Classical Music

Worlds collide with Sierra and Bartok in Utah Symphony program – Apr 09, 2021

Domingo Hindoyan conducted the Utah Symphony Thursday night at Abravanel Hall.
Photo: Kathleen Sykes

If one were forced to name one good thing about the pandemic, one might note how it showcased the Utah Symphony string section. Because string players can perform masked and don’t blow respiratory droplets into the air when they play, the Utah Symphony string section has been carrying the orchestra through its downsized programs of the past year.

Like most of the orchestra’s concerts since last … Read More

Utah Symphony returns live with short but sweet Mahler, Strauss program – Mar 26, 2021

Making his Utah Symphony debut, Marc Albrecht conducted the orchestra in music of Mahler and Richard Strauss Thursday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

 In the Utah Symphony’s first live concert since last November, the orchestra reminded a sparse but appreciative audience of its artistic prowess and the individual genius of late Romantic composers Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. Thursday night’s concert at Abravanel Hall also whetted the appetite for the Utah Symphony’s ambitious 2021-2022 season (advertised in a projected video between … Read More

Utah Symphony offers rich programs, new podium faces in 2021-22 season – Mar 24, 2021

Hilary Hahn will be the Utah Symphony’s artist-in-association in the 2021-22 season. Photo: Dana van Leeuwen

The Utah Symphony unveiled its 2021-22 season Tuesday—one that will feature the orchestra in full-length concerts for the first time since March 2020, when Salt Lake County-run arts venues were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Thierry Fischer, starting his 13th and penultimate season as music director, will conduct nine of the 18 concerts in the Masterworks Series. He opens the season September 17-18 with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, … Read More

Utah Opera to present “Flight” and favorites in 2021-22 season – Mar 22, 2021

Jonathan Dove’s Flight will have its Salt Lake City premiere in Utah Opera’s 2021-22 season. Photo: Duane Tinley, Des Moines Metro Opera

Utah Opera’s 2021-22 season will present two Italian favorites, the local debut of a contemporary opera and a beloved operetta. All four works are rescheduled from cancelled productions of the past two seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic  

“To paraphrase one of the most significant sports figures in history, ‘we’re back,’” said Utah Opera artistic director Christopher McBeth in a released … Read More

Utah Opera to return live with “La tragédie de Carmen” – Mar 15, 2021

Kirstin Chávez stars in Utah Opera’s production of La tragédie de Carmen. Photo: Kira Horvath

Utah Opera will return to live audience events in May with five performances of La tragédie de Carmen. 

Director Peter Brook’s chamber distillation and abridgment of Bizet’s beloved four-act opera stars Kirstin Chávez as the title gypsy temptress and Isaac Hurtado as the officer Don José, who is ensnared by her charms. Ari Pelto conducts with Omer Ben Seadia as director.

The production will mark the first live event in … Read More

Utah Opera signals an evening of hope with “Light on the Horizon” concert – Feb 14, 2021

Singers perform in Utah Opera’s streamed concert, “Light on the Horizon.”

Utah Opera opened its season last October with an in-person but socially distanced double bill of Poulenc’s The Human Voice and Joseph Horovitz’s Gentlemen’s Island.

Four months later the pandemic is still with us though there is hope, as reflected in the title of the company’s second production, Light on the Horizon. Premiering Friday night–and available through March 14–this streaming concert featured six singers, 35 musicians, and a program ranging from … Read More

Utah Symphony members downsize gracefully for chamber program – Feb 12, 2021

Music of Mozart and Mendelssohn was performed by Utah Symphony members in a streaming chamber program.

With all Salt Lake County-operated venues shuttered through March 24, the Utah Symphony has begun recording live performances for its new On Demand series, which can be streamed through the orchestra’s website. 

The most recent stream was a chamber music program offering selections from quartets by Mozart and Mendelssohn. Performed by violinists Yuki MacQueen and Alex Martin (alternating in the first-violin position), violist Joel Gibbs and cellist John … Read More

Fisch makes impressive debut leading Utah Symphony in a timely, resonant “Metamorphosen” – Jan 16, 2021

Asher Fisch conducted the Utah Symphony in a streaming program of Strauss and Mendelssohn. Photo: Nik Babic

It’s striking how well music written decades or even centuries ago can address a current national mood.  After a fortnight that saw both a spike in U.S. Covid deaths and a siege of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Utah Symphony’s transcendent rendition of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen—streaming through February 11 along with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor—seemed of the moment.

Written in 1945 by Richard Strauss, … Read More

Strings to the fore with Zukerman leading Utah Symphony – Nov 20, 2020

Pinchas Zukerman performed Bach’s Violin Concerto in A major with the Utah Symphony Thursday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The efforts of performing arts organizations, which have been forced to find ways to create beauty under the extreme constraints of the pandemic, have been met with awe and profound gratitude – both for the resourcefulness of the performances themselves as well as the pains they have taken to ensure the safety of all involved.   

However, as the masked audience members found their socially-distanced seats for … Read More

Within restrictions, Utah Symphony finds freedom coloring outside the lines – Nov 13, 2020

Utah Symphony flutists Mercedes Smith and Caitlyn Valovick-Moore performed Tōru Takemitsu’s Masque Thursday night at Abravenel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The latest entry in the Utah Symphony’s atypical 2020–21 season delivered not only one of the most creative programs of the year Thursday night, but one unlike any average Abravanel Hall outing. In  response to the  necessary social-distancing measures and condensed program lengths, the symphony has turned toward the underperformed and rarely heard, providing audiences this weekend with a globally and historically expansive set of … Read More