Fall Arts Preview: Classical Music

YoYoMa! Mariachis! James Bond! Classical music has modern twists in Tucson this fall

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

José Luis Gomez will be serving his inaugural season as music director for the orchestra, and designed the program to reflect the musical journey of his life, which took him from Venezuela to Spain to New York and beyond.


Award-winning young pianist Zhang Zuo will is the featured soloist in Carreño's Margeriteña, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 (composed when he was only in his 20s!) and Mahler's Symphony No. 1, "Titan" on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m.

Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, "Scottish"—MasterWorks

The featured soloist for this performances is Lauren Roth on violin. The concert begins with Overture Pastourelle (1824) by ARRIAGA, sometimes nicknamed the "Spanish Mozart" because he was not only born on the same day as Mozart 50 years later, but he was a child prodigy and composer who died young. Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, "Scottish" will also be performed. Performances are at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Friday, Oct 6, at 7:30, and at Catalina Foothills High School on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m.

Music of James Bond

Scott Terrell conducts and Hilary Kole is on vocals for this celebration of 007's biggest hits, including "Skyfall," "Goldfinger" and "Live and Let Die." Performances are Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m.

Mariachi Los Camperos will kick off Tucson's All Souls Procession Weekend on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. Celebrate Día de los Muertos  with the Grammy-nominated ensemble which was founded in 1990 by Natividad "Nati" Cano and has appeared on The Tonight Show, the Grammy Awards Show, and several Linda Ronstadt albums. TSO is also set to participate in the finale ceremony of the All Souls Day Procession on Sunday, Nov. 5, though the time and date have not yet been announced.

Bizet Symphony in C—MasterWorks

This program includes opera, ballet and orchestral music, but everything on the menu is French. Jean-Marie Zeitouni will conduct Chabrier's l'Étoile Overture, Ravel's Mother Goose and Bizet's Symphony in C. Performances are at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and at Catalina Foothills High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m.

Grieg Piano Concerto

This performance will feature Sibelius' Finlandia, Grieg's Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3, "Polish," and be conducted by Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony. Drew Peterson, 2017 American Pianists Association Fellow, will be performing. Performances will by Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II

In honor of Thanksgiving weekend, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Tweety, Sylvester and even Tom and Jerry will be coming to the Tucson Music Hall. Classic cartoons will be projected on the big screen while original live scores, conducted by George Daugherty (who, along with David Ka Lik Wong, created the show) will be played. 50 percent off for kids. Saturday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo Yo Ma, one of the world's most renowned modern cellists, and winner of 18 Grammys, is coming to Tucson for one night only for a performance at the Tucson Music Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30. Tickets are only available in addition to the purchase of a 2-17-2018 TSO discount ticket package, and are available by phone, at the box office, or through the mail, just not online.


George Frideric Handel's choral piece, "Messiah," will be performed Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School. Teresa Wakim sings soprano, Misty Bermudez sings alto, Matthew Chellis sings tenor, Marcus DeLoach sings baritone, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus sings as well. Bruce Chamberlain conducts.

Magic of Christmas

Holiday music, UA dancers performing pieces from The Nutcracker, and even a sing-along portion of the night makes the Magic of Christmas an event you won't want to miss. Santa and snow are also set to make appearance at the showings, which are Saturday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. Michael Hall conducts, Bruce Chamberlain directs, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus and UA dancers perform.

Tucson J Celebration of Heritage Concert Series

This series, which takes place in the Tucson J Ballroom, is hosted by Roza Simkhovich, a music educator with an MS from Kaliningrad State Technical University, Russia, and MEd from UA and 30 years of experience of an educator. Each performance is $10, or Tucson J members can purchase tickets to all four for $36.

Celebrating Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Mendelssohn

In a program dedicated to the work of the German Romantic Composer, two TSO members will perform in a violin and piano duo. Anna Gendler, Moscow University graduate, will play violin, and Alexander Tentser, an organizer of the 2013 and 2015 Shaol Pozez Memorial Fine Art Symposiums on Jewish Music, will play piano. The performance is Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

Celebrating Spanish, Latin and Baroque Contemporary Music

Michael Lich, who serves as a faculty member at the Academy of Music and Dance of Tucson/Oro Valley, Pima Community College and Quest for the Arts, has traveled the world for his classical guitar career. In this event, he will perform Spanish, Latin and Baroque-Contemporary pieces by the likes of Brouwer, Rodrigo and Lich himself. See it Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.

Celebrating America's History!

