This season's Tucson Symphony MasterWorks Chamber Orchestra Series opens with "Stars of the Symphony" on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.

Both performances are being held at Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive in Tucson.

Additional performances are being presented by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance on Friday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., and Green Valley Recreation on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Music Director and Conductor George Hanson conducts the TSO Strings, Brass Quintet and Wind Quintet in performances of works by Carl Nielsen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Benjamin Britten and George Frideric Handel.

"This is a great opportunity to get to know our players up close and personal on a slightly more individual basis," Hanson said. "The program is tailored to showcase the individual talents of our wonderful TSO musicians."

Opening the Stars of the Symphony program is the Wind Quintet, performing Carl Nielsen's "Quintet." He was inspired to write this piece after hearing a rehearsal of Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante" by the Copenhagen Woodwind Quintet.

The TSO Strings are performing Benjamin Britten's "Simple Symphony," a work based entirely on melodies he crafted between the ages of nine and 12 and formally refined into a symphony at age 20.

The Brass Quintet performs "Street Song," a composition by San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Street Song was composed for the Empire Brass Quintet and first performed by that ensemble in Tokyo in 1988. The composer expanded the work for symphonic brass with a first performance in 1996 by the brass section of the London Symphony Orchestra, where he is principal conductor.

Completing the program is George Frideric Handel's "Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 12."

The MasterWorks Chamber Orchestra Series receives generous support from Drs. John P. and Helen S. Schaefer. Classical KUAT-FM and The Explorer are the media partners.

MasterWorks Series

MasterWorks Series single tickets, priced at $30 to $40, are available at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 882-8585. Tickets may also be purchased online at TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For tickets to the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance presentation at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte, Oro Valley, visit or call 797-3959.

For tickets to the Green Valley Recreation presentation at the West Social Center, 1111 Via Arcoiris, visit or call 625-0288.

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