INAUGURAL SEASON OPENING: TITAN - Classic

Friday, September 22, 7:30pm
Sunday, September 24, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Zhang Zuo, piano

Carreño: Margariteña TSO PREMIERE
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2
Mahler: Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

Zhang Zuo, the award-winning young artist the Los Angeles Times says performs with “a powerful, passionate, and compelling representation of pure artistry” is the perfect soloist to illuminate the diverse movements and charm of Beethoven’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 2, composed when he too was in his 20s. A rhapsody of famous popular tunes and spirited Venezuelan rhythms sets the tone for this program which concludes with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and its sometimes startling blend of music from his own Songs of a Wayfarer to “Frère Jacques.”

I played Margariteña with the Youth Orchestra at least 100 times, including once in Panama when we performed it with Mahler’s first symphony. This performance of Margariteña will celebrate the life and work of Inocente Carreño, who died in May 2016.- José Luis Gomez

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


FIREBIRD - Classic

Friday, October 20, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 22, 2pm

Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor

Debussy: Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun TSO PREMIERE
Stravinsky: Suite from Firebird
Glazunov: Symphony No. 4 TSO PREMIERE

Principal flute Alexander Lipay performs one of the most famous flute solos in music in Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun. Stravinsky’s Firebird has been described as the beginning ofmodern music and Glazunov’s Symphony No. 4, one of his best works, has remained an audience favorite for more than a century with its beauty, lyricism, virtuosity, and romantic appeal.

My father, principal flute with the Maracaibo Symphony, was very proud of his playing of Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun. He had a facsimile of the manuscript and I remember looking at it with him. Flute playing was also how my mother met my father; she went to concerts when she was very young and then she attended the conservatory later on and was taught by my father!

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


GRIEG PIANO CONCERTO - Classic

Friday, November 17, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 19, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

Michael Stern, conductor
2017 American Pianists Association Fellow

Sibelius: Finlandia
Grieg: Piano Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3, “Polish” TSO PREMIERE

Michael Stern, Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony, makes his Tucson Symphony debut conducting the TSO premiere of Tchaikovsky’s thematically rich and brilliantly orchestrated Symphony No. 3. The Grieg Piano Concerto, one of the most popular piano concertos ever written, will be performed by the 2017 winner of the American Pianists Association competition. The program opens with Sibelius’ passionate anthem of independence, Finlandia, the first work by a Finnish composer to receive international acclaim.

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


A NEW WORLD IN PICTURES - Classic

Friday, December 1, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 3, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

Dvořák: Carnival Overture
Chadwick: Noël TSO PREMIERE
Poulenc: Les biches (The Does) Suite TSO PREMIERE
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

The winning team behind The Planets on the Big Screen returns with a world premiere multi-media presentation of Dvořák’s most popular symphony, “From the New World.” The wide open spaces and music that influenced him come alive using the latest technology. Dvořák’s Carnival Overture from his “Nature, Life and Love Trilogy,” the serenity of “Noël” inspired by the composer’s son and the ballet suite Les Biches (The Does) makes this a celebration of nature, life and love.

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


BERNSTEIN: KADDISH - Classic

Friday, January 19, 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, January 21, 2018, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Kelley Nassief, soprano
Jamie Bernstein, narrator
Tucson Symphony Chorus - Bruce Chamberlain, director
Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus - Julian Ackerley, director

Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio
Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Bernstein: Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish” TSO PREMIERE

The Tucson Symphony and Tucson Desert Song Festival will observe the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in 2018 with the TSO Premiere of his Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” This dramatic work based on the Jewish prayer is dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy who was assassinated just weeks before the first performance in 1963. The Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished final symphony and the Overture to Beethoven’s only opera make this a highly emotional program. Narrated by Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, author and broadcaster.

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.

In partnership with Tucson Desert Song Festival


RACHMANINOFF RHAPSODY - Classic

Friday, February 16, 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, February 18, 2018, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Vadym Kholodenko, piano

Constantino: Commissioned work WORLD PREMIERE
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet
Ginastera: Dances from Estancia

The 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko makes his TSO debut with Rachmaninoff’s popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Former Young Composers Project student Anthony Constantino becomes the first alumnus to have a piece on a Classic Series program with a work commissioned by José Luis Gomez. Prokofiev’s romantic ballet music and the Argentine folk dances from Ginastera’s ballet give this program universal appeal.

Commissioning works by former Young Composers Project students is one thing we want to do with this amazing program. We want to give it visibility with works that are relevant to the Tucson community.- José Luis Gomez

in partnership with:
Vadym Kholodenko

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION - Classic

Friday, March 16, 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Rachel Barton Pine, violin

Kabalevsky: Colas Breugnon Overture
Khachaturian: Violin Concerto
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

J.S. Bach International Violin Competition Gold Medalist Rachel Barton Pine returns to the Tucson Symphony for the first time since 2004 to perform Khachaturian’s crowd-pleasing concerto inspired by Armenian folk themes. Ravel’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition is a symphonic “top 10,” while the overture to Kabalevsky’s comic opera, Colas Breugnon, gets things off to a rousing start with its rhythmic drive. Young Brazilian conductor Marcelo Lehninger, winner of the League of American Orchestras’ Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Conductors, makes his TSO debut. He was recently appointed Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony after posts with the Boston and New West Symphonies.

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.


SEASON FINALE: BEETHOVEN’S NINTH - Classic

Friday, April 6, 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Katie Van Kooten, soprano
Sara Couden, contralto
Dmitri Pittas, tenor
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
Tucson Symphony Chorus
  Bruce Chamberlain, director
and Children’s Chorus

Adams: On the Transmigration of Souls TSO PREMIERE
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, “Choral”

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, one of the greatest compositions in western music, provides a triumphant finale to the season with the famous “Ode to Joy” performed by top soloists, the TSO Chorus and a children’s chorus. One of the most popular symphonies ever, it follows what John Adams called a ”memory space” for 9/11, On the Transmigration of Souls. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2003 and three Grammy® Awards in 2005.

José Luis Gomez likes what Richard Wagner had to say about Beethoven’s Ninth: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony became the mystical goal of all my strange thoughts and desires about music.

Complimentary “Concert Comments” with the conductor and guest artist take place one hour before the performance and give you insight into what you’re about to hear.