Classical Music

Fischer closes Utah Symphony’s pandemic season with provocative eclecticism – May 28, 2021

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony’s final program of the season Thursday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo; Marco Borggreve

Eclectic programming that juxtaposes works in a thought-provoking way has been a hallmark of Thierry Fischer’s tenure as music director of the Utah Symphony. 

The constraints of the pandemic have accentuated this gift. With shorter concerts, no intermissions, socially distanced musicians, and until recently, very few wind instruments, audiences have been exposed to pieces they might not have otherwise heard and have heard familiar pieces … Read More

Jolivet concerto and Beethoven make engaging partners with Utah Symphony – May 21, 2021

Soloist Demarre McGill exchanges a fist bump with Thierry Fischer before the Utah Symphony performance of Jolivet’s Suite en concert Thursday night at Abravanel Hall.
Photo: Kathleen Sykes

In a welcome sign the pandemic may be coming to an end, the Utah Symphony’s program led by Thierry Fischer Thursday night included a Beethoven symphony. Since cautiously returning last fall, the orchestra has tried to observe recommended social distancing by featuring smaller ensembles of mostly strings, which can play masked. 

The sight of the Abravanel … Read More

Confused staging undoes Utah Opera’s downsized “Carmen” – May 10, 2021

Isaac Hurtado and Kirstin Chávez star in Utah Opera’s La tragédie de Carmen. Photo: Dana Sohn

Under the constraints of the pandemic, Utah Opera has done some exquisite work. Last October, when the social distancing protocols were most severe, the company presented Poulenc’s La voix humaine, which proved a riveting psychological drama and musical tour de force for soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer. That one-woman show was on a double bill with a delightful production of Joseph Horovitz’s light comedy Gentleman’s Island.

After slamming … Read More

From Bach to Wagner, Fischer leads a bounteous Utah Symphony program – Apr 30, 2021

Madeline Adkins and Claude Halter perform Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with Thierry Fischer conducting the Utah Symphony Thursday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony, like many American orchestras, has been pondering the puzzle of updating the concert experience for years. Now, thanks to the global pandemic, the orchestra has had a chance to test out some of those ideas: shorter programs, a slightly relaxed dress code, more modern or nontraditional repertoire, and the dismantling of the familiar overture-concerto-symphony formula.

… Read More

Thierry Fischer returns with a smart and stylish Utah Symphony program – Apr 23, 2021

Madeline Adkins was the violin soloist in The Lark Ascending Thursday night at Abravanel Hall with Thierry Fischer conducting the Utah Symphony. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The music of Arnold Schoenberg, his students Anton Webern and Alban Berg, and a slew of disciples in academia can still confound audience members after a century. 

Credited with the invention of “atonal” music, the Second Viennese School is regarded by some as an unfortunate glitch in the musical space-time continuum. Yet by placing Schoenberg on the same Utah … Read More

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