Classical Music

Violinist makes outstanding debut in Utah Symphony’s Spanish-flavored program – Mar 07, 2020

Benjamin Beilman performed Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole with Fabien Gabel conducting the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

This weekend’s Utah Symphony program is titled “Sketches of Spain,” but it should really be called “The Benjamin Beilman Show.” 

Making his Masterworks debut Friday, the young American violinist gave a knockout performance of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, a work not often heard in Abravanel Hall. His reading displayed a level of maturity that surpasses his 30 years. That quality—combined with the depth of expression he … Read More

A pianist stumbles in Schumann but Utah Symphony soars with Beethoven and Messiaen – Feb 22, 2020

Francesco Piemontesi performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

This weekend’s Utah Symphony program juxtaposes two icons of the 19th century —  Schumann and Beethoven — with one of the leading lights of the 20th, Olivier Messiaen. 

Schumann is represented by his Piano Concerto, a staple of any pianist’s repertoire.  Playing it this weekend in Abravanel Hall is the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, making his Utah Symphony debut. While Piemontesi is no doubt a … Read More

Yang’s exuberant Gershwin highlights Utah Symphony’s American-Czech program – Feb 08, 2020

Joyce Yang performed Gershwin’s Concerto in F with Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Larry Ford

Among the extensive body of works George Gershwin wrote for both the stage and concert hall in his short life are four notable works for piano and orchestra: the Rhapsody in Blue, the Second Rhapsody, the Variations on “I Got Rhythm” and the Concerto in F.

Kevin Cole played the first three works with the Utah Symphony in November. The Concerto is F … Read More

New composer, conductors and soloists on tap in Utah Symphony’s 2020-21 season – Feb 04, 2020

Arlene Sierra will be the Utah Symphony’s composer-in-association for the 2020-21 season. Photo: Ian Phillips-McLaren

The Utah Symphony’s 2020-21 season will feature a new composer-in-association, the local debuts of several noted conductors and soloists, as well as the continuation of the orchestra’s Beethoven celebration with all five piano concertos.

Thierry Fischer’s penultimate season in Salt Lake City will also mark his tenth full season as music director. Fischer will conduct 10 of the 18 masterworks concerts in the upcoming season. Among the works on his programs … Read More

Anchors aweigh! “Dutchman,” “Pirates,” maiden “Flight” to pace Utah Opera season – Jan 28, 2020

Utah Opera will stage Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” in October. Photo: Kent Miles/Utah Opera.

Utah Opera’s 2020-2021 season will feature three perennial audience favorites by Wagner, Puccini, and Gilbert and Sullivan, and the company premiere of a contemporary opera based on the true story of a refugee stranded in an airport for 18 years. 

Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman returns to Salt Lake City October 10-18 to open the 2020-2021 season. The German conductor Jun Märkl, who has appeared often with the Utah Symphony, … Read More

Utah Opera’s triumphant “Silent Night” finds humanity in battle – Jan 19, 2020

Craig Irvin as Horstmayer, Efraín Solís as Audebert, and Troy Cook as Father Palmer in a moment of truce in Utah Opera’s “Silent Night.” Photo: Dana Sohm

Librettist Mark Campbell believes we’re living in a golden age of contemporary opera, and Utah Opera’s beautiful and powerful production of Silent Night, Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collaboration with composer Kevin Puts, is a shining example. This dramatization of the 1914 Christmas truce opened a five-performance run Saturday night at the Capitol Theatre.

Campbell’s multilingual libretto is a marvel, creating … Read More

Utah Opera brings war and peace to the stage with “Silent Night” – Jan 15, 2020

Troy Cook, Efraín Solís and Craig Irvin (l-r) star in “Silent Night,” about a real-life truce among warring soldiers on Christmas of 1914. Photo: Kathleen Sykes/Utah Opera

So — here’s a spoiler — no one sings “Silent Night” in Silent Night

One of the opera’s stars, baritone Craig Irvin, thinks he knows why: Including the beloved carol would take the audience out of the sound world created for this reimagining of a real-life Christmas truce in World War I, Irvin said in an interview. 

The composer, Kevin Puts, offered his own reason: While the opera’s … Read More

Leonard and Labadie a good match for Mozart with Utah Symphony – Jan 11, 2020

Isabel Leonard performed Mozart arias with the Utah Symphony led by Bernard Labadie Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony doesn’t often engage opera singers as soloists for its concerts. So with the celebrated mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard making an appearance, this week’s concerts in Abravanel Hall looked to provide a real treat.

An announcement was made before the concert that the 37-year-old singer was under the weather and would be shortening her program. Unfortunately, that meant that Mozart’s magnificent motet Exsultate, jubilate would be … Read More

Utah Symphony opens 2020 with a scintillating mix – Jan 04, 2020

Kathryn Eberle performed Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto with the Utah Symphony conducted by Conner Gray Covington Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

The Utah Symphony opened the new year with a textured and scintillating journey through centuries and countries, expertly guided by associate conductor Conner Gray Covington Friday night at Abravanel Hall. 

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, and the program began with his Leonore Overture No. 3. 

Written for the composer’s sole opera Fidelio, the overture reflects the narrative of a … Read More

Utopia Early Music brings Celtic flavor to Christmas program – Dec 22, 2019

Utopia Early Music performed “A Celtic Christmas” Saturday night at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Utopia Early Music offers a smart yet inviting respite.  Their concert, “A Celtic Christmas,” was heard Saturday night at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark’s, the third oldest Episcopal Cathedral in the United States. 

The combination of this historic setting and music that spans six countries and seven centuries proved glorious and rejuvenating. Sonorous voices blended with sprightly instrumentals to transport listeners through … Read More