“Tucson Symphony Orchestra is going to be a circus—literally—this weekend,” writes Cathalena E. Burch in Monday’s (12/17) Arizona Daily Star. “ ‘It’s going to be very fast-paced because we’re going to be playing with the dancers,’ predicted [TSO Principal Keyboard Dean] Zhang…. Zhang and his colleagues will … perform the TSO’s ‘A Cirque Holiday’ concert with Los Angeles-based cirque act Troupe Vertigo. While the orchestra plays holiday classics, Vertigo’s contortionists, aerial artists and acrobats will perform on the stage and overhead…. Guest conductor Stuart Chaftetz … was at the podium with the TSO a couple of years ago … in one of the orchestra’s early forays into the cirque show genre.… The genre is becoming quite popular…. Troupe Vertigo is performing several holiday orchestra dates, including shows earlier this month in Phoenix…. The Tucson show is a premiere of its new ‘Cirque Soiree.’ … The TSO’s Zhang, who joined the orchestra in February and also is principal keyboardist with the Southwest Florida and Canton (Ohio) symphony orchestras, said, … ‘It definitely will help the musicians to … see the dance movements from “Nutcracker” while we’re playing it so we can see what the music was originally written for.’ ”

Posted December 21, 2018