Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is hosting a guest behind the podium and behind the ivories when it tackles Beethoven’s evocative Sixth Symphony “Pastoral” and Rachmaninoff’s breathtakingly challenging Third Piano Concerto.

Paraguay’s globe-trotting conductor Diego Sánchez Haase will step in for Maestro Linus Lerner, who’s also quite the globe-trotter, for two concerts — Saturday, Nov. 18, in SaddleBrooke, and Sunday, Nov. 19, in Oro Valley. Lerner is in Mexico conducting the San Miguel de Allende Opera Festival before he returns to his native Brazil, where he is the music director of the Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal. He’s back at the podium with SASO in late January for the orchestra’s annual Chinese New Year’s concert with the Tucson Sino Choir.

Haase, music director and conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional del Paraguay and the Bach Collegium Asunción, is making his Tucson debut, but the Tbilisi, Georgia-born pianist Yelena Beriyeva for the past dozen years has been a regular on Tucson stages even as she carves out a career that has included performances throughout Europe, Russia and South America.

In addition to the Rach 3 and “Pastoral,” the volunteer SASO will perform Rossini’s Overture to “William Tell.”

Performances are at:

  • 7:30 p.m. Saturday at SaddleBrooke’s DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive; $24 in advance through tickets.saddlebrooketwo.com or $25 at the door.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Del Norte Paseo in Oro Valley; $23 in advance at sasomusic.org or at the door.

Details: sasomusic.org

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

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.