The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will perform the premiere of a new concerto for mountain dulcimer on the MasterWorks Chamber Orchestra Series program, American Portraits, on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Dr. in Tucson.
The American Portraits program will open with Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England, and will also feature two works by Aaron Copland, Three Latin American Sketches and Quiet City.
Composer Conni Ellisor’s Broad Band of Light: a suite for Mountain Dulcimer and Orchestra will be performed by Stephen Seifert.
Seifert is returning to the TSO for the first time since 2008 when he performed Ellisor’s Blackberry Winter. Ms. Ellisor believes that Broad Band of Light is the only fan-based commission of an orchestral work in existence because the composition was funded entirely by contributions.
A beautiful, tender instrument with a distinctively American folk tradition, the dulcimer is a form of diatonic zither with three strings, one usually used as melody and one or two as drones. Because it is diatonic (capable of playing only one scale of notes at a time), it is particularly adept at the haunting modalities of Appalachia. Ellisor honors the instrument’s long history by utilizing several folk melodies and one hymn that are in the public domain.
Since 1991, Stephen Seifert’s teaching and playing has made him a favorite with dulcimer players all over the U.S.
MasterWorks Series single tickets, priced at $40 to $50, are available at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 882-8585.
Tickets may also be purchased online at www.tucsonsymphony.org. TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For tickets to the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance presentation at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte, Oro Valley, visit www.saaca.org or call 797-3959.