Classical Music

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.

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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

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