The classical music season is winding down in Tucson but we found two concerts this weekend that are not only pretty safe bets to be terrific but are also free.
Unfortunately, they both fall on Sunday, March 24, and they both start at 2 p.m. So it’s going to be a toss up. Hopefully, this will help you decide.
Dove of Peace Lutheran Church is famous for its series of free classical music concerts and on Sunday it’s hosting a rare performance of Schubert’s famed song cycle “Winterreise” in its entirety.
Pianist Stephen Carlson will accompany baritone Cory Renbarger for the performance at 2 p.m. at Dove of Peace, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road.
“Winterreise,” based on 24 poems by German poet Wilhelm Müller, explores death and love through the metaphor of winter. Schubert was a big fan of Müller; he used his poetry as the basis for his other famous song cycle “Die schöne Müllerin.”
And Dove of Peace, under music director Eric Holtan of True Concord Voices & Orchestra fame, is bringing in a pair of Minnesotans who know the meaning of winter and have some pretty solid cred when it comes to song cycles. Renbarger, who directs Bemidji State University’s opera theater, has performed opera and oratorios around the country and abroad, tackling roles in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” and several Mozart operas including “Le nozze di Figaro,” “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi fan tutte.”
Carlson also teaches at Bemidji State and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at universities and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Admission to the concert is free but donations will be accepted to benefit Tucson Interfaith AIDS/HIV Network known as TIHAN. Details: doveofpeacetucson.org
Also on Sunday, Tucson maestro László Veres will lead his volunteer Arizona Symphonic Winds in its 33rd anniversary Gala Concert at 2 p.m. at the Catalina Foothills High School auditorium, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive.
And this is a special occasion for Veres, who last fall announced he’s winding down his long music career. Veres is auditioning several conductors to replace him at Tucson Pops, the professional orchestra he has led for decades in a popular summer park concert series.
On Sunday with the Winds, he’s bringing out his beloved clarinet to perform one of his favorite works.
“For over 65 years, my clarinet has been my friend, and at the age of 81 I’m not ready to abandon it as yet,” he said in an email to the Star. “With that I’m planning to perform the beautiful Adagio movement from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. This selection was used in the movie ‘Out of Africa.’”
The concert also includes classic band literature that is Veres’ calling card and orchestral transcriptions for wind ensembles including Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture and the Spanish Zarzuela “La Boda de Luis Alonzo.”
Admission is free and donations are accepted to defray costs. Details: facebook.com/ArizonaSymphonicWinds