SASO season opens with Jay Vosk premiere, Emperor Concerto with pianist James Dick

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TUCSON, Ariz. – The season opener of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra features the premiere of Running the Rim by Tucson composer Jay Vosk, plus Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with pianist James Dick and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor.

Music Director Linus Lerner returns to the SAS SO podium following a summer of travel to conduct in Mexico, Brazil and China.

Dick launched his career by winning several international competitions. His performances – recitals, chamber music, concertos and recordings – are said to radiate intellectual insight and emotional authenticity. The New York Times writes that Dick represents “modern piano playing at its best.” He continues to win awards, including the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture and Honorary Associate of London’s Royal Academy of Music. In 1971 he established the Round Top Festival Institute in Texas to nurture and incubate aspiring young musicians. Today this is a 210-acre campus with year round education and performance programs.

Composer Vosk is a former New Yorker and graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He has written more than 75 works and called Tucson home since 1980. In 1996 he received a Tucson Pima Arts Council Composer’s Fellowship. He was recently commissioned to write a piece for the National Symphony Orchestra.

Running the Rim will be one of several recorded for possible inclusion in the orchestra’s first professional CD release showcasing Tucson’s talented composers.

Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony is considered his greatest. The theme is fateful and funereal in the first movement, then gradually transforms into a more optimistic and triumphant march that dominates the final movement.

Continuing a six-year SASO fundraising tradition, this program features an audience member who won the opportunity to conduct the orchestra at its annual fundraising gala. J. V. Bevan Olyphant will guest conduct The Flower of Scotland wearing the kilt of his clan. This short work is about a victorious battle led by Olyphant’s ancestors in 1314. Written by Roy Williamson, a Scottish songwriter and folk musician, the piece quickly became the de facto national anthem of Scotland. This year’s gala – with another chance to bid on conducting the orchestra – will be held on Feb. 9.

This program will be performed twice –Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. in SaddleBrooke, and Sunday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte. At the St. Andrews concert, tickets are always complimentary for ages 17 and under.

Individual tickets are $20 at St. Andrews in advance or at the door. At SaddleBrooke individual tickets are $21 in advance or $23 at the door. Season tickets are $75 – a savings of $25 over single ticket admission.

Order SaddleBrooke tickets online at http://tickets/ or call (520) 825-2818. Order the St. Andrews Series online at or call (520) 308-6226.

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