World’s Premier Harpist To Join Tucson Symphony For Ginastera’s Popular Harp Concerto

by Tucson Symphony

José Luis Gomez to Conduct Program Featuring Brahms Masterpiece, Symphony No. 1

(Tucson, AZ)─Hear why Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 has been called “Beethoven’s Tenth” when Music Director José Luis Gomez leads the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in performances on Friday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Tucson Music Hall. The program will also feature world famous harpist Yolanda Kondonassis performing Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. It will open with El Río de las Siete Estrellas (The River of the Seven Stars) by Evencio Castellanos which uses the backdrop of the largest river in Venezuela, the Orinoco, to tell a symbolic history of Venezuela. Concert Comments, one hour prior to performances are complimentary with tickets.

Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s premier solo harpists and is widely regarded as today’s most recorded classical harpist. Since making her debut at age 18 with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Kondonassis has brought new audiences to the harp and has appeared as soloist with major orchestras all over the world.  The 2016 recording, Ginastera: One Hundred, celebrating the centennial of the composer’s birth, features performances of his music by Kondonassis, guitarist Jason Vieaux, violinist Gil Shaham, and pianist Orli Shaham.

Since its premiere in 1965, Ginastera’s Harp Concerto has acquired an almost cult status as the definitive harp concerto of the twentieth century. With its pulsing Latin rhythms, virtuosic displays, and creative use of many unique colors and special effects, the work has received numerous performances during the past several decades, nearly 200 of which have been performed by Kondonassis.

“Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto not only made my solo career, it was probably a major factor in my decision to choose the harp over the piano at a critical fork in the road,” says Kondonassis. “Having a piece of music that gave me the opportunity to be passionate, ferocious, vibrant, dissonant, and fiery was a deal-maker for me. Ginastera’s Concerto gave me a window into all the other characteristics that the harp – and a harpist – could possess.”

Over 20 years in the making because he doubted he would be able to compose anything as great as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Johannes Brahms must have breathed a sigh of relief when his first symphony was hailed as “Beethoven’s Tenth.” Brahms’ final movement is most recognizable for its bold, hymn-like theme adopted by so many academic institutions as an official alma mater. It looks backward to the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth and was referenced by Mahler in his Third Symphony. Once Brahms had cracked the symphonic code, his Second Symphony followed the next year.

The TSO Classic Series is sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy Dyer Vanek. Brahms Symphony No. 1 is presented by Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson.

Tickets to Brahms Symphony No. 1 are $30 to $86. 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