Classical Music

Pianist brings poetic touch to Chopin with Oundjian, Utah Symphony – Jan 12, 2019

Jan Lisiecki performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Jan Lisiecki has been making waves on the international music scene in recent years, performing with major orchestras and signing an exclusive recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon.

Friday night in his Utah Symphony debut, the young Canadian pianist showed Salt Lake City concertgoers what makes him such a remarkable artist, with conductor Peter Oundjian leading the orchestra at Abravanel Hall.

Lisieki has recorded both Chopin … Read More

Sinfonia Salt Lake offers compelling contemporary program – Jan 08, 2019

Sinfonia Salt Lake performed Monday night at First United Methodist Church. Photo: Hannah Galli

Sinfonia Salt Lake plays a wide-ranging spectrum of music each season, yet promoting contemporary music is the major part of its mission. Since its founding four years ago the ensemble has programmed several new works by Utah composers.

Monday’s concert in the First United Methodist Church downtown featured four works by composers that have a Utah connection. Each was quite distinctive stylistically, and the diversity of the pieces underscored … Read More

Adkins’ Szymanowski provides the highlight in Utah Symphony’s New Year program – Jan 05, 2019

Madeline Adkins performed Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Xian Zhang and the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony’s first program of the new year offers something of a split personality. It can’t make up its mind if it’s a typical masterworks concert or a tribute to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day celebration.

But despite that, the mixed bag of programming mostly succeeded Friday night at Abravanel Hall, thanks in large part to guest conductor … Read More

Skride and Fischer are close partners in memorable Sibelius with Utah Symphony – Dec 08, 2018

Baibe Skride and Thierry Fischer acknowledge applause following the performance of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with the Utah Symphony Friday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Baiba Skride is one of Thierry Fischer’s favorite violinists. She has appeared on the Abravanel Hall stage numerous times since Fischer became music director of the Utah Symphony in 2009. 

Skride returned to Salt Lake City Friday night to perform Jean Sibelius’ sole contribution to the concerto repertoire, his Violin Concerto in D minor.

The Latvian violinist showed why Fischer appreciates her as … Read More

Utah Symphony segues from small-scale Bach and Boulez to epic Copland – Nov 17, 2018

Utah Symphony members, conducted by Thierry Fischer, performed as soloists in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Among 20th-century American composers, Aaron Copland is among the best known and most popular, thanks to the iconic ballets he wrote in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

But Copland also wrote a large body of symphonic works that aren’t played as often—except perhaps for his Third Symphony, which the Utah Symphony performed Fioday night at Abravanel Hall.

The … Read More

Modigliani Quartet, Bidini bring finely honed expression to Brahms and Mozart – Nov 16, 2018

The Modigliani Quartet performed Thursday night for the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City. Photo: Marie Staggat

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Modigliani Quartet has without question made its mark on the world’s chamber music scene. Right now the ensemble remains at the top of its game and continues to be a group to be reckoned with.

The Modigliani made a return visit to Libby Gardner Concert Hall Thursday,  an event presented by the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City, and … Read More

Utah Symphony’s delightful “Candide” makes the best of all possible versions – Nov 10, 2018

Amy Owens as Cunegonde and Jonathan Johnson in the title role of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” in Friday night’s performance by the Utah Symphony. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony is closing out its year-long Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration with a semi-staged production of Candide. Joined by the Utah Opera Chorus and a strong cast of singer-actors under the baton of music director Thierry Fischer, Friday night’s performance was a delightful musical journey.

Trying to make sense of the story is nearly impossible. The … Read More

Fischer, colleagues look forward to Utah Symphony debut of Bernstein’s “Candide” – Nov 06, 2018

Thierry Fischer will lead the Utah Symphony premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” this weekend.

The Utah Symphony will close out its Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration this weekend in Abravanel Hall with two performances of his 1956 operetta Candide. 

But this week’s performances will be no mere concert version. Candide will be semi-staged, with costumes and props, which, music director Thierry Fischer said, makes it a bit more of a challenge. In large part, that’s because the solo singers will be at the front … Read More

Violinist Philippe Quint delivers fiery advocacy with Litton, Utah Symphony – Oct 27, 2018

Phillipe Quint performed John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto with Andrew Litton and the Utah Symphony Friday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony and guest conductor Andrew Litton have a decades-old relationship that  goes back over thirty years. Litton debuted with the orchestra in November 1987 as a young and up-and-coming maestro and has appeared several times since. The Utah Symphony musicians, and the local audiences seem to enjoy his unostentatious conducting and interpretations, as well as his direct and approachable personality.

Friday night’s Utah Symphony … Read More

Trio con Brio lives up to its name with dramatic Beethoven, Shostakovich – Oct 18, 2018

Trio con Brio performed Wednesday night at Libby Gardner Concert Hall, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City.

After several years’ absence, Trio con Brio returned to Libby Gardner Concert Hall Wednesday night in a concert presented by the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City. The program featured two masterworks by Beethoven and Shostakovich, yet the Copenhagen-based ensemble also brought music of one of Denmark’s most significant contemporary composers, Bent Sørensen.

Instead of sandwiching Sørensen’s piece between … Read More