Busy Week for Tucson Classical Music

We have a busy week ahead for classical music in Tucson. Here’s what you need to know.

The guest chef leads the SASO

Egyptian conductor Ahmed El Saedi will be on the podium when the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra performs the second concert of its 2022-23 season this weekend.

El Saedi, who also moonlights as a composer, is the longtime musical director and principal conductor of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. SASO music director Linus Lerner said he met El Saedi several years ago at a music festival in Italy.

El Saedi will conduct the Tucson Volunteer Ensemble in a program that includes Mendelssohn’s “Hebride” Overture and Dvorák’s brilliant Eighth Symphony. Cello Concerto in D major.

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The orchestra will perform the concert twice this weekend: at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, at the DesertView Performing Arts Center in SaddelBrooke, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte, Oro Valley. Tickets are $30 for SaddleBrooke via tickets.saddlebrooketwo.com; $25, free for ages 17 and under, for Oro Valley via sasomusic.org.

For more information, call 520-308-6226.

The symphonic winds salute the veterans

When you organize an event every year, it falls into the category of “annual events”.

When you do it for 37 years — without the COVID-19 break, which should never be held against anyone’s longevity record — you’re tradition.

On Friday, November 11, Tucson bandleader László Veres will lead his volunteer Arizona Symphonic Winds in their 37th Veterans Day Concert.

“We have been playing continuously since 1986; The year 2021 Covid-19 doesn’t count,” said Veres, who will don his ubiquitous John Phillip Sousa uniform for the occasion. “It’s become a Tucson tradition.”

The orchestra’s Veterans Day “Salute to Veterans” concert will feature Catalina Foothills High School senior Tyler Kebo as the marimba soloist in a program that includes “American Sketches ” by Barry Kopetz, “Colonial Scenes” by Tucson composer Mark Wolfram, Robert W. Smith. “American Flourish” and steps by John Philip Sousa.

The Arizona Symphonic Wind’s “Salute to Veterans” concert will feature Catalina Foothills High School senior Tyler Kebo as a marimba soloist.

Courtesy of Tucson Pops Orchestra

The Winds will also pay tribute to all members of the armed forces past and present with the “Armed Forces Salute”, a medley of songs representing all branches of service.

The 37th Annual Veterans Day Concert will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. Free entry.

Friends of Arizona honor pianist

Two of the three members of the highly esteemed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio will pay tribute to their late partner Joseph Kalichstein at a special concert with Arizona Friends of Chamber Music on Wednesday, November 16.

Kalichstein, the award-winning concert pianist who founded the trio in 1977, died last March at the age of 76.

Pianist Anna Polonsky will take the Kalichstein seat when her longtime trio mates, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson, and violist/composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama perform a concert hosted by Kalichstein.

The program features the Arizona premiere of Ngwenyama’s new work “Elegy” for piano, violin, viola and cello, co-commissioned by Arizona Friends and several other presenters, including the Kennedy Center, and written in response to the 2020 Social Report .

In program notes released by the Kennedy Center, where the quartet performed the Oct. 18 concert, Kalichstein called “Elegy” “a heartbreaking tribute to the victims of racial prejudice and the struggle for equality and justice.” and said “there is something quite appropriate” associating “Elegy” with Dvorák’s E-flat Piano Quartet.

“Amazingly, (Dvorák) was one of the first champions of black American composers. And, as director of the newly created National Conservatory of Music in Lower Manhattan, he insisted that it would be open to women and people of color (not a given in the 1880s! ),” Kalichstein wrote.

Wednesday’s concert, which also includes Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $32, $10 for students with ID, through arizonachambermusic.org or by calling 520-577-3769.

Sound technician Michael T Anderson presents a gift to longtime Tucson Pops Orchestra maestro László Veres during Veres’ final performance with the Tucson Pops Orchestra on June 12, 2022. Veres retired of the Tucson Pops Orchestra, which he had led for 32 years. Video by Rebecca Sasnett, Arizona Daily Star.

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