Lyricist Richard Fuchs Wrote Requiem Gemini about the 9/11 attacks, Civil War Cantata – 150 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and his own signature song, Long Island. His choral setting of Gettysburg premiered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1983. He will be playing classical guitar at a 7 p.m. performance on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Celebrating Italian Melodies: Operatic Arias, Art Songs and Folk Music

Tusconan mezzo-soprano Korby Myrick and her husband, composer and pianist Richard Hereld, will perform pieces from composers such as Bellini, Rossini, Mozart and Verdi. See their arias, art songs and folk Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music

Timothy Kantor

Violinist Timothy Kantor, the second violinist of the Afiara Quartet in Toronto and founding member of the Larchmere String Quartet, is performing Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. at Sea of Glass. Michelle Abraham will also play violin, while Jackie Glazier will play clarinet and Tannis Gibson is on piano.  The quartet will perform the music of Mozart, Ponce, Kreisler, Martinu, Bartók and Nichifor.

Benjamin Beilman and Haochen Zhang

Beilman, 26, will play violin and Zhang, co-gold medalist of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, will play Beethoven's Sonata in D. Major Op. 12 No. 1, Britten's Suite Op. 6, Saariaho's Tocar and Brahms' Sonata No. 3 in D Minor Op. 108. The performance is at Leo Rich Theater on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m.

The Pavel Haas Quartet

This Czech quartet will be playing Schubert's Quartet in A Minor ("Rosamunde"), D. 804, Shostakovich's Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108 and Smetana's Quartet No. 1 in E Minor ("From My Life") at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Leo Rich Theater.

Harlem Quartet with Aldo López Gavilán

The Harlem Quartet starts off the night with a Debussy's Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10 and Strayhorn's Take the "A" Train, then moves into a foursome of pieces composed by López Gavilán, and feature the Cuban jazz/classical composer on the piano himself. The group performs Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theater.

Pacifica Quartet with Sharon Isbin

This all-Italian program includes pieces by Boccherini, Vivaldi, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Puccini, and is accompanied by the musical stylings of guitarist Sharon Isbin. See the performance Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theater.

AZ Early Music

Tenet: Uno+One

Tenet, the acclaimed NYC ensemble, is making its Arizona premiere with the music of Monteverdi and his 17th century contemporaries. Sopranos Jolle Greenleaf and Molly Quinn will sing with an ensemble of strings, theorbo, harpsichord and violin, the last of which will be played by Robert Mealy, director of Juilliard Historical Performance. See the performance on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at St. Philip's In The Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave.

Dark Horse Consort: A Grand Tour For Christmas

Audiences will be treated to a first-class musical tour around the European continent when the Dark Horse Consort plays everything from cheery Spanish villancicos to somber motets from Flanders to classic German carols. The ensemble's instrumentalists work to emulate the sound of brass ensembles from the early 1600s. The performance is Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. at St. Philip's In The Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave.

The Fred Fox School of Music at UA

A full listing of the UA's fall season is available on their website. Below is a sampling of events through fall.

Music + Festival 2017: Hindemith, Tower, Ellington.

At the tenth iteration of this annual event, UA will feature American composer Joan Tower, an entire concert in honor of the music of Duke Ellington and the music of influential 20th century composer Paul Hindemith. The festival begins on Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m, and the final concert begins at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8. Performances take place at the UA Music Building, 1017 N. Olive Road.

Ninth International Tucson Guitar Festival

Tucson Guitar Society Director Julia Pernet and Professor Tom Patterson host world-class guest artists, such as Iliana Matos of Cuba and Sérgio and Odair Assad from Brazil at this week-long event. The guest artists will also offer free master classes and the Beeston Guitar Competition Finals will be held. The Festival begins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Holsclaw Hall, 1017 N. Olive Road.

UA Presents

The university also features several classical guest artists.

Brasil Guitar Duo

João Luiz and Douglas Lora, winners of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, play a mix of classical guitar (think Bach and Scarlatti) and traditional native music (like choro and samba). See them play Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Crowder Hall, 1031 N. Olive Road.

Olga Kern

Kern received a Russian Gold Medal in the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—the first woman to do so in over 30 years. Now, this Grammy-nominated artist will perform at Centennial Hall (1020 E. University Blvd.) on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Germán López

After a Spanish-inspired dinner on the Stevie Eller stage, the audience for this program will be treated to López playing the Canary Islands instrument the timple (think a ukulele, but richer sounding) and Antonio Toledo accompanying him on acoustic guitar. See the performance Saturday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. at Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd.