Classic Series 2019-09-11T15:44:45-07:00


Calendar Listing
Classic Series
SuperPops! Series
MasterWorks Series
Special Events


The first Tucson Symphony Orchestra concert on January 13, 1929 featured Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Classic 1

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Yekwon Sunwoo, piano

Bach/Webern: Fugue for Six Voices from Musical Offering
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major

Friday, September 20, 2019, 7:30pm
Sunday, September 22, 2019, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Considered the most substantive of Bach’s thirteen-piece “Musical Offering,” the Fugue is dedicated to Frederick the Great; Webern’s instrumentation gives the music universal appeal

  • Yekwon Sunwoo is the 2017 Gold medal winner of the prestigious Cliburn Competition

  • At the premiere of Symphony No. 7 Beethoven remarked that it was one of his best works

  •  Allegretto (the second movement) has been used in a wide variety of films including Mr. Holland’s Opus, The King’s Speech and X-Men


“Just as when one looks up and sees the open expanse of the sky, I felt an openness when writing this piece, a renewed freshness to putting notes together.”
Michael Torke

Classic 2

Symphonie Fantastique

Perry So, conductor
Tessa Lark, violin

Ravel: Menuet Antique
Torke: Sky, Concerto for Violin TSO Premiere, Co-Commissioned by TSO
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Friday, October 25, 2019, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Perry So was an inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

  • Budding classical music superstar Tessa Lark is also a highly acclaimed fiddler and this concerto, written especially for her, features music from Irish reels to American Bluegrass

  • The New York Times has called Torke “the Ravel of his generation” and his music is “some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years”

  • Leonard Bernstein called Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature


Classic 3

Sharon Isbin Guitar

Case Scaglione, conductor
Sharon Isbin, guitar

Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Corigliano: Troubadours (Variations for Guitar and Orchestra)
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Friday, November 15, 2019, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Grammy® winner Sharon Isbin returns to the TSO for the first time since 2000 to perform a guitar concerto composed by the Grammy, Oscar® and Pulitzer Prize winning composer of The Red Violin, John Corigliano

  • Martin Scorsese’s Oscar®-winning film The Departed features Isbin as soloist on the soundtrack

  • The opening and closing music of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde is widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire

  • Former New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Case Scaglione will lead the TSO in some of Rachmaninoff’s lushest harmonies in a beautiful work filled with rhythm and energy


Classic 4

Beethoven’s Fifth 

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Sean Chen, piano

Estévez: Mediodía en el Llano
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor

Friday, December, 6, 2019, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 8, 2019, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Beethoven’s Fifth is one of the best-known symphonic compositions in the world

  • The famous four-note opening motif is heard frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll covers, to uses in film and television

  • Sean Chen, a Cliburn 2013 and American Pianists Association award winner, won over Tucson playing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on the MasterWorks Series in 2015. Now he makes his debut on the Classic Series with Saint-Saëns’ most popular piano concerto

  • Antonio Estévez is one of the greatest musical figures of Venezuela and Mediodía en el Llano is his most popular piece


Classic 5

Windows Into Song

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Bruce Chamberlain, director
Federica Lombardi, soprano

Lopez-Hanshaw: vokas animo for Orchestra and Chorus World Premiere, TSO Commission
Respighi: Church Windows
Rossini: A selection of choral and soprano works featuring Federica Lombardi and the TSO Chorus

Friday, January 24, 2020, 7:30pm
Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Federica Lombardi made her Met debut in January

  • Already rich and famous from the success of Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome and now newly married, Respighi’s wife, a student of Gregorian chant, inspired him to write Church Windows


Classic 6

All About That B 

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, “Pastorale”

Friday, February 14, 2020, 7:30pm
Sunday, February 16, 2020, 2pm

  • With the First, Beethoven boldly stakes his claim as the rightful heir to the classical symphonic tradition

  • Although he rarely offered descriptions of his music, the picnics, thunderstorms and happy dancers that inspired “Pastorale” reveal Beethoven as a lover of nature

  • He composed the Sixth Symphony simultaneously with the Fifth Symphony


“An artist with the goods for a significant career.”
Washington Post

Classic 7

Barber Violin Concerto

Manuel Hernández-Silva, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

Barber: Adagio for Strings
Barber: Violin Concerto
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12 in D Minor, “The Year 1917”

Friday, March 13, 2020, 7:30pm
Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, Paul Huang is quickly gaining attention for his eloquence, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity

  • Barber’s Adagio for Strings was popularized by its use in the Oscar® winning film Platoon and his violin concerto is among the most performed twentieth century concertos

  • Dmitri Shostakovich walked a political tightrope with the 12th by composing a tribute to Lenin while championing the oppressed at the same time


“TSO is first rate performing Mahler’s Second. The orchestra performed with shattering power.”
– Arizona Daily Star

Classic 8

Mahler “Resurrection”

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Kelley Nassief, soprano
Emily Marvosh, contralto
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Bruce Chamberlain, director

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection”

Friday, April 3, 2020, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 5, 2020, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

  • Mahler’s most popular and successful work during his lifetime

  • The uplifting and sublime final movement features the TSO Chorus and soloists

  • The final movement has drawn comparisons with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 because both use a chorus as the centerpiece of a long movement

  • Voted the fifth-greatest symphony of all time in a survey of conductors by BBC Music Magazine