Sophia Richtmer
Sophia Richtmer

Mary Beth Tyndall has been a cellist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for 36 years, and she’s also recognized for her ability to nurture future cello virtuosos from her teaching studio.

She will bring one of those students for a recital at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (May 3). The young artist is Sophia Rightmer, a 15-year-old sophomore at Tucson’s University High School.

Sophia was a finalist in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition and will be soloing with the Civic Orchestra of Tucson later in May. Sophia is currently the cellist of the Millennium Trio, which won first prize in the Civic Orchestra of Tucson Chamber Competition. She will be attending Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in July.

Her ASA program is expected to include a Sammartini sonata for cello and piano, “the Second Suite for Unaccompanied Cello” by J. S. Bach, the first movement of the Kabalevsky “Cello Concerto,” “Apres un Reve” by Faure for cello and piano

Nikolai Robbins
Nikolai Robbins

Sophia will be accompanied on the violin by 16-year-old Nikolai Robbins, a student of Lauren Roth, the concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and a professor at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. He has attended numerous summer programs and has been accepted to attend the internationally renowned Meadowmount School of Music in New York this summer.

Nikolai will be playing one solo work, “Theme from Schindler’s List” by John Williams, and will be joining Sophia for a set of duets by Reinhold Gliere.

Mary Beth Tyndall
Mary Beth Tyndall

Tyndall will accompany both Sophia and Nikolai on piano. She recently received the 2016-2017 Outstanding Studio Teacher Award for the state of Arizona from the Arizona Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association. She is the co-director of the Tucson Cello Congress, held annually at the U of A.

Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

TSO Cellist Shows Off Her Young Protégé: May 2016
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