Timothy McAllister (left, photo by Ara Hawrani) was the soloist for the world premiere of a saxophone concerto by Vincent Ho (right, photo by Hans Arnold) with Canada’s Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

In Sunday’s (11/26) CJWW Radio (Saskatoon, Canada), Carol Thomson reports, “There are quite a few unique experiences with this Saturday’s performance of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. It’s a world premiere of Calgary-based composer Vincent Ho. It’s a saxophone concerto, which isn’t a common instrument for symphonies, and it’s about the migration of prairie birds. Ho says part of the inspiration for this piece comes from USask’s Faculty for Applied Avian Research because he loves the idea that artists can take scientific knowledge and create something that speaks to the heart. Add to that, along with world-renowned and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Timothy McAllister as the soloist, there will also be saxophone players performing from the balconies at TCU Place, imitating bird sounds for a surround sound experience. He hopes this concerto will highlight the possibilities for saxophone in the symphonic world. The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra takes the stage at TCU Place Saturday night.” Conductor Robert Franz led the world premiere of Vincent Ho’s Whimsical Concerto of Fanciful Birds: Concerto for Saxophone, Orchestra, and Spatialized Saxophone Ensemble on a program with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.