The first ensemble group of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to perform in SaddleBrooke was the String Quartet and that occurred about 15 years ago. Since then the ensemble has returned to bring us wonderful music nearly every year. The Arizona Daily Star describes the quartet as “the closest thing Arizona has to a European chamber ensemble.” They will be at MountainView Ballroom on Monday, February 22, 2016, to play a special recital followed by a special dinner. You do not have to be a SaddleBrooke Symphony Guild (SSG) member to attend this concert, but you can further support the TSO by joining SSG for the concert season. Membership is $25 for a household or $15 for a single person.
The TSO String Quartet is made up of the following members: Wynne Wong-Rife – violin, Joseph Rousos-Hammond – violin, Ilona Vukovic-Gay – viola, and Anne Gratz – cello. Both the violinists are native Tucsonans having started playing the violin in their elementary school’s programs. Wong-Rife studied at the Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory of Music. In fact she met her husband David Rife at Eastman School of Music. Joseph Rousos-Hammond received his training at Indiana University and Chicago College of Performing Arts. Anne Gratz comes from Indiana and received her training at Interlochen Arts Academy and the Eastman School of Music. Ilona Vukovic-Gay graduated from Manhattan School of Music and Yale University. She is active in the TSO’s Young Composer’s Project. All the musicians trained with renowned teachers and have played with outstanding orchestras. The quartet enhances their programs with commentaries and insights into the composers and the music and their performances are always audience pleasers!
The event begins at 4:30 p.m. with a no-host bar, with the concert at 5:00 p.m. followed by the dinner. The dinner consists of appetizers, fresh salad and your choice of chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and cheese, rice pilaf and broccoli or seared salmon with dill butter sauce, whipped potatoes and green beans. Dessert is raspberry bars and non-alcoholic beverages are included. A special feature is you can avoid waiting in line for bar service by pre-ordering a whole bottle of wine. The cost for this event including all taxes and tips is $60 per person for chicken and $65 for salmon for SSG members. For non SSG members the price is $65 per person for chicken and $70 for salmon. Please call Mary Burke at 818-2372 by February 14 to make your reservations or for more information. Hope to see you at this enjoyable concert and dinner event. Years ago having a chamber group give a special concert for you was reserved for only the royalty of Europe!