SASO January concert for Chinese New Year


Punch Howarth

Linus Lerner and the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Chinese New Year in January with a series of four performances in conjunction with the local Chinese community. The orchestra has participated in this event several times in the past years. As many SASO followers are aware, the orchestra was guest artists touring China twice. Assisting will be the Tucson Sino Choir conducted by Larry Lang, Jing Xia playing the guzheng and Xiaoyin Zheng playing Chinese instruments.

SATB is the standard makeup of the Sino Choir and conductor Larry Lang is an instructor at University of Arizona. They will announce their selections. Opening the program will be Ode to the Red Flag by Lu Quiming which was premiered in 1908 by the Israeli Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta and features trumpet and horn fanfares. Other numbers will include Robe of the Clouds by Zhou and features the “guzeng,” an instrument similar to a zither, played flat. Made of wood the performer plucks strings with finger-picks. Artist Jing Xia, a graduate of the China Conservatory of Music, teaches at University of Arizona. Liu Wen-Jin’s Theme from the Chinese movie The Great Wall will feature Xiaoyin Zheng playing the “irhu” a bowed two-string instrument having a long neck with two pegs. The sound box is traditionally covered with python skin. Another selection will be Dreams of the Red Chamber by Wang-Lang.

There will be two regular concerts on Saturday, January 27 in SaddleBrooke at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, January 28 in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m. There will also be two special performances, first on January 25 at the University of Arizona Music School Crowder Hall at 7:30 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on February 11 at Centennial Hall at University of Arizona.

Also, remember a concert in March featuring soprano Christi Amonson, a SASO regular, soloing in works by Barber and Poulenc. The April season ending programs will feature Lauren Roth, Tucson Symphony concertmaster, playing the popular Wieniawski Violin Concerto. Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, possibly his greatest work, will close the program and season. For concert and ticket details as well as orchestra information go to: