Utah Symphony to Welcome Guest Pianist Ronald Brautigam, 11/15-16

Utah Symphony to Welcome Guest Pianist Ronald Brautigam, 11/15-16

Classical music triumvirate Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn create a powerful repertoire that includes perennial favorite, "The Magic Flute" Overture, for Maestro Thierry Fischer's sixth Masterworks concert on November 15 and 16 with Utah Symphony, and acclaimed guest pianist Ronald Brautigam.

The Utah Symphony continues the season-long exploration of the works of Carl Nielsen with his Symphony No. 3, an explosive work with ethereal solos for soprano and baritone. Pianist Brautigam returns to Utah for a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's dramatic, and Mozart-inspired, third piano concerto.

Although this was Beethoven's third piano concerto, it is still an early work and has more in common with his early classical period, rather than his middle period. The work has a similar theme to the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24, and is considered a nod to that work. Beethoven played the piano in its premiere, and his page turner noted that there were quite a few blank pages in the score. Scholars note that either Beethoven played it from memory without annotating it, or he improvised those sections until a later date when he had enough time to write them down.

Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto was last performed on a Utah Symphony Masterworks program in 2007. Fabio Bidini was soloist under Matthias Bamert.

Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 was premiered in 1912, and was soon after performed in other parts of Europe. It can probably be considered the first piece that gave him some international fame and credibility as a composer. Nielsen never really commented directly on the subtitle he gave the work - espansiva - but it is believed that it refers to the workings of the mind and creativity which starts inside a person but can grow in scope and touch all humanity.

Mozart's Overture to "The Magic Flute", was the last opera he completed in his lifetime during his incredibly prolific - and last - year of 1791. Utah Symphony has performed "The Magic Flute" Overture countless times on virtually every concert series. Utah Opera has staged "Flute" on four separate occasions - 1987, 1993, 2006 and 2013.

Also on the program is Franz Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 4, a very early work of the composer's considering he wrote 104 symphonies in his lifetime. This will be the Utah Symphony premiere of Haydn No. 4, and part of Maestro Fischer's project to present one Haydn symphony each year in chronological order.

RELATED EVENTS

Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam has graciously agreed to teach a Masterclass onstage at Abravanel Hall on November 16 from 10 AM to 12 noon. Mr. Brautigam is renowned for his performances on both the modern piano and fortepiano. He was a student of Rudolf Serkin.

This class is sponsored by the Utah Symphony Youth Guild and will feature advanced Youth Guild members playing for Mr. Brautigam. The class is free and open to the public but because seating on stage is limited, registration is requested online: http://www.usuoeducation.org/index.php/adults/masterclasses

Music Director Thierry Fischer and Vice President of Artistic Planning Toby Tolokan will present a free pre-concert chat each night, one hour prior to the start of the performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall. They will be joined by local Nielsen scholar Mogens Mogensen, who has written about Nielsen's life in five published volumes, and has commissioned paintings inspired by each of Nielsen's symphonies (which will also be on display).

This concert marks the first of the season for the Cadenza group, which offers seniors an opportunity to meet other likeminded music lovers in a social setting. Cadenza members eat together at local restaurants (around $30 for a three course meal) before Utah Symphony and Utah Opera performances and then sit together at the concerts. No need to bring a date or a friend, just come and enjoy the music and company!

Cadenza season tickets for the 2013-14 season are $146 (dinner costs are extra). Single tickets are also available to Cadenza at $35 per concert. Call 801-533-NOTE (6683) to purchase.

Single tickets for the performance start at $18 and can be purchased by phone at (801) 355-2787, in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or online by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Season subscribers can purchase discounted tickets by contacting (801) 533-6683. Those desiring group discounts should call (801) 869-9046. All ticket prices are subject to change and availability, and will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.

GUEST ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:

About Ronald Brautigam, Piano

Ronald Brautigam, one of Holland's leading musicians, is remarkable not only for his virtuosity and musicality but also for the eclectic nature of his musical interests. He studied in Amsterdam, London and the United States of America - with Rudolf Serkin. Ronald Brautigam performs regularly with leading European orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Andrew Parrott, Philippe Herreweghe, Iván Fischer and Edo de Waart.

Besides his performances on modern instruments Ronald Brautigam has established himself as a leading exponent of the fortepiano, working with orchestras such as the 18th-Century Orchestra, Tafelmusik, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hanover band, Concerto Copenhagen and l'Orchestre des Champs-Elysées. In 1995 Ronald Brautigam began what has proved a highly successful association with the Swedish label BIS. Among the almost 40 titles released so far are Mendelssohn's Piano Concertos (with Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam), and the complete works of Mozart and Haydn on fortepiano.

The year 2004 saw the release of the first of a 17-CD Beethoven cycle, also on fortepiano. Already after the appearance of the first six volumes this series has become firmly established as the reference recording as far as fortepiano cycles are concerned. According to US magazine Fanfare "this could be a Beethoven piano-sonata cycle that challenges the very notion of playing this music on modern instruments, a stylistic paradigm shift." Besides his work for BIS, Ronald Brautigam has recorded piano concertos by Shostakovich, Hindemith and Frank Martin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly, for Decca, as well as several CDs with his long-standing duo-partner, violinist Isabelle van Keulen.

His recordings have earned him numerous awards, including 2 Edison Awards, a Diapason d'Or de l'année and, in 2004, a Cannes Classical Award for that year's best solo piano recording. Ronald Brautigam is Professor at the Musik Hochschule in Basel, Switzerland. www.ronaldbrautigam.com

Program:

The Utah Symphony presents

Beethoven, Mozart and Nielsen

Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Friday November 15, 2013, 8:00 PM / Saturday November 16, 2013, 8:00 PM

Thierry Fischer, conductor

Ronald Brautigam, piano

Melissa Heath, Soprano

Shea Owens, Baritone

Pre-concert chat one hour before each concert with Music Director Thierry Fischer, Carl Nielsen scholar Mogens Mogensen, and Vice President of Symphony Artistic Planning Toby Tolokan.

**Utah Symphony wishes to acknowledge the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the use of the harpsichord

Franz Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 4 in D major

I. Presto

II. Andante

III. Tempo di menuetto

Ludwig van Beethoven Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 37

I. Allegro con brio

II. Largo

III. Rondo: Allegro

Ronald Brautigam, Piano

INTERMISSION

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte, K. 620

Carl Nielsen Symphony No. 3 in D minor, Opus 27, "Sinfonia espansiva"

I. Allegro espansive

II. Andante pastorale

III. Allegretto un poco

IV. Finale: Allegro

Melissa Heath, Soprano

Shea Owens, Baritone

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony is dedicated to providing Utah residents and visitors with great performances which engage, educate and enrich lives. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra's parent organization, reaches 450,000 citizens in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 200,000 students annually. The orchestra presents more than 70 performances each season in Abravanel Hall, participates in the Utah Opera's four annual productions at the Capitol Theatre, in addition to numerous community concerts throughout Utah and the annual outdoor summer series - the Deer Valley Music Festival -in Park City, Utah. With its many subscription, education and outreach concerts and tours, the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged full-time orchestras in the nation. For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.

Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve