SASO performs Beethoven, Suppe, and Dvorak in February

Punch Howarth

February marks the return of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra conducted by Linus Lerner in an impressive program of 19th Century masterworks. The concert opens with Franz von Suppe’s Overture to his Operetta Light Cavalry. The work opens with a grand fanfare of brass and is followed by four interesting themes including the famous gallop twice. Next on the program will be the Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, The Triple Concerto, of Beethoven. This very unique work is not performed often, undoubtedly due to high soloist costs. Featured as soloists are Violinist Edwin E. Soo Kim who was born in Korea and at age 7 started violin lessons. Following high school he moved to Vienna to do advanced studies in violin. His high point came as soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2007 and has performed the Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky concertos with them. He performed with orchestras and gave recitals in Europe and Asia. He is now Professor at Hanyang University in Seoul and is primary soloist for the Lech Classical Music Festival at Leach am Arlberg, Austria. Mr. Kim soloed with SASO in 2013 playing the Tchaikovsky concerto.

Returning as soloist following a brilliant performance of Bloch’s Schlomo last season is Cellist Zoran Stilin. Born in Croatia he was a prize winner of the Yugoslavia National Cello Competition and has been soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic, Radio-Television Orchestra, Music Academy Orchestra and Gaudemus Chamber Orchestra. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a Master of Music and he also studied in Switzerland. Zoran is also a fine maker and restorer of string instruments. His instruments and bows have won numerous top awards. Lastly, Piano soloist Melanie Chae, who is also married to violinist Edwin Kim, studied at Purcell School and Royal College of Music, both in London. She has won many prizes also in Europe and is now based in Vienna. Melanie specializes in chamber music and has been part of tours in Austria, Korea and Germany. The three movement concerto, being Beethoven, has a very important orchestra accompaniment.

Concluding the concert will be Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G, in a four movement Slavic gem. This work and the overture have been reviewed previously. This concert will have three performances: February 20 in Green Valley at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church, on February 21 at 7:30 p.m., at SaddleBrooke at DesertView Performing Arts Auditorium and February 22 in Oro Valley at 3:00 p.m. at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

For more information about SASO, soloists and tickets, go to