Classical Music

Utah Opera to serve up a varied menu in 2019-20 season – Mar 06, 2019

Anya Matanovič stars in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” which will open Utah Opera’s 2019-20 season October 12.

Utah Opera will offer four operas in the 2019-20 season, with two Italian favorites, one French rarity, and an acclaimed 21st-century American work.

Verdi’s La traviata will open the Salt Late City opera season October 12 running through October 20. Anya Matanovič stars as the doomed courtesan Violetta, with tenor Rafael Moras making his company debut as her lover Alfredo. Michael Chioldi returns as Germont, and Steven White conducts.

Silent … Read More

Fischer, Utah Symphony explore lighter Berlioz, dark Tchaikovsky – Feb 09, 2019

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Wagner, Berlioz and Tchaikovsky Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

This week’s Utah Symphony program features three short pieces by Berlioz that will be included in the orchestra’s all-Berlioz album for Hyperion to be released in 2020. (The centerpiece of the CD is the Symphonie fantastique which the orchestra and Thierry Fischer recorded at last weekend’s concerts.)

Friday’s performance in Abravanel Hall proved yet again that Fischer is indeed a sound interpreter … Read More

From Bach to Shostakovich, the Calefax Reed Quintet makes a case for the art of transcription – Feb 06, 2019

The Calefax Reed Quintet performed Tuesday night for the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Despite the snowstorm that began Tuesday afternoon, a sizable audience turned out for the evening’s concert by the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City in Libby Gardner Concert Hall. Those who braved the elements were rewarded with a captivating concert by the Calefax Reed Quintet.

The Netherlands-based ensemble has an extensive repertoire ranging from the baroque to the 20th century. In their Utah … Read More

Utah Symphony to offer Beethoven, world premiere, and progressive Messiaen in 2019-20 season – Feb 05, 2019

Olivier Messiaen in Bryce Canyon in 1971. All 12 sections of the French composer’s epic, Utah-inspired “Des canyons aux étoiles” will be performed throughout the Utah Symphony’s 2019-20 season.

The Utah Symphony announced its 80th season Tuesday night in a press conference at the Clark Planetarium.

The setting was symbolic because the orchestra and its music director Thierry Fischer will spotlight a work written in and about Utah in the 2019-20 season: Olivier Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles. What’s unusual about this performance is … Read More

Fischer leads the Utah Symphony in whirling and powerful Berlioz – Feb 02, 2019

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony brass in Pierre Boulez’s “Initial” on the first half of Friday night’s concert at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique is a work closely associated with Thierry Fischer. It was his audition piece when the Utah Symphony was looking for a music director to replace Keith Lockhart, and in the decade since, Fischer has conducted it a number of times.

The work is on the program again this weekend, and for these performances Abravanel Hall … Read More

Utah Opera’s “The Little Prince” is captivating, well-cast magic for all ages – Jan 20, 2019

The Prince (Nitai Fluchel) and the Pilot (Jared Bybee) in “The Little Prince.” (Dana Sohm/Utah Opera)

The Little Prince made its Utah Opera debut to boisterous acclaim Saturday at the Capitol Theatre for what proved to be a superb adaptation of a literary classic. Composer Rachel Portman and librettist Nicholas Wright have taken the much-loved children’s novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and transformed it into an opera with universal appeal.

At first glance, the story of a young prince visiting Earth from a distant planet seems simple and fanciful — a … Read More

Utah Opera readies a grand welcome for “The Little Prince” – Jan 16, 2019

Jared Bybee and 11-year-old Nitai Fluchel star in Utah Opera’s production of “The Little Prince”

Utah Opera artistic director Christopher McBeth is continually on the lookout for new operas that local audiences will relate to — “and by relevance I mean operas that are family-friendly,” says McBeth.

That can be a challenge in a field teeming with adult subject matter and envelope-pushing new stagings, but when McBeth saw The Little Prince, he knew he had a winner: “It’s one of the best family operas I’ve seen.”

The Little Prince receives its Utah premiere … Read More

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