Violinist Elena Urioste will make her Tucson Symphony Orchestra debut this weekend when it opens its MasterWorks chamber series.
Don’t be surprised if Urioste takes a couple deep breaths before digging into Barber’s Violin Concerto. A little nerves are a good thing, said the 27-year-old Philadelphia native, who has never had a concert experience that didn’t start with a little adrenaline rush.
“I think the day I stop getting nervous it will be a red flag,” she said from New York on Monday, on the eve of leaving for Tucson. “I think a little fear is good. … Adrenaline to a certain extent is quite healthy.”
This will be Urioste’s second Tucson performance; her first was in early 2012 with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. She is coming here this time to perform one of her favorite pieces.
“It’s very melodic, very singing. The mood is generally quite warm and generous,” she said of the Barber violin Concerto. “It sits very well on the violin. It feels very nice to play.”
She has been playing the Barber for years and says that the writing in the first two movements “fits very well in my hands.”
“I kind of just relax and settle in to how it feels to play it and really concentrate in particular on the beauty of sound and what I want to convey in these super long melodies,” said Urioste, who played her first professional concert when she was 13. “And then in the third movement I really concentrate and try not to rush.”
That third movement will be the one that brings the audience to the edge of it seat.
“(It) is quite twisty and its perpetual motion can be very nerve-wracking despite all the times I’ve performed it,” she said. “The piece as a whole is at the top of my list of my favorite things to play.”
In the seven years since she graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, Urioste has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Richmond and San Antonio symphony orchestras.
The Barber joins a program that includes the TSO premiere of the finale from rock star-turned-classical-composer Kip Winger’s “Conversations with Nijinsky.”