Tucson Symphony Orchestra opens its 2017/2018 season with a program designed by new music director José Luis Gomez.
“All of them, in a way, present me to Tucson,” Gomez said. “It’s like a way of saying, ‘hi, this is me.’”
Inocente Carreño’s “Margariteña” makes its TSO premiere to start off the night. Both Carreño and Gomez are Venezuelan, and Gomez, who has performed and conducted with symphonies and orchestras all over the world, wanted to give Tucson audiences a taste of where he comes from.
The second and third pieces of the night, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 2 and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major (Titan) are both callbacks to Gomez’s days in Youth Orchestra (he was the Concertmaster of Zulia State’s Youth Orchestra by age 11).
Gomez ended up in Tucson after working internationally because “it felt right,” he said.
“It feels like we found each other,” he said. “You feel like you can grow together with your musicians [and] parts of the community and grow musically as well.”
Internationally renowned pianist Zhang Zuo, also known as Zee Zee, will be the piano soloist in Beethoven’s Concerto No. 2.
The opening performances of TSO will be Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available here.