The Utah Symphony’s Fischer era concludes with rich and radiant Mahler – May 27, 2023

Thierry Fischer conducted the Utah Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 Friday night at Abravanel Hall. File photo: Kathleen Sykes

Among the many qualities Salt Lake City audiences should remember about Thierry Fischer is his ability to play to his strengths. 

For his final program as music director of the Utah Symphony, the Swiss conductor chose Mahler’s Symphony No. 3—a vast, six-movement work featuring a mezzo-soprano soloist and choir, which ends with an exquisite Adagio. 

It is rare for a symphony to end with … Read More

The soloists shine in Utah Symphony’s colorful Strauss showcase – Apr 30, 2023

Kevin John Edusei led the Utah Symphony in a program of Strauss, Ravel and Rachmaninoff on Friday at Abravanel Hall. Photo: Marco Borggreve

It’s always a treat when the Utah Symphony features its own players as soloists. The doubly delightful pairing of principal clarinetist Tad Calcara and principal bassoonist Lori Wike this weekend was made all the more special on Friday night by the fact that their vehicle, Richard Strauss’s 1948 Duet-Concertino, had never been heard in … 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 … Read More

An oddly irony-free Shostakovich No. 5 from Lecce-Chong with Utah Symphony – Mar 06, 2022

Francesco Lecce-Chong led the Utah Symphony on Friday night at Abravnel Hall in a program of Shostakovich, Gabriela Lena Frank’s Escaramuza, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 with soloist Louis Schwizgebel. Photo: Anastasia Chernyavsky

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, many American concert presenters feel compelled to do or say something on behalf of the Ukrainian people. When a program includes a symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich – a composer deeply associated with Soviet Russia – the situation requires additional sensitivity and … Read More

Jolivet concerto and Beethoven make engaging partners with Utah Symphony – May 21, 2021

Soloist Demarre McGill exchanges a fist bump with Thierry Fischer before the Utah Symphony performance of Jolivet’s Suite en concert Thursday night at Abravanel Hall.
Photo: Kathleen Sykes

In a welcome sign the pandemic may be coming to an end, the Utah Symphony’s program led by Thierry Fischer Thursday night included a Beethoven symphony. Since cautiously returning last fall, the orchestra has tried to observe recommended social distancing by featuring smaller ensembles of mostly strings, which can play masked. 

The sight of the … Read More

Utah Symphony’s retooled program ranges from Bach to Black Lives Matter – Sep 25, 2020

Thierry Fischer led a scaled-back ensemble on Thursday evening in the second program of Utah Symphony’s modified, safety-minded fall season.

While most American orchestras have canceled their fall schedules to avoid the risk of COVID-19 entirely, Utah Symphony is proceeding with a drastically altered lineup that is, in turn, producing a very different kind of concert experience.

A circumspect season opener last week featured only strings in an auditorium retrofitted for social distancing, and an attendance cap of 400 people in a … Read More

Utah Symphony, Utah Opera announce a “reimagined” fall slate of live music – Sep 04, 2020

Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer said he looks forward to “bringing our orchestra back in person to heal and inspire.” Photo: Marco Borggreve

Utah Symphony and Utah Opera plan to return to the stage this fall with fewer musicians, smaller audiences and scaled-down productions to accommodate pubic health restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations said on Monday.

The orchestra and opera company join a small but significant group of classical music presenters — in Dallas, St. Louis, Houston and Minnesota … Read More

Critic’s Choice – Feb 12, 2020

Photo: Beau Pearson

Giselle has proved to be one of the most popular ballets ever written. With a mellifluous score by Adolphe Adam and a plot that is at once a love story and a ghost story it’s easy to understand why the ballet has been an audience favorite ever since its premiere in Paris in 1841.

For decades the work has been a staple in Ballet West’s repertoire and the company is currently performing Giselle in the Capitol Theatre. For this production artistic director Adam Sklute … Read More

Fischer, Gomyo team up for a stellar Tchaikovsky with Utah Symphony – Feb 01, 2020

Utah Symphony music director Thierry Fischer and guest violinist Karen Gomyo performing Tchaikovsky’s Vioin Concerto in D major on Friday at Abravnel Hall in Salt Lake City. Photo: Kathleen Sykes

Thierry Fischer and Karen Gomyo were great collaborators on Friday at Abravnel Hall, where a near-capacity crowd got to hear the conductor and guest soloist, respectively, play off one another as if by intuition and demonstrate their fine interpretive skills. 

The occasion was Utah Symphony’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in a concert rounded … Read More