Classical Music

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

Fischer closes Utah Symphony season with impassioned Mahler – May 25, 2019

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Thierry Fischer chose to end the Utah Symphony season this weekend with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan,” a work that has appeared on numerous programs he’s conducted during his tenure with the orchestra.

Fischer, who announced Thursday he’ll be stepping down as music director when his contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 season, gave a remarkably vibrant account of … Read More

Fischer will depart Utah Symphony in 2022 – May 23, 2019

Thierry Fischer announced Thursday that he will step down as music director of the Utah Symphony at the end of the 2021-22 season. At that time the Swiss-born conductor will have led the ensemble for 13 years.

“I am deeply grateful for the rich musical partnership I have enjoyed with the members of this outstanding orchestra, and for the experiences we’ve shared as musical ambassadors to the people of Utah,” said Fischer in a statement released by the symphony. “My journey with the Utah … Read More

Salt Lake Symphony, Utah Voices rise to the challenge of Mahler’s “Resurrection” – May 17, 2019

Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection” ) was performed by the Salt Lake Symphony Thursday night.

The Salt Lake Symphony’s annual collaboration with Utah Voices closed out its season Thursday night with a compelling performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.”

The Second isn’t a work one would expect a community orchestra to play, but the Salt Lake Symphony roster contains some of the best freelance musicians in the area. And since Robert Baldwin has become its music director he has raised … Read More