Grammy Winning Virtuoso Gil Shaham to Make Tucson Symphony Orchestra Debut Performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

by Tucson Symphony

José Luis Gomez to Conduct One Night Only Performance Featuring Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff Favorites

(Tucson, AZ)─ Hailed by The New York Times as “One of today’s preeminent violinists,” world renowned Grammy® Award winning virtuoso Gil Shaham will make his Tucson Symphony Orchestra debut performing Tchaikovsky’s breathtakingly beautiful Violin Concerto concluding a program featuring Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff favorites. Shaham will appear one night only, Friday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.

Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America’s 2012 “Instrumentalist of the Year,” already has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including bestsellers that have ascended the charts in the U.S. and abroad. These recordings have earned multiple Grammys and many other awards. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

After a performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Times exclaimed: “We were lucky: Gil Shaham was the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. His was old-school, big-personality, enormously engaging Tchaikovsky playing. Shaham’s oneness with the music won us all over, and after the big first-movement cadenza, the audience burst into applause. I’ve never heard that happen before, and I wonder whether Shaham had either.”

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is one of the best known violin concertos and is considered one of the most technically difficult works for the instrument. Tchaikovsky intended the first performance to be given by Leopold Auer, for whom he had written his Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra. Auer refused, later explaining that he doubted the concerto’s “intrinsic worth” and because it would have been necessary, “for purely technical reasons, to make some slight alterations in the passages of the solo part.”  The planned premiere was cancelled and a new soloist, Adolph Brodsky, was found.

Completing the program are Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Glazunov’s Overture Solemnelle.

Tchaikovsky named his work inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet an “overture-fantasy.” The music closely follows the Shakespearean plot and features a number of restatements of the “love theme” throughout.

Vocalise is among Rachmaninoff’s most frequently performed and instantly recognizable pieces. Originally for soprano with piano accompaniment, the composer himself scored the work for full orchestra and recorded that version in 1929. Like his other signature efforts, the Second Piano Concerto and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Vocalise showcases his lush harmonies and the immediacy of his melodic ideas.

Maestro Gomez calls the Overture Solennelle one of the works in Glazunov’s vast catalogue that represents very well his amazing composing technique. “It shows the full power of the orchestra sound, so it is indeed a fantastic opening work for a concert,” he explained.

Tickets for Gil Shaham are $45 to $95. 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