The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is pit-stopping in Tucson on Tuesday as part of its winter U.S. tour. It's the first time it's been here since 2011, and academy violinist Harvey de Souza can't wait.
"Last time we didn't get to spend a lot of time there," he said when we called him in Lyon, France, where he was visiting his wife. The India native lives in London and his wife, the concertmaster with the Lyon orchestra, lives in France.
De Souza, 47, who graduated from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, talked with us about what the academy will perform, the chamber orchestra's debut CD with Music Director Joshua Bell and retail therapy in America.
Touring America: "I love touring the United States. I lived there 10 years, went to school there, worked there a bit. And ever since I left the States I've seen more of the United States ... with the academy because we come a couple times a year. And we get to see all different parts, and it's absolutely fascinating. I love it. ... And it's also a great place for retail therapy. You guys have great sales."
About Tuesday's concert: "It's a fascinating program actually because we are coming as really the traditional chamber orchestra group. So we are limited by repertoire in the sense that it's the strings with two horns and two oboes. But then we get to play some of Haydn's best symphonies, which I absolutely adore. ... The Britten Variations, it's one of the great, great string repertoire pieces. And it's a hell of a play for us. We love playing it because there are incredible virtuosic movements. ... It ends with the most extraordinary fugue, which the orchestra itself divides into several parts. ... The principal strings go into these long, wonderful, drawn-out melodies and it's great."
Working with Bell: "Josh has an extraordinary amount of energy and great insight. He's not afraid to experiment and try different things and mix it up. And he involves everybody in the process of this."
If you go
• What: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
• Where: Centennial Hall, 2010 E. University Blvd., at the University of Arizona.
• Tickets: $35 to $80 through uapresents.org; 621-3341
• Program: Britten's Variations on a Theme of "Frank Bridge," Op. 10. Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major. Bach Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052 Haydn Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp Minor "Farewell," Hob.I:45
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at email@example.com or 573-4642.