about SASO visit www.sasomusic.org or call 323-7166.
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