Cellist performs Elgar solo Feb. 14, 21
Contributed photo, Cellist Zoran Stilin.

Cellist Zoran Stilin is performing a solo with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in February.

Stilin is playing a 20th Century masterpiece, "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor" by Elgar, on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m. at the Desert View Performing Arts Center in SaddleBrooke, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

Stilin is described as music master in "two related endeavors; a very proficient performing artist on the cello and a fine craftsman in the creation of string instruments."

Stilin, a native of Zagreb, Croatia, graduated from the Music Academy of Zagreb. He studied in Switzerland, then with Gordon Epperson and Peter Rejto at the University of Arizona.

Stilin was a prize winner in the Yugoslavia Cello Competition, a soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic, Radio Television Orchestra, Music Academy Symphony and Gaudeamus Chamber Orchestra, all in Croatia.

As a craftsman, Stilin has been awarded first place prizes for creation of violins, violas, cellos and bows. He studied string instrument making in Germany. Stilin also performs with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, chamber groups, as a soloist and does instrument repair. This is Stilin's second solo appearance with SASO.

Also on the program will be "Funeral March of a Marionette" of Gounod, Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1" and "Estancia Ballet Suite" by Ginastera. Linus Lerner is conducting.

For ticket and any other information about SASO programs, go to www.sasomusic.org.

SASO looking for new players

While performances remain in the current season, the Southern Arizona Symphony is thinking about next year.

SASO is coming off its 30-year anniversary concerts, and its 12-day, six-concert tour of China over the New Year's holiday.

"Each season a few people leave the orchestra to retirement, leaving the area, illness and other changes in situations," a SASO release said. "The string section has grown dramatically, but there are always positions for quality players. There may also be a few positions for winds and percussion."

The community orchestra might be referred to as "semi-professional." Selections performed are "very demanding and pose a challenge to the performers."

Over the past five seasons, SASO has enjoyed "an overall increase in expertise and precision of performance by the orchestra. In addition, SASO audiences have grown greatly." SASO performs a regular concert series in SaddleBrooke and Oro Valley, and presents special programs in the Tucson area.

Still ahead this season are SASO's Star Struck Gala on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Mountain View Country Club in SaddleBrooke; a semi-staged performance of Franz Lehar's Merry Widow Operetta on April 11 and 18; and Sibelius Symphony No. 2 along with works of Barber and Vosk on June 6 and 13.

Interested musicians should contact the orchestra personnel director at info@sasomusic.org. More information about SASO in general, which includes a rehearsal schedule, is available on line at www.sasomusic.org.

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