Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is digging deep into the vault of the rarely played next season, presenting several works that hardly ever get programmed in Southern Arizona.

Among the notable pieces on deck: Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony to open the season in October, and Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto featuring saxophonist Ashu and Fauré’s choral powerhouse Requiem with vocal soloists and a choir, both next March.

The volunteer orchestra, led by music director Linus Lerner, performs in SaddleBrooke and Oro Valley. It also presents two concerts in Green Valley.

In addition to Lerner at the podium, SASO will host the young Russian conductor Anton Shaburov in the season finale next April. He will conduct Dvorák’s Seventh Symphony.

Other guest artists set to make their SASO debuts include flutist Carol Wincenc, who will play lead on Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto in November, and Ashu, who is no stranger to Tucson.

The critically acclaimed saxophonist has performed three times with Arizona Friends of Chamber Music including his 2009 performance in the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival.

three other notable things about SASO’s upcoming season:
  • It hopscotches across nine countries and three centuries, traversing four countries in the October season opener alone.
  • A trio of soloists are making encores: pianist James Dick for Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F in October; violinist Edwin E. Soo Kim for Elgar’s Violin Concerto in January; and Melanie Chae for Schumann’s Piano Concerto in April.
  • The orchestra jump-starts the season with a free concert on Sept. 15 at Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., to commemorate Mexican Independence Day. Guest vocalists from Mexico and Mariachi Sol Azteca are in the lineup in a concert sponsored by the Mexican Consulate in Tucson and the Instituto Cultural Mexicano de Tucson.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter: @Starburch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.