Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra had to scramble this week to find a pianist capable of performing Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with only days notice after its guest pianist called in sick.
Tucson pianist Sheryll McManus told orchestra officials that she had the flu and would not be able to perform with the orchestra for two concerts this weekend, said SASO Music Director Linus Lerner. McManus performed the piece with the orchestra on Sunday at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the first of what was to be three performances.
Lerner called up University of Arizona grad Yelena Beriyeva to pinch hit. Beriyeva performed quite a bit in Tucson while she attended the UA in the early 2000s including teaming up with her sister, pianist Yelizaveta Beriyeva.
Beriyeva, a native of the Republic of Georgia, now lives in Boston.
The Rach 2 is on a program that also includes Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World." SASO performs at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino del Sol in Green Valley; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive in SaddleBrooke. Tickets are $23 in Green Valley and $24 for SaddleBrooke.