St. Andrew’s Bach Society is shining the spotlight on flutist Alexander “Sasha” Lipay on Sunday, July 28.
“The Virtuoso Flute” concert will be the first time that Lipay, principal flute for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and a regular on the Bach Society summer concert series over the years, has taken a solo turn with the group.
“He’s been on the series in various ways for years and always as part of a larger collaboration, but I thought, you know, he is really somebody who deserves the spotlight to be on him,” Bach Society Artistic Director Ben Nisbet said. “He is really somebody that we should do a concert where it’s about him and not what he’s playing.”
Nisbet said he approached Lipay after a TSO concert last spring and proposed the recital. He said it took only minutes for the pair to agree on a date and for Lipay to come up with the program of works by Mozart, Haydn, Mercadante and Chaminade.
Lipay said he wanted to “really show off the flute” in all its facets.
“I decided for the most part to play concertos,” he said, including Mozart’s Concerto in D major. “A little bit flashy, technical stuff and also very lyrical. Basically I want to show off what the flute is capable of doing.”
The program also includes Mercadante’s dramatic and technically challenging Concerto in E minor.
Nisbet said Sunday’s recital gives Tucson audiences a chance to see another dimension to Lipay’s playing.
“I think he’s one of the most singular, incredible players in this community,” Nisbet gushed. “It’s almost like we forget about that because he is consistently good all the time. He shows up and he is great, always. ... There’s isn’t anybody who sounds like that.”
Fun fact about Sasha Lipay: The Grammy-winning musician is in the Guinness Book of World Records. To find why, see the story in Sunday’s Home + Life.