Tucson-based orchestras, remaining creative during the pandemic

Posted on: July 31, 2020

This spring, composer and musician Bob Atwell wrote a piece “for the times we are living through” for the Tucson-based Foothills Philharmonic, writes Cathalena E. Burch in Saturday’s (7/25) Arizona Daily Star. “Aptly named ‘Corona Waltz’ … the work, which 20 members of the 80-member orchestra recorded in June for a YouTube video that was released last week, is among the more ambitious projects undertaken by Tucson orchestras during the pandemic. From the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s virtual book club streamed through its YouTube channel to True Concord Voices & Orchestra’s weekly themed playlists … conductors and musicians are thinking outside the box and turning to technology to keep the music going…. ‘We all are learning through this difficult time … how much music means to the world, especially now that live music has been put on hold,’ Tucson Symphony Music Director José Luis Gomez said…. Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Music Director Linus Lerner, who has been back in his native Brazil since mid-March, produced several virtual performances [including] one with a dozen members of SASO … Gomez’s book club … reached 5,000 people through social media … The club includes conversations about famous musical figures and theories.” Keitaro Harada, music director of the Savannah Philharmonic and a frequent guest conductor at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, is also quoted in the article.