Duo playing benefit concert for agency

A husband and wife musical duo are turning their love of teaching children music into a benefit concert for a Tucson organization devoted to helping disadvantaged children.

Pianist Alexander Tentser and his violinist wife Anna Gendler, a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, will perform classical and romantic works by Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Chopin on Saturday for Interfaith Community Services. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at Rincon Congregation United Church of Christ, 122 N. Craycroft Road. Tentser is the accompanist at the church.

The couple has taught children music since emigrating to Tucson from Moscow in 1990. Music, they believe, is the language that transcends language barriers, income disparities and racial divides, uniting the world in a common language.

Admission to Sunday's concert is free, although a $15 per person donation is requested. Proceeds benefit Interfaith Community Services' programs for kids and families in financial crisis, including emergency food, homelessness prevention, school supplies and enrichment activities. Details: Visit icstucson.org or call 297-6049.

UA musicians get international invite

The University of Arizona’s choral program is getting an international push next spring on two of the world’s most prominent stages.

Members of the UA’s Arizona Choir and Symphonic Choir were invited to perform in the 2014 Varna International Music Festival at the Wiener Musikverein in Vienna. During the European trip, the group also will perform at the Dvorák Hall in Prague. Four UA School of Music faculty members will accompany 76 student vocalists to the festival, where they will perform on May 6. UA choral director Bruce Chamberlain, in a written release, called the invitation a testament to the school’s choral and choral conducting programs.

“When you think of the top name recognition premiere collegiate schools of music in America, their choirs have not performed there," Chamberlain said.

The Vienna Philharmonic calls Musikverein home. It also was the stage on which such historically significant composers/conductors including Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler showcased their works.

Cathalena E. Burch

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.