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.


MENDELSSOHN SYMPHONY NO. 3, “SCOTTISH” - MasterWorks

Friday, October 6, 7:30pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Saturday, October 7, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 8, 2pm
Catalina Foothills High School

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Lauren Roth, violin

Arriaga: Overture Pastourelle (1824) TSO PREMIERE
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

Visits to Spain, Salzburg and Scotland open the Masterworks Series. Concertmaster Lauren Roth’s talents will be on display as she performs an early concerto intended as a showcase for the virtuoso himself, Mozart. Mendelssohn’s symphony will highlight the technical aspects of the orchestra. Opening the program is an overture by a composer nicknamed the “Spanish Mozart.” Arriaga was born on the same day as Mozart 50 years later; they were both child prodigies and accomplished composers who died young.

I performed the Mozart concerto when I was already Concertmaster. I was performing as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra and with the professional orchestra, the Maracaibo Symphony. Now I am looking forward to having our Concertmaster perform it with me. - 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.


MARIACHI LOS CAMPEROS - Special

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Friday, November 3, 7:30pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor

Famed mariachi ensemble Mariachi Los Camperos will raise the dead and celebrate life in this very special concert to launch Tucson’s All Souls Procession Weekend. Their sound of impressive vocals, violins and guitars steeped in rich cultural tradition will add spice to your life. Founded in 1960 by mariachi “giant” Natividad “Nati” Cano, Mariachi Los Camperos features musicians from both Mexico and the U.S. They collaborated on Linda Ronstadt’s album, Canciones de Mi Padre (Songs of my Father) making national television appearances on programs such as The Tonight Show and the Grammy Awards Show. The band also appeared on Linda Ronstadt’s Mas Canciones (More Songs). The Grammy-nominated ensemble has recorded nine albums including four CDs with Smithsonian Folkways.


ALL SOULS DAY FINALE CEREMONY - Special

Sunday, November 5
Location TBA

José Luis Gomez, conductor

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is slated to participate in The Finale Ceremony at the end of the All Souls Day Procession, a celebration and mourning of the lives of loved ones and ancestors. The All Souls Procession is perhaps one of the most important, inclusive and authentic public ceremonies in North America today. Well over 150,000 participants on the streets of downtown Tucson join together for a two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the ceremonial burning of a large urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed.

For location and time information please visit allsoulsprocession.org


YO-YO MA - Special

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Buy your tickets with your purchase of a 2017-18 TSO discount ticket package*

Tucson Music Hall
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Reigning cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma performs with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for the first time since 2009.

Awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center honoree and 18-time Grammy®-winning performer has enthralled audiences worldwide on stage, recordings, film and television.

Don’t miss your chance to see and hear this unforgettable one night only performance!

“Coming up with new superlatives for Ma at this point may seem like an exercise in futility, but because the cellist never gives a routine performance of anything, there is always something different to appreciate. Here one could marvel at how he could in an instant change the texture, phrasing, and vibrato of a single note, and with it the music’s entire dramatic trajectory. Ma’s sense of when to take the spotlight, when to lay back, and when to play just above silence is unmatched.”
— Boston Globe, October 21, 2016

*Yo-Yo Ma tickets are only available for purchase as an addition to a 2017-18 TSO discount ticket package. Limit one per package. Purchase by phone, in person at box office or mail order only. Sorry, Yo-Yo Ma tickets are not currently available online.


ARTURO SANDOVAL, TRUMPET - SuperPops!

Saturday, January 13, 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, January 14, 2018. 2pm
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor

Virtuoso technical ability, a vivacious live performer, and one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time seen by millions at the Oscars, at the Grammy Awards, and the Billboard Awards.

  • 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
  • 10 Time Grammy Award Winner
  • Emmy Award Recipient
  • 6 Time Billboard Award Winner
  • 2016 Honorary Doctorate recipient in Fine Arts from The University of Notre Dame
  • 2015 Hispanic Heritage Award Recipient

Need we say more?

In partnership with HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival


GIL SHAHAM: TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO - Special

ONE NIGHT ONLY SPECIAL!

Friday, January 12, 2018
Tucson Music Hall

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

Glazunov: Overture Solennelle
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise for Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

Hailed by The New York Times as “One of today’s preeminent violinists,” world renowned Grammy® Award winning virtuoso Gil Shaham makes his Tucson Symphony Orchestra debut performing Tchaikovsky’s breathtakingly beautiful Violin Concerto concluding a program featuring Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff favorites.

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.
– Los Angeles Times


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


TAHITI FOR TWO - MasterWorks

Friday, February 2, 2018 7:30pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Saturday, February 3, 2018 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, February 4, 2018 2pm
Catalina Foothills High School

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Sasha Cooke, mezzo soprano
Kelly Markgraf, bass baritone
University of Arizona Jazz Trio

Shostakovich: Tahiti Trot TSO PREMIERE
Bernstein: Three Episodes from On the Town
Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti TSO PREMIERE

A program of musical theater opens with Shostakovich’s orchestration of a song from a Russian musical based on the tune, “Tea for Two” and continues with Bernstein dances from On the Town and finally the concert version of Trouble in Tahiti, his one-act opera from the early ‘50s about life in suburban America.

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.


THE STORY OF BABAR THE ELEPHANT - Family

Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 2pm & 3:30pm
Leo Rich Theater

José Luis Gomez, conductor
Narrated by Jason Jacobs, Zoo Administrator of Reid Park Zoo

Everybody’s very favorite little elephant comes to life when José Luis Gomez conducts The Story of Babar the Elephant. In Francis Poulenc’s playful music, various instruments are used to illustrate Babar and the other characters in the story, much like Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Babar first appeared in French author Jean de Brunhoff’s children’s book Histoire de Babar in 1931. Francis Poulenc composed The Story of Babar the Elephant after his three-year- old cousin showed him the book and said, “Play this!” Poulenc improvised a piano accompaniment to each scene in the book, the music became popular within his neighborhood, and he eventually scored it for orchestra so that we all could enjoy it!


SCHUBERT & BRAHMS: SECOND SYMPHONIES - MasterWorks

Friday, March 2, 2018 7:30pm
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Saturday, March 3, 2018 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, March 4, 2018 2pm
Catalina Foothills High School

José Luis Gomez, conductor

Schubert: Symphony No. 2
Brahms: Symphony No. 2

The perfect soundtrack to welcome spring! The teenaged Schubert mixes his melodic freshness and lyricism with the rhythmic energy of Beethoven and the classical elegance of Mozart to come up with a perfectly enjoyable symphony, while Brahms soaks up the atmosphere of the picturesque village where he was vacationing in the summer of 1877.

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.