Classical Music

Utah Symphony opens new year in briskly rewarding fashion – Jan 06, 2024

Francesca Dego performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

The Utah Symphony entered 2024 in bracing fashion under guest conductor David Danzmayr, the brisk tempos inside Abravanel Hall mirroring the brisk temperatures outside.

The Austrian conductor opened with a high-octane reading of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, signaling the kind of evening that was in store. Emphatic attacks and releases invested even the rests with an abundance of tension. The tempestuous main theme and the gentler secondary … Read More

Robertson’s rapport grows in Utah Symphony’s enjoyable program – Dec 09, 2023

David Robertson conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Sibelius, Ives and Schumann Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

“Can I just say, we adore playing for you,” David Robertson said as he took the Abravanel Hall podium Friday night. That much was evident in the Utah Symphony’s vibrant performance, the second of three this season with Robertson as creative partner.

Last month, Robertson offered an inventive juxtaposition of Act III of Berg’s Wozzeck and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; he’ll be back in the spring … Read More

Pianist Pratt provides the highlights at Utah Symphony program – Dec 03, 2023

Awadagin Pratt performed music of Bach and Jessie Montgomery Friday night with the Utah Symphony. Photo: Seth Ian Mower

Pianist Awadagin Pratt and conductor Teddy Abrams joined the Utah Symphony Friday night for an eclectic program featuring music by Bach, Copland, and Jessie Montgomery as well as a piece by Abrams himself.

Abrams was making his Masterworks debut with this week’s concerts, having previously conducted Utah Symphony pops programs. Heard Friday in his dual roles as composer and conductor, Abrams was more impressive … Read More

Poschner brings variety and vitality to Utah Symphony program – Nov 18, 2023

Markus Poschner conducted the Utah Symphony Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

The Utah Symphony concert Friday night under the baton of German conductor Markus Poschner called to mind the interesting programming choices of its recently departed music director, Thierry Fischer. A champion of new music, Fischer also liked to juxtapose pieces in a way that allows audiences to see them in a new light.

Not only did Friday’s program feature the first 21st century piece of this season’s Masterworks … Read More

Riveting Berg sets the scene for Utah Symphony’s fresh-look Beethoven Ninth – Nov 04, 2023

David Robertson conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Berg, Bruckner and Beethoven Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

The Utah Symphony’s current season hasn’t exactly been about taking risks—until this weekend.

David Robertson opened his three-year stint in the newly created post of Utah Symphony creative partner with an evening of the three B’s: Bruckner, Berg, and Beethoven. 

As the conductor stepped onto the dimly lit Abravanel Hall stage Friday night, supertitles shared commentary on the … Read More

Utah Symphony marks Rachmaninoff year with a resplendent Second Symphony   – Oct 21, 2023

Rune Bergmann conducted the Utah Symphony in music of Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Saint-Saëns Friday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Ian Mower

A first-time Utah Symphony concertgoer had two strong takeaways from Friday night’s program. First, that Abravanel Hall is one of the finest concert venues in the country; and second, that the Utah Symphony is a most impressive ensemble, as reviews and word of mouth have indicated.

Led by Rune Bergmann, who made his Utah Symphony … Read More

A fine cast boosts Utah Opera’s season-opening “Boheme” – Oct 09, 2023

Musetta (Marina Costa-Jackson) and Rodolfo (Christopher Oglesby) tend Mimi (Laura Wilde) in Puccini’s La Boheme at Utah Opera. Photo: Dana Sohm

Utah Opera opened its new season in the Capitol Theatre Saturday with a wonderfully cast production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. The opera was the company’s initial offering back in January 1978 and has been programmed frequently ever since.

What distinguishes this staging from the past several productions is primarily the cast. Everyone, from the leads to the smaller characters, have commanding … Read More

Old favorites well served by young artists with Utah Symphony – Sep 24, 2023

Pianist Maria-Ange Nguci performed Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto with Eduardo Strausser conducting the Utah Symphony Saturday night at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Ian Mower

The 2023-24 season is a time of transition for the Utah Symphony as it seeks a replacement for departed music director Thierry Fischer. The orchestra is leaning heavily on proven crowd favorites to fill Abravanel Hall in the meantime. There won’t be a work by a living composer, or even a work written after World War II on a Masterworks concert … Read More

Oliverson’s Barber is the highlight in Utah Symphony’s mixed season opener – Sep 16, 2023

Aubree Oliverson performed Barber’s Violin Concerto in the Utah Symphony’s season-opening concert Friday night at Abravanel Hall.

The Utah Symphony began its 2023-2024 season without a music director, and without one of the hallmarks of its recently departed music director: new and challenging music.  

Thierry Fischer’s 13-year tenure as music director, which ended last season, featured world and U.S. premieres, ample repertoire for the 21st century, and several seldom-performed pieces that challenged audiences’ ears, often alongside … Read More

A departing Thierry Fischer says his Utah Symphony tenure has been an organic partnership – May 23, 2023

For his final program as music director, Thierry Fischer leads the Utah Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 this weekend. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Conductor Thierry Fisher was in a relaxed mood after conducting the Utah Symphony’s first rehearsal of Oliver Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, a ten-movement, roughly 80-minute-long piece featuring over 100 musicians. That piece would comprise the entire program on Fischer’s penultimate concert as the orchestra’s music director.

Fischer assessed the task before him. “It’s the first rehearsal of a big piece … Read More