Throwback Thursday to PRIMO

by Tucson Symphony
Throwback Thursday to PRIMO

It’s Throwback Thursday! Reminisce with us about the wonderful time we had on February 21st at PRIMO, a Recital and Benefit Dinner, held at Tucson Symphony Center. PRIMO is an annual benefit that features our principal musicians in recital, giving supporters the chance to hear these musicians up close and additionally get to know them over dinner. Proceeds from the event go towards TSO programming – including our seven education programs impacting over 35,000 students and teachers annually.

PRIMO attendees were treated to intimate solo performances from each principal from a wide range of composers including Graham Whettam, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Prokofiev, Camille Saint-Saëns, Manuel Ponce, Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Maurice Ravel, and Bohuslav Martinů.

Supporters and musicians enjoyed wine together from local favorite and TSO sponsor, Sand-Reckoner Vineyards. Café à la C’Art expertly prepared and served a three-course meal to guests atop a beautiful table showcasing flowers from Inglis Florists.

Our table sponsors included John and Farah Palmer; Shirley Chann, Dr. Lorraine Mackstaller, and Ruth and Robert Zollinger; Jim and Fran Allen; Dr. Karen Bahnick; Carl and Judith Bowser; Cox Communications; David Farneth and David Gilbert; Steven Haines; Gretchen Price; and Cecile Follansbee, Coppélia Samaha, and Jeannette Segel.

Here is a little bit about each of the performers at PRIMO:

Lauren Roth is concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and was named Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Arizona beginning in the 2013–2014 school year. Prior to these positions, she was concertmaster of the Canton Symphony. Lauren earned a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of William Preucil, and she was accepted into his prestigious Concertmaster Academy.  She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington in violin performance and Italian studies. Lauren spends summers teaching and performing around the world at various festivals including Prague Summer Nights, Marrowstone Music festival, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Youth Camp, and Carnegie Hall’s New York Orchestra Seminar 2. Outside of music, Lauren enjoys playing and watching sports, yoga, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Dario Brignoli, Italian clarinetist, graduated from the Conservatory in Milan, the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at USC Thornton Music School. He played in the Italian Youth Orchestra “Cherubini,” directed by Riccardo Muti, in famous theaters globally. He is a former member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and Schleswig Holstein Music Festival Orchestra. Dario has performed with Copenhagen Philharmonic, Macao Symphony, and Las Vegas Philharmonic. He has been TSO’s Principal Clarinet since 2017 and principal clarinet at Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra.

A native of Tucson, Joseph Rousos-Hammond began playing the violin in his elementary school orchestra program, and also participated in Tucson Junior Strings and the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra. He attended Indiana University where he received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction as a student of Koichiro Harada, Paul Biss, and Mark Kaplan. Upon graduation, he completed a Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he was a student of Chicago Symphony Concertmaster Robert Chen.

A native of Oakland, California, Ian Jones fell in love with the cello and chamber music while attending The Crowden School (famous for alumni Noah Bendix-Balgley and Marybeth Brown-Plambeck). He began his career playing in the cello section of the Honolulu Symphony, and has since performed with ensembles in Midwest and Southwest. He joined the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in 2011, and has since been appointed Assistant Principal Cello. He performed with the Breckenridge Music Festival, Tucson’s St. Andrew’s Bach Society, Phoenix’s Downtown Chamber Series, and Albuquerque’s Chatter ABQ.

Grace Nakano is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. A native of Japan, she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and Boston University. She received a Fine Arts Award at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Hal Grossman. Accolades include First Prize Winner of the Duxbury Music Festival Chamber Competition in 2012, solo performances and various positions with orchestras and festivals including Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Round Top Music Festival, Texas Music Festival. Grace also teaches at TUSD and privately in the Tucson area.

Alana Wiesing is in her first season as the Principal Timpanist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and she recently became an Adjunct Professor of Percussion at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. She grew up in Phoenix, AZ and earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In her free time, Alana enjoys hiking, biking, running, sports, cooking, arts events, board games, trivia, and spending quality time with family and friends.

A highly sought-after pianist, Dean Zhang serves as principal keyboardist of the Tucson, Canton, and Southwest Florida Symphonies. He has been a featured soloist with each of his orchestras, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. Previously principal keyboardist of the Omaha Symphony, Dean will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra in May 2020. He teaches at the historic New England Music Camp.

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