Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish” and a Virtuosic Violin Concerto Mozart Wrote for Himself Open Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 Masterworks Series

by Tucson Symphony

José Luis Gomez to Conduct Concertmaster Lauren Roth in Concerto He Performed When He Was a Concertmaster

(Tucson, AZ)— Visits to Spain, Salzburg and Scotland open the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 Masterworks Series. Concertmaster Lauren Roth’s talents will be on display when Music Director José Luis Gomez conducts her in an early concerto intended as a showcase for the virtuoso himself, Mozart. Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish,” will  next highlight the technical aspects of the orchestra. Performances are Friday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley, Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 8 at 2:00 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Dr. in Tucson. Concert Comments, sponsored by Splendido, are one hour prior to performances and are complimentary with tickets. There is plenty of free parking at both venues.

Maestro Gomez has called the Masterworks Series, “a laboratory for music,” explaining, “It highlights the musical development between the conductor and the orchestra.” For his inaugural season Gomez took particular care to program music reflecting his life’s musical journey, giving insight into him as a person and artist and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 is one example.

“I performed the Mozart concerto when I was already Concertmaster,” he recalled. “I was performing as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra and with the professional orchestra, the Maracaibo Symphony. Now I am looking forward to having our Concertmaster perform it with me.”

In addition to being Concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Lauren Roth is Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Arizona. Previously, she was Concertmaster of the Canton Symphony. Roth earned her Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was a member of the Cleveland Pops orchestra and a substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra. A native of Seattle, Roth received a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Washington. During that time, she served as Concertmaster of the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Thalia Symphony, Marrowstone Festival Orchestra, and the UW Symphony. This is Roth’s third performance as soloist with the TSO. She has also performed violin concertos by Menotti and Bruch.

Mozart was still a teenager in the service of the Salzburg court when, in 1775, he composed his Violin Concerto No. 4. He seems to have originally composed it for himself, but after resigning from the Salzburg Court Orchestra in 1777, he changed and updated the concerto for the successor of his position in the orchestra, Antonio Brunetti, to play. Mozart may have made the composition more technically challenging for Brunetti to showcase his abilities.

Mendelssohn was also a young man when he began composing his Third Symphony, “Scottish.” He was 20 when he visited Scotland and was inspired by the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, built in 1128 and housed the altar where Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. “I believe I found today the beginning of my Scottish Symphony,” Mendelssohn wrote. Though it was the third symphony he began, he didn’t complete it for twelve years, until after his other four symphonies had been written.

Opening the program is another work of special significance to Maestro Gomez, the Ouverture Pastourelle (1824) by a composer nicknamed the “Spanish Mozart.” Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga was born on the same day as Mozart 50 years later; they were both child prodigies and accomplished composers who died young. Arriaga’s Ouverture, one of only four pieces to survive from an opera he composed, has been described as the “pride and joy of this Spanish classical period of music.”

The MasterWorks Series receives generous support from Drs. John P. and Helen S. Schaefer. Performances at St. Andrew’s are made possible in part by Fishkind, Bakewell, Maltzman and Hunter Eye Care.

Tickets are $45 to $55. They are available online at, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 520.882.8585.  TSO Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.  Programming, artists and prices are subject to change.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158