Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra announces 2014-2015 season

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Sandra Wright Shen opens the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra season, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 on Oct. 4 and 5. With her passion, musicality, and inspiration, she aims to move hearts through music. Born in Taiwan, Shen just won first prize in the 2012 International Piano Competition of France, the latest of many awards. The 2014-2015 season includes five concert programs featuring international guest artists. Season tickets are on sale now at

TUCSON, AZ – Music is truly the international language. In the 2014-2015 season, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra features music that spans 14 countries with guest artists from around the globe. Season tickets are on sale now – including a new two-concert mini-series in Green Valley.

SASO’s multi-cultural season opens with pianist Sandra Wright Shen, born in Taiwan. The second program features guest conductor Gabriele Pezone of Italy and violinist Marta Magdalena Lelek of Poland. The third stars a trio of artists – pianist Melanie Chae, her husband, violinist Edwin E. Soo Kim, both born in Korea, plus cellist Zoran Stilin who moved to Tucson from Croatia. Originally from China, violist Hong-Mei Xiao solos on the fourth program. Closing out the season is all-American violinist Chloe Trevor, born in Dallas. Violinist Kim, cellist Stilin and violist Xiao have performed with SASO in previous seasons.

  Music Director Linus Lerner, the quintessential globetrotter from Brazil, conducts four of the five SASO programs.

  These soloists and conductors join the talented SASO musicians to perform music by composers from Armenia, Austria, Britain, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and the United States. The oldest selection is the Mozart 21st piano concerto, written in 1785. The most recent is the premiere of Psalm 22, newly composed by SASO’s principal trumpet Michael Kiefer.

Five-concert season tickets are on sale now, offering a savings of $25 over individual ticket prices.

The Saturday SASO series is presented at 7:30 p.m. at SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. in SaddleBrooke, north of the town of Catalina. Season tickets there are $91 and can be purchased by calling 825-2818 or visiting

  The Sunday SASO series is presented at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte. Season tickets are $90 and can be purchased by calling 308-6226 or online at At St. Andrew’s concerts, tickets are complimentary for ages 17 and under.

This season SASO is introducing a two-concert series in Green Valley for $35, a savings of $11. Those concerts are Friday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino del Sol. The Green Valley concerts are Feb. 20 and April 10.

  Longtime SASO supporter Dorothy Vanek is the season sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.

Here is the schedule for 2014-2015 SASO season:

 • Oct. 4 and 5 – Berlioz’ Rákóczy March from The Damnation of Faust, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 with soloist Sandra Wright Shen and Holst’s The Planets.

 • Nov. 8 and 9 – Gabriele Pezone conducts Rossini’s Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri, Panufnik’s Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra with soloist Marta Magdalena Lelek and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5.

 • Feb. 20, 21 and 22 – Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto featuring Melanie Chae, piano; Edwin E. Soo Kim, violin, and Zoran Stilin, cello, plus Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8.

 • April 10, 11 and 12 – Kiefer’s Psalm 22, Martinu’s Rhapsody-Concerto with violist Hong-Mei Xiao and Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite.

 • May 9 and 10 – Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Chloe Trevor and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Individual concert tickets go on sale Sept. 1. Tickets to SaddleBrooke performances are $24 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets to St. Andrew’s concerts and Green Valley concerts are $23.

Praised for bringing charismatic and passionate energies to music performances, Lerner has led the orchestra on two tours of China and a trip to Mexico last summer, to perform in the first edition of the Oaxaca Opera Festival, where he is music director. A return engagement is planned for early August.

  Lerner also serves as music director of the Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. He’s conducted orchestras, operas, choruses and instrumental groups around the world – including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the United States. He also serves as a clinician and vocal coach here and abroad.

In May SASO released its first professional recording – CELEBRATION! – showcasing the diverse musical range of six Tucson composers. The 75-minute CD is on sale now at for $18.50 including shipping.

This orchestra is a vital community resource that has united performers and audiences through a passion for music. Founded in 1979, SASO presents world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and classical favorites. It also sponsors the annual Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition. For more information visit or call (520) 308-6226.

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