Guitarist hemmo plays ST. Philip's CONCERT

Former Tucson resident Philip Hemmo returns for a recital with St. Philip's in the Hills Friends of Music on Friday.

The classical guitarist who once taught at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona School of Music will share the St. Philip's Episcopal Church stage with Tucson flutist Sandy Schwoebel and soprano Amy Williams. The program will include chamber works and solo guitar pieces.

Hemmo now lives in Springfield, Ill.

The performance gets started at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Philip's Episcopal Church's Bloom Music Center, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. Admission is a $15 suggested donation to St. Philip's Friends of Music. Details: 299-6421.

balalaika master sets shows in tubac, at PCc

Back home in Moscow, Andrei Gorbachev is regarded as the leading purveyor of the triangle-shaped, stringed Russian folk instrument known as the balalaika.

He's snagged prestigious prizes and is a prominent teacher in Russia, where he has created a new technique for playing the instrument. The sound is more contemporary under his fingers, opening the instrument up to music that skirts the folk margins.

This weekend, Tucson-area fans will have a couple of chances to see the master live in what the Tubac Center of the Arts says is his first American tour.

Last weekend, Gorbachev joined the American Balalaika Symphony in Washington, D.C. This weekend, he's in Southern Arizona for a couple recitals:

• He will play two recitals at the Tubac Center for the Arts, 9 Plaza Road, in Tubac - at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for Friday, $25 for Sunday by calling 1-520-398-2371.

• He joins the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra at 7 p.m. Saturday for a concert at Pima Community College's Proscenium Theater, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $16, $11 for students through the PCC box office, 206-6986; or The Folk Shop, 2525 N. Campbell Ave., 881-7147.

UA colleagues playing Schumann, Prokofiev

University of Arizona viola professor Hong-Mei Xiao and piano prof Tannis Gibson will perform a recital Tuesday that includes Schumann's "Sonata No. 1 in A minor for Viola and Piano."

Also on the program for the 7 p.m. recital are select works from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and Bliss' "Sonata for Viola and Piano."

The recital will be in Holsclaw Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway. Admission is $5 at the door or in advance at

Puppets Amongus spins "The Silken Thread"

Puppets Amongus is headed to China.

Not literally, but theatrically. Or would that be puppetically?

In any case, the company opens "The Silken Thread" Saturday.

It's a - OK, I'll say it - smooth story of the discovery of silk by a Chinese empress. It all started when a cocoon fell in her cup of tea. Mystics and dragons and fun ensue.

When the curtain comes down, you'll get a peek at highlights of Puppets Amongus' recent trip to Kazakhstan. And - wait for it - there will a dragon-making craft session for the kids.

Performances are 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Puppets Amongus Playhouse, 657 W. St. Mary's Road. Tickets are $6 for kids; $8 for adults. Get them at the door - and cash or check only. Get more information at

Tubac's annual Art Fest opens next week

Tubac is a quiet, low-key kind of village most of the year.

But every February since 1959, it explodes with artists and art lovers for the Tubac Festival of the Arts.

This year, 175 juried artisans will pile into Tubac for the event, slated to open Wednesday.

Add that to the art-centric shops, galleries and artists that call Tubac home, and you have an artpalooza.

The fest takes over the town, artists hang around to visit, music rings out, tents line the streets, and horse-drawn trolleys will clop-clop along the streets.

It's happening 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Feb. 10. It's all free - though parking will set you back about $6. Tubac is about 50 miles south of Tucson off Interstate 19. Get more information at 1-520-398-2704 or visit

SASO seeks youths for concerto contest

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is taking applications now through Feb. 15 for its 2013 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition.

The contest, named after the longtime Tucson arts booster and SASO supporter, will award prizes of $250 to $1,000 to student musicians ages 13 to 18 on all orchestra instruments, including piano. (Students under age 13 can enter if they are recommended by their teacher.)

The competition will be held March 2 and 3, and winners will perform solo with the volunteer orchestra April 6 and 7.

Contestants need to apply online at and prepare one movement from the standard concerto repertoire for solo instrument and orchestra. Music should be memorized.

Phoenix pianist Joyce Yang, who attended Desert View High School, won last year's competition after performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. Other winners included University High School cellist Sara Page in 2011; and University High cellist Nicholas Mariscal in 2010.

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