In commemoration of the 30-year anniversary of the founding of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, former conductor Alan Schultz has composed "Partita Concertant."
The work, commissioned by orchestra benefactor Dorothy Vanek, is being premiered by the orchestra at two acoustically superb venues this weekend.
It opens this Friday, Nov. 20, to a sold-out audience at Catalina Foothills High School, then is performed twice at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. Tickets remain for the St. Andrew's performances; they are $20, and may be purchased at 323-7166 or through sasomusic.org.
The weekend concerts feature a number of artists, among them soprano Christi Amonson, baritone Benjamin Bunsold, tenor Andrew Zimmerman performing with the Tucson Girls Chorus, the Tucson Masterworks Chorale and the Catalinas Community Chorus.
Schultz said he "is honored to be invited to write (compose) a work commemorating SASO's 30th season.
"Even though it has been the passage of half the orchestra's life since I was SASO's music director, these dedicated players will always have a special place in my heart like none other I've ever conducted," Schultz said. "The 'Partita Concertant' is dedicated to them."
Opening the concert will be Camille Saint-Saens' "Bacchanale" from his opera "Samson et Delilah." It is "exotic, quasi-erotic music designed to have the listener take notice."
Following intermission is the gargantuan "Carmina Burana" of Carl Orff that features three soloists, three choirs and a large orchestra. Carmina is an amalgamation of medieval words-melodies-harmonies superimposed upon a Stravinskyan rhythmic architecture.
Carmina Burana is one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, and always draws large turnouts at concerts.
Linus Lerner, SASO's music director, is conducting.
"This is one of those experiences that both the performers and audiences will long remember," a release said.
For ticket and any other questions about this concert or SASO, go to www.sasomusic.org.