Symphonie Fantastique, New Violin Concerto To Be Performed By Tucson Symphony Orchestra This Weekend

by Tucson Symphony

Violin Superstar Tessa Lark, to Premiere Concerto Written for her by Composer Michael Torke, a TSO Co-commission with Other Orchestras

(Tucson, AZ)─Music that was once described by Leonard Bernstein as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature will be featured  on the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s next Classic Series concert. Perry So, an inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct Hector Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique Friday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Tucson Music Hall. Concert Comments begin promptly one hour prior to performances and are complimentary with tickets.

Symohonie Fantastique’s story is a self-portrait of the composer, inspired by an unrequited love for a Shakespearean actress of the day. Berlioz polished the symphony after a disappointing premiere. The revised version brought the audience to its feet, including actress Harriet Smithson, who eventually married Berlioz. With Symphonie Fantastique, Berlioz stepped into his artistic maturity. It remains one of the top 20 most-performed Classical works, according to the League of American Orchestras.

After assisting Edo de Waart, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel and John Adams, Perry So has conducted orchestras all over the world. Recent debuts include the Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, Houston, Detroit, New Jersey, Israel and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, the China Philharmonic, and the Residentie Orkest in the Hague. He has been a frequent guest both at Walt Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl following his stint as an inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. These performances mark his Tucson debut.

After the program opens with Maurice Ravel’s Menuet Antique, perhaps familiar to listeners as the fifth movement of  Le tombeau de Couperin, Tessa Lark will make her Tucson debut performing Michael Torke’s Sky Concerto for Violin. A TSO co-commission with the Albany Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Erie Philharmonic and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the concerto was composed for Lark by Michael Torke. The piece,which was premiered and recorded in January, 2019, in Albany, has Irish reels and American bluegrass. The New York Times has called Torke “the Ravel of his generation,” and his music has been called “some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years.”

Since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at sixteen, Tessa Lark has appeared with dozens of orchestras, festivals, and recital venues including Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, San Francisco Performances, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Marlboro Music. In May 2020 she will make her recital debut at Lincoln Center on its prestigious Great Performers Series. Lark is a graduate of New England Conservatory with an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.

The TSO Classic Series is sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy Dyer Vanek. Conductor Perry So is supported by Bob and JoAnne Hungate.

Tickets to Symphony Fantastique are $31 to $87. 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.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158