SASO with Linus Lerner returns


Punch Howarth

This article will be a preview of the new and lighter concert season of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra with Linus Lerner conducting four of the five concerts at SaddleBrooke and Oro Valley. Maestro Lerner was the impresario of the San Luis Opera Festival and his own International Voice Competition in Mexico this summer. He also appeared in Texas and Brazil. The bulk of the long-standing orchestra musicians return with a few new faces due to retirements and moving from the area.

The opening concerts on October 20 and 21 will be a mixed French-Hispanic program featuring Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Sandra Shen and Petite Suite of Debussy. An interesting and important work will be Carlos Chavez Symphony No. 2, his Indian Symphony. November 17 and 18 concerts are on the lighter side with trumpet soloist Flavio Gabriel playing Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto and Girl From Ipanema by Jobim. Russian composer Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 and Candide Overture of Bernstein complete the program.

Guest conductor Nayden Todorov from Bulgaria will be on the podium on February 2 and 3 opening the 2019 season with an all-German program. Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture and Reformation Symphony No. 5 will open and close the concert. In between will be the powerful Concerto for Violin and Cello by Brahms. Conductor Linus Lerner returns for a much lighter program on March 2 and 3. Works by Offenbach, Dukas, Rimsky-Korsakov and Franciax will more than delight. Composer in the orchestra, Richard White, has a new work; Concertino for English Horn, strings, harp and timpani to be premiered. Also on the program will be the winner of the Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition.

Season ending concerts on April 6 and 7 will be another all-German, but lighter, program with von Suppe’s Overture Beautiful Galatea and two opus by Mozart; Violin Concerto No. 5 with Adolfe Alejo soloist and Coronation Mass with soloists and SASO Chorus.

Concerts in SaddleBrooke are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays in the Desert View Performing Arts Auditorium. Dates are October 20 and November 17, 2018; February 2, March 2 and April 6, 2019. Concerts in the Tucson series are performed in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays, October 21 and November 17, 2018; February 3, March 3 and April 7, 2019. For SaddleBrooke tickets call 520-825-2818 and for the Tucson concerts in Oro Valley call 520-308-6226. For any orchestra questions go to