Classical Music

Robertson makes an impressive debut with Utah Symphony – Oct 23, 2020

David Robertson conducted the Utah Symphony Thursday night in Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Conductor David Robertson made a welcome debut in Abravanel Hall Thursday night  leading members of the Utah Symphony in an eclectic program of works spanning several hundred years, from the Renaissance to the late 20th century. 

The Utah Symphony is in the early stages of its search for a successor to Thierry Fischer when the Swiss music director departs in 2023. (Fischer was originally scheduled to depart in August 2022, but recently agreed to … Read More

Fischer will stay with Utah Symphony through 2023 – Oct 13, 2020

Thierry Fischer has extended his contract with the Utah Symphony. Photo: Kousaku Nakagawa.

Thierry Fischer will remain in Salt Lake City through the summer of 2023.

The Swiss conductor extended his contract as music director of the Utah Symphony by one year, the orchestra announced Monday. He had stated last year that he would depart the Utah Symphony at the end of the 2021-22 season. 

“With so much uncertainty in the future, it is a natural gesture for me to help provide the orchestra and … Read More

Harmer dazzles in Utah Opera’s downsized season opener – Oct 10, 2020

Wendy Bryn Harmer stars in Poulenc’s La voix humaine, part of Utah Opera’s season-opening double bill. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Even a pandemic has some silver linings. 

Due to the ongoing public health crisis, Utah Opera audiences won’t hear soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer make her company debut \as Senta in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman this month. Instead, operagoers have the dramatically different, yet arguably more thrilling, opportunity to hear Harmer’s spectacular gifts showcased in Poulenc’s La voix humaine.

The monodrama, which shares the bill with Joseph Horovitz’s … Read More

Utah Opera to open season safely with a corona-conscious double bill – Oct 05, 2020

Brian Stucki (left) and Christopher Clayton rehearse for Utah Opera’s Gentleman’s Island. Photo: Kathleen Sykes/Utah Opera

Art goes on, even in a pandemic. Utah Opera will open its season Friday night with a new set of health protocols and a pair of one-act operas that explore the timely themes of isolation and connection.

In place of the originally scheduled Flying Dutchman by Wagner, the company will present ten performances of Francis Poulenc’s one-woman monodrama La voix humaine (presented in a new English-language translation as The Human Voice). The double-bill … Read More

Utah Symphony’s retooled program ranges from Bach to Black Lives Matter – Sep 25, 2020

Thierry Fischer led a scaled-back ensemble on Thursday evening in the second program of Utah Symphony’s modified, safety-minded fall season.

While most American orchestras have canceled their fall schedules to avoid the risk of COVID-19 entirely, Utah Symphony is proceeding with a drastically altered lineup that is, in turn, producing a very different kind of concert experience.

A circumspect season opener last week featured only strings in an auditorium retrofitted for social distancing, and an attendance cap of 400 people in a venue that … Read More

Utah Symphony’s cautious opening proves a moving experience – Sep 18, 2020

Thierry Fischer opened the Utah Symphony’s season with a program of music for strings Thursday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony opened its 2020-21 season on time Thursday night, ending a six-month intermission. Earlier the same day the Utah Department of Health reported a state record of 911 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

The orchestra took abundant care in its first concert since the Covid-19 pandemic stopped the music world in its tracks. The Abravanel Hall stage was extended to allow at least … Read More

Utah Symphony, Utah Opera announce a “reimagined” fall slate of live music – Sep 04, 2020

Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer said he looks forward to “bringing our orchestra back in person to heal and inspire.” Photo: Marco Borggreve

Utah Symphony and Utah Opera plan to return to the stage this fall with fewer musicians, smaller audiences and scaled-down productions to accommodate pubic health restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations said on Monday.

The orchestra and opera company join a small but significant group of classical music presenters — in Dallas, St. Louis, Houston and Minnesota — that intend to … Read More

New CEO to lead Utah Symphony | Utah Opera – Jun 29, 2020

Steven Brosvik is the new president and CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Photo: Kurt Heinecke

Steven Brosvik has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Brosvik, who succeeds interim president Patricia A. Richards, will take up the new post August 17.

“I’m honored and excited to be named President & CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera,” Brosvik said in a released statement. “From the beginning of the search process, I’ve been impressed by the support for … Read More

New music for new times – Jun 26, 2020

Though the concert world is on hiatus because of the COVID-19 virus, musicians and composers are still making music. 

And they are also making new music. Here are some recommended recordings of new and modernist classical music, all released in the last three months.

Brain on Fire. Hypercube (New Focus Recordings). Hypercube is a new ensemble comprised of saxophonist Erin Rogers, electric guitarist Jay Sorce, pianist and accordionist Andrea Lodge, and percussionist Christopher Graham. This is their debut recording, and all five pieces are heard in their recorded premieres. Four were written expressly for … Read More

What will the fall arts season look like? Smaller, less epic and more soloistic—if it happens – May 15, 2020

Carnegie Hall. Photo: Jeff Goldberg

The deadly Covid-19 pandemic continues to cut a swathe across the country and the world—1,340,441 cases in the U.S. alone with 79,526 deaths and counting. While the risk to the general public remains lower than for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions, the highly infectious nature of the virus, its evolving symptoms, and the near-total lack of effective treatment continue to create and sustain widespread fears.

A vaccine would be a godsend but is unlikely to happen within a year and perhaps not at all. After decades we still … Read More