SASO sneak preview of 2016-2017 season

Punch Howarth

Selections by great well-known composers will highlight the 2016-2017 season of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra conducted by Linus Lerner.

Works by Beethoven, Nielsen, Elgar, Rachmaninov, Schumann and Dvorak will thrill both audiences and orchestra members. In addition conductor Lerner has added a few esoteric and not as well-known works to challenge the orchestra. Soloists include three returning artists plus two new comers.

Again there will be five Saturday evening concerts at 7:30 p.m. at DesertView Performing Arts Auditorium in SaddleBrooke, five Sunday afternoon programs at 3:00 p.m. in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and two Friday evening concerts at 7:00 p.m. in Green Valley at Valley Presbyterian Church. The Green Valley concerts should also appeal to residents of Sahuarita, Tubac and Robson’s Quail Creek.

The 80-member orchestra continues to grow, and there are a few openings for strings. SASO is a community adult orchestra, and there are some members who have performed with professional orchestras. This writer retired from SASO in May after 22 seasons making an opening for a timpanist.

George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto will highlight the opening concert on October 15-16. Soloist James Dick returns following his great SASO performance of the Beethoven Emperor Concerto. Also on the program will be Conga del Fuego Danzon No. 2 by Marquez and William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony. November 19-20 concerts will open with Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture followed by soloist Carol Wincenc performing Concerto for Flute by Carl Nielsen. The world’s most famous and popular symphony, Beethoven’s 5th, will end a big performance.

Concerts on January 27-28-29 will open the 2017 portion of the season with two powerhouse works with Elgar’s Violin Concerto and Symphonic Dances of Rachmaninov. Edwin E. Soo Kim returns as soloist in the Elgar. Opening the concert is Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4. Another British march will open the concerts on March 17-18-19. William Walton’s Crown Imperial Concert March was composed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Two works will be performed by saxophone soloist Ashu. First will be Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto followed by Astor Piazzolla’s Two Tangos, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with soloists and chorus to be named later. The winner of the Dorothy Vaneck’s Concerto Competition will also be featured.

Russian guest conductor Anton Shaburof will lead the final program on April 22-23 with an exciting concert opening with Gliere’s Russian Sailors Dance.

Melanie Chae returns as soloist in Schumann’s Piano Concerto and the concert finale is Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7. For additional information about SASO, membership, tickets and soloists go to