Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Magic Strikes With Emmanuel Pahud Performing Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE FANTASY Next Week!

Artist-In-Association Emmanuel Pahud performs works exploring desire, joy, and victory.

Magic Strikes With Emmanuel Pahud Performing Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE FANTASY Next Week!

The year is 1791. The lights are dimmed and a gentle hush descends on the restless audience, all dressed in glittering finery. Mozart himself is at the podium, his baton lifted to guide the eager musicians. Clear notes play out, creating delightful tunes that ring through the Austrian theatre. In that moment, magic is created.

Next week, the Utah Symphony renews this magic feeling together with renowned flutist Emmanuel Pahud, the Utah Symphony's 2022-23 Artist-In-Association. Performing Nielsen's lively Flute Concerto and a variety of beloved melodies from Mozart's The Magic Flute, Pahud and the Utah Symphony will lead audiences through a range of emotions with musical storytelling. The two evening concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4, at Abravanel Hall in downtown Salt Lake City. In addition, the Utah Symphony will perform three expressive pieces-Haydn's Symphony No. 12, Berg's Lyric Suite, Nielsen's Flute Concerto, and Janáček's Sinfonietta.

Often known as the "Father of the Symphony," Joseph Haydn's legacy rings true in his Symphony No. 12. Composed in 1763, this symphony translates brightness and radiance into three distinct movements in the traditional "sandwiched" fast-slow-fast structure. Resonating with the emotions of joy and happiness, this brightly structured piece weaves its way through conflict for a resounding resolution. Though it is one of the shortest symphonies Haydn composed, its originality has solidified it in history-in particular, with its key of E-major, which was unusual for a classical symphony at the time. Within the piece, the lower strings drive the music forward while the upper strings maintain the elevated excitement. As a result, Haydn created dynamic contrasts, building tension between the instruments. The piece ends in a rush, as all the individual instruments realign together for a triumphant finish-echoing the original theme.

Following Haydn's expression of joy is Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. Highlighting love and passion, this piece employs an elaborate cypher to document Berg's secret love affair, which was deciphered due to a slight change in its "tone row." Developed by Schoenberg, the use of a tone row meant that a piece of music included all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale played in a specific order, with no single tone appearing more frequently than any other. However, Berg deviates from the serialist procedures in some portions of the composition; spelling out his initials and the initials of his illicit lover-A-B-H-F, for Alban Berg and Hanna Fuchs-Robettin (H represents the note B in German musical notation). Alongside these initial spellings, Berg mirrored a melody from a work by Alexander von Zemlinsky, which was originally set to the words "you are mine own." This musical reference further solidifies Berg's secret, romantic claim of his beloved within the piece.

Emmanuel Pahud will take the stage to open the second half of the program with Nielsen's Flute Concerto. As the Principle Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic, Pahud brings incredible talent and finesse to the instrument. Pahud has received the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to music, is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, and an Ambassador for UNICEF. In addition to his performance during this concert, Pahud will again return and share the stage with the Utah Symphony in April for Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.

Composed specifically for the Copenhagen Wind Quintet as a result of their incredible musicianship and tonal beauty, Nielson's Flute Concerto brings to light the various personalities of the musicians and their respective instruments-very similar to Elgar's portrayal of his friends in his Enigma Variations. This piece emphasizes a child-like innocence, with the melody weaving through the orchestra, touching a variety of the instruments before dancing along into a playful ending. Composer Paul Le Flem wrote in Comoedia after witnessing the debut performance: "The Concerto for flute and orchestra...has piquancy, drive and does not lack humour."

Following this playful concerto is Janáček's Sinfonietta which brings triumphant victory to the stage with the help of a dozen trumpets! Dedicated to the Czechoslovak Army, this piece expresses feelings of freedom, courage, and the determination to fight for victory-all resulting in a fanfare of joy. Within the composition, Janáček walks the audience through several variants of the original melody, with each movement highlighting a specific emotion on the journey to eventual freedom and celebration. By crafting his music in such a way, Janáček enables the audience to experience a wealth of emotions, ending with a rousing finale as they successfully complete their journey to victory.

The epic conclusion of the evening will be Mozart's Magic Flute Fantasy. Written during the extremely fertile last year of his life (in 1791), The Magic Flute became Mozart's final opera. The composition itself is an example of the popular dramatic style known as Singspiel (a blend of singing and spoken text). The allegorical plot, written by Emanuel Schikaneder, was influenced by Mozart's interest in Freemasonry and concerns the initiation of Prince Tamino. Enlisted by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the high priest Sarastro, Tamino comes to admire the high ideals of the latter; he and Pamina both join Sarastro's community, while the Queen and her allies are vanquished. The 2018 arrangement for flute and orchestra by Belgian composer Robert Fobbes paraphrases the best moments of Mozart's drama.

Mozart treats us right away to delightful instrumental playfulness, leading the audience to sense that something special is in store. Right in the middle of this infectious activity are the famous three-times-three chords, the "dreimalige Akkord," which not only echo the overture's opening but clear the air before the development proper, with spectacular effect. With this level of musical innovation, it is important to view The Magic Flute not as Mozart's benediction or farewell to opera but rather as the excited, forward-looking declaration of a young genius in his prime. This music represents the hopefulness of a man with plans for the future, not the last rites of someone who felt time slipping and assumed he had said enough.

For more information, please visit

Emmanuel Pahud Performs Mozart's Magic Flute Fantasy

Friday, February 03, 2023 / 7:30 p.m. / Abravanel Hall

Saturday, February 04, 2023 / 5:30 p.m. / Abravanel Hall
(123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah)


Thierry Fischer, conductor

Emmanuel Pahud, flute (Artist-In-Association)

Utah Symphony


HAYDN: Symphony No. 12

BERG: Lyric Suite

MOZART (arr. Robert Fobbes): Magic Flute Fantasy

NIELSEN: Flute Concerto

JANÁČEK: Sinfonietta

TICKETS start at $35


  • Online:
  • USUO mobile app
  • By Phone: USUO Patron Services, (801) 533-NOTE (6683)
  • In person: 123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • ArtTix outlets

Cape Town Opera Brings Rossinis STABAT MATER To Paarl Toringkerk Photo
This Easter, on Sunday 8 April 2023, Cape Town Opera brings Rossini's Stabat Mater to the beautiful Toringkerk in Paarl.

Review: Shakespeare’s Merry Wives Get the Best of a Grand Michael Volle