Classical Music

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

NOVA Chamber Music starts a new era with wide-ranging diversity – Oct 15, 2018

Violinist and music director Madeline Adkins performed in the season-opening concert of the NOVA Chamber Music Series Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s season-opening concert of the NOVA Chamber Music Series saw the debut of Madeline Adkins as the group’s new music director. For the occasion, Adkins, who also serves as the Utah Symphony’s concertmaster, chose a wonderfully diverse yet cohesive program to open the ensemble’s 41stseason.

Diverse, since it brought together a wide spectrum of composers, from Mozart to Schoenberg; cohesive, because the younger composers … Read More

Utah Opera opens season with a moving and delightful “Roméo et Juliette” – Oct 14, 2018

Joshua Dennis and Anya Matanovič star in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” at Utah Opera. Photo: Dana Sohm/Utah Opera

With just a four-show season, Utah Opera artistic director Christopher McBeth must make some difficult decisions as to which operas to stage in any given year.

But Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, which opened the company’s season Saturday night at the Capitol Theatre, is certainly a work that deserves to be seen more frequently. (It was last produced at Utah Opera in 2005).

… Read More

Fischer, Utah Symphony jazz it up with Gershwin, Ravel and Schubert – Sep 29, 2018

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

If there truly is a popular classical music program, that doesn’t manage to beat old warhorses to death, then this weekend’s Utah Symphony offering surely is it.

It’s certainly difficult not to like a concert featuring works by George Gershwin, Maurice Ravel and Franz Schubert, especially when played as magnificently as they were by the orchestra under Thierry Fischer Friday night at Abravanel Hall. For all their familiarity, none … Read More