Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Conductor Linus Lerner was in Russia last week, conducting the Urals Mussorgsky State Conservatoire in Yekaterinburg.
The conductor of that orchestra, Anton Shaburov, is in Tucson this week, taking Lerner’s place behind the podium for the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-17 season finale.
Lerner, reached in Russia via text message last week, confirmed the switch was something of an exchange — they get ours, we get theirs.
And it likely won’t be a one-and-done deal, Lerner added. Shaburov has said he would like to see Lerner return to Russia to conduct another orchestra he heads, Lerner said.
In two concerts this weekend, Shaburov will lead SASO in Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 and “Russian Sailors’ Dance” from Reinhold Glière’s “The Red Poppy.”
South Korean-born/Vienna-based pianist Melanie Chae returns to SASO — she soloed with the orchestra in February 2015 — to perform Robert Schumann’s lone Piano Concerto.
Meanwhile, Arizona Repertory Singers, under the baton of Music Director Elliott Jones, performs the first of its four spring concerts dubbed “Triumphs!” They perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway; and at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at Mission San Xavier. Those concerts benefit Patronato San Xavier at Mission San Xavier; for details, visit patronatosanxavier.org
Jones will lead the 48-voice choir in a concert that includes a set of four madrigals — a genre dating to the 16th and 17th centuries — from the 1601 work “Triumphs of Oriana.”
“People think of madrigals as old flowery music, but these are different,” Jones. said in a written release, explaining that “The Triumphs of Oriana” was originally thought to have been composed for Queen Elizabeth I. Research later showed, though, that the work was actually written for Anna of Denmark, whose husband became king after Elizabeth’s reign.
At Friday’s concert, University of Arizona musicologist Stephen Keyl and historian Kenneth Peoples will talk about the works and their historical context.
Also on the program: For the first time, the group will sing in Welsh and guest organist Janet Tolman will perform four pieces for choir and organ, including Green Valley composer Gerald Near’s 2013 work “Love,” a setting of a poem by Christopher Wordsworth.
The spring concerts conclude with two performance next weekend: 7:30 p.m. April 28 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 5150 N. Valley View Road; and 3 p.m. April 30 at Christ Church United Methodist, 655 N. Craycroft Road. Tickets are $18 in advance through arsingers.org or $20 at the door.