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 judgment. 

The … 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 Abravanel … 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 venue … 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 and … 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 out … Read More

A powerful “Rite” and dazzling Mozart from Utah Symphony, Fellner – Nov 23, 2019

Pianist Till Fellner’s mastery of Mozart was on full display Friday in performance with Utah Symphony. Photo: Gabriela Brandenstein

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is a classical mainstay and a favorite of Utah Symphony music director Thierry Fischer, who has it back on the program this weekend at Abravanel Hall in a spot-on interpretation that again brings one of orchestral music’s default works to thrilling life.

Fischer on Friday knew just what he wanted to cull from Stravinsky’s score, and the orchestra responded with … Read More

From Bartók to Roens, a delightful study in “Contrasts” at NOVA concert – Nov 19, 2019

Steve Roens’ Countermeasures was given its world premiere at the NOVA Chamber Music series Sunday afternoon at Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

The title for Sunday afternoon’s NOVA Chamber Music series concert in Libby Gardner Concert Hall was “Contrasts,” and the four works on the program certainly lived up to that, since the thrust of each work lay in juxtaposing contrasting styles, textures, tempos, dynamics and articulation.

The featured work was the world premiere of composer and University of Utah faculty member Steve Roens’ Countermeasures for … Read More

A retooled Pacifica Quartet brings the same top artistry to Salt Lake City – Sep 19, 2019

The Pacifica Quartet performed Wednesday night, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City.

The Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City opened its season Wednesday night in Libby Gardner Concert Hall with a welcome return visit by the Pacifica Quartet. The ensemble has been a frequent guest here over the years, and each time they’ve engaged their audience with their perceptive playing and well-chosen programs.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Pacifica has gone through personnel changes in recent years and … 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 … Read More