Classical Music

Utah Symphony’s Gershwin feast takes flight, with a maestro switch – Nov 16, 2019

Pianist Kevin Cole performed music of George Gershwin with Conner Gray Covington conducting the Utah Symphony Friday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

A George Gershwin extravaganza is on tap at the Utah Symphony this weekend, featuring three of the composer’s piano concertante works along with a pair of works for orchestra alone. 

Thierry Fischer was to have conducted this weekend but withdrew on the advice of his doctor, due to a back injury. 

Instead the orchestra’s associate conductor, Conner Gray Covington, made his Masterworks debut. … Read More

Penderecki Piano Trio shows sharp ensemble in reshuffled program – Nov 15, 2019

The Penderecki Piano Trio performed Thursday night in Libby Gardner Concert Hall. Photo: Bruno Fidrych

Named after Poland’s leading contemporary composer Krzysztof Penderecki, the Penderecki Trio is one of the country’s foremost chamber ensembles. The chamber group made a stop Thursday night in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, as part of the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City’s offerings this season. 

The trio’s members (violinist Jaroslaw Nadrzycki, cellist Karol Marianowski and pianist Konrad Skolarski) are wonderful musicians possessing keen musicality and fine interpretative skills. 

Unfortunately, the program they … Read More

Salt Lake Symphony tackles Copland’s epic Third in style – Nov 11, 2019

Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3 was performed by the Salt Lake Symphony Saturday night.

The Salt Lake Symphony likes to tackle challenging works. And with some of the best local freelance musicians in the group the ensemble certainly has the technical and musical chops to pull them off.

For its concert Saturday in Libby Gardner Concert Hall guest conductor Gerald Elias led the ensemble in Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3. While other American composers who were Copland’s contemporaries wrote exceptional symphonies—notably William … Read More

Fiery Rachmaninoff and de Falla ballet pair perfectly with the Utah Symphony – Nov 09, 2019

Boris Giltburg performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Carlos Miguel Prieto conducting the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos always guarantee a pretty full house whenever the Utah Symphony programs them. Two weeks ago Lukáš Vondráček gave a dynamic performance of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini under the baton of Aziz Shokhakimov. This weekend it’s Boris Giltburg’s turn to dazzle the audience with the Third Piano Concerto and Carlos Miguel Prieto on the podium.

And the young … Read More

Young conductor makes a fiery Utah Symphony debut with Russian program – Oct 26, 2019

Aziz Shokhakimov conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev Friday night.

This weekend’s Utah Symphony program in Abravanel Hall is an all-Russian affair featuring works by three of the country’s best known composers: Modest Mussorgsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev.

Leading the orchestra Friday, and making his local debut, is the Uzbekistani conductor Aziz Shokhakimov. Despite his young age (31), Shokhakimov showed remarkable maturity in his command of the works and in his interpretive gifts. He has a wonderfully … Read More

Utah Opera’s “Traviata” soars with soprano’s poignant Violetta – Oct 14, 2019

Anya Matanovic and Rafael Moras star in Verdi’s La Traviata at Utah Opera. Photo: Dana Sohm

Salt Lake City’s Capitol Theatre is open for business after renovations–and once again it is Violetta Valéry who is hosting the house-warming party. 

As it did in 2014, Utah Opera has chosen Verdi’s beloved La traviata to welcome music lovers back to the company’s longtime home.

Anya Matanovic — a longtime company favorite in roles such as Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) — gives a knockout performance … Read More

Soprano Matanovic set to tackle role’s challenges in Utah Opera’s “Traviata” – Oct 09, 2019

Soprano Anya Matanovic stars in Verdi’s La traviata, which opens Utah Opera’s season Saturday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Utah Opera’s repertoire contains a substantial number of audience favorites that are reprised at fairly short intervals. 

One of these warhorses is Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, last seen in Salt Lake City in 2014, which will open the company’s season Saturday night in the newly renovated Capitol Theatre. 

Verdi’s 1853 setting of Alexandre Dumas the younger’s play La dame aux camélias consistently ranks as one of the most … Read More

Mozart and Respighi make a congenial pairing for Utah Symphony – Sep 28, 2019

Violinist Viviane Hagner and violist Brant Bayless were soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Thierry Fischer leading the Utah Symphony Friday night. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

In some interesting and rather unusual program choices, two quite different and distinctive halves make up the whole at this weekend’s Utah Symphony concert program in Abravanel Hall. 

Opening the concert are two works by Mozart that are seldom performed here – the overture to his opera seria Idomeneo and the Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major, for violin and viola.

In Thierry Fischer’s hands, … Read More

NOVA launches new season with chamber music of the night – Sep 16, 2019

Nocturnes of Frédéric Chopin were performed at NOVA Chamber Music’s concert Sunday at Libby Gardner Concert Hall.
Painting by Eugène Delacroix, 1838.

Since Jason Hardink stepped down as music director two years ago, the NOVA Chamber Music Series hasn’t had a permanent director. Instead, each season has been led by someone new. Last season it was the Utah Symphony’s concertmaster Madeline Adkins, and for 2019-20 it’s the Utah State University-based Fry Street Quartet.

For its first concert on Sunday, the group decided on a program of music … Read More

Utah Symphony opens season with music from the canyon to the cosmos – Sep 14, 2019

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony in the orchestra’s season-opening program Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

For their season-opening program, Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony took their audience on a heavenly journey Friday night, culminating in an at-times rambunctious but always engrossing performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. 

The basis for the program choices for much of the new season is Olivier Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… Two movements of Messiaen’s epic were played Friday, though the focus this weekend was squarely on Holst’s … Read More