Classical Music

Fischer returns with varied lineup, from Haydn to Janáček – Feb 04, 2023

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Thierry Fischer returned to the helm of the Utah Symphony Friday night for the first time this year to conduct a concert that bore the distinct hallmarks of his 13 seasons as music director.

The program featured a Haydn symphony, which has become a staple of Fischer’s tenure. And like so many of Fischer’s programs, Friday’s concert juxtaposed several contrasting pieces in a pointed way, following the Haydn with … Read More

Utah Symphony, Fawzi Haimor impress in first collaboration – Jan 28, 2023

Fawzi Haimor conducted the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo courtesy of Fawzi Haimor

Guest conductor Fawzi Haimor began his Utah Symphony debut on Friday night at Abravanel Hall with Feuertrunken (“Fire drunk”), a 2017 work described by its composer, Joshua Cerdinia, as “a loud meditation (if one can meditate loudly) on joy.” 

This was an apt summary of the whole program, which also featured Stravinsky’s triumphal The Firebird Suite and Orff’s sensual secular oratorio Carmina Burana. … Read More

Utah Opera’s “Daughter of the Regiment” wins hearts, minds and laughs – Jan 16, 2023

Matthew Burns as Sergeant Sulpice and Madison Leonard as Marie in Utah Opera’s presentation of Donizetti’s “Daughter of the Regiment.” Photo courtesy of Utah Opera

With its engaging and musically stunning production of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, Utah Opera is establishing itself as a consummate producer of Bel Canto operas, particularly those in a comic vein. 

Literally translated as “beautiful singing,” Bel Canto is a style of opera from the early 1800s marked by simple, tuneful arias that showcase the … Read More

Strings are the thing with Utah Symphony’s suburban program – Jan 13, 2023

Benjamin Manis conduced the Utah Symphony strings Thursday night at the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center in Taylorsville. Photo: Ian Mower/Utah Symphony

The Utah Symphony took a downsized, all-strings program to the suburbs on Thursday night.  The occasion marked the orchestra’s first performance at the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center, a 20-minute drive from its home base of Abravanel Hall. (The Taylorsville complex is the newest arts facility owned and operated by Salt Lake County.)

On the program were short suites by Florence Price, Benjamin Britten … Read More

Utah Symphony’s heart is in the highlands with Scottish-flavored program – Jan 07, 2023

Douglas Boyd conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Elgar, Bruch and Helen Grime Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Ian Mower

The Utah Symphony’s first concert of 2023 had a Scottish accent, as Glasgow-born conductor Douglas Boyd led the orchestra in Scottish composer Helen Grime’s Near Midnight and Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy (with another Glaswegian, principal harpist Louise Vickerman, in a prominent supporting role to concertmaster Madeline Adkins).

After reading a few lines from Week-night Service, the D. H. Lawrence poem from which Grime … Read More

Robertson hones new partnership with Utah Symphony in Russian-American program – Dec 10, 2022

David Robertson conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Adams, Prokofiev and Shostakovich Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

David Robertson returned Friday night to Salt Lake City to conduct the Utah Symphony for the third time in as many years. 

After his well-received debut in October 2020—and his triumphant return engagement in December 2021—there was speculation that Robertson would be named music director, succeeding Thierry Fischer. 

That speculation ended this week, when the orchestra announced that Robertson will be the Utah … Read More

Cellist Hornung upstages Beethoven’s Fifth with dark Shostakovich – Dec 05, 2022

Maximilian Hornung was the soloist in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Utah Symphony Saturday night at Abravanel Hall.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony had top billing at the Utah Symphony this weekend. But, as rousing as the orchestra’s performance of that symphonic favorite was on Saturday night, arguably the best thing about it was that it got thousands of people through the doors of Abravanel Hall to hear Maximilian Hornung’s stunning performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1.

It was clear … Read More

Hough returns to Utah Symphony with triumphant Rachmaninoff – Nov 12, 2022

Stephen Hough performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

Just in time for the onset of winter temperatures in Salt Lake City, the Utah Symphony delivered a hearty and filling musical meal Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

The main course was Stephen Hough’s breathtaking performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which demonstrated, once again, that the British pianist is one of the smartest and most equipped soloists currently working. 

The technical demands of “Rach 3” are … Read More

Morlot steps in to skillfully handle a challenging Utah Symphony program – Nov 05, 2022

Ludovic Morlot conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Ives, Salieri, Tchaikovsky and Augusta Read Thomas Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

Conductor Ludovic Morlot showed consummate skill, musicality, and versatility at the helm of the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

Filling in for music director Thierry Fischer, who cancelled due to an injury this week, Morlot acquitted himself brilliantly on the difficult and eclectic program Fischer had planned. 

The program included Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov, … Read More

Guest artists create a storm in all-Russian program with Utah Symphony – Oct 22, 2022

Andrew Staupe performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with David Danzmayr conducting the Utah Symphony. Photo: Seth Ian

With a stunning all-Russian concert, the Utah Symphony welcomed the first guest conductor of its 2022-2023 season. 

Austrian-born conductor David Danzmayr, currently in his second season as music director of the Oregon Symphony, put his distinctive stamp on the orchestra, creating a spellbinding sound in his rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

And pianist Andrew Staupe, who recently joined the University of Utah music faculty, … Read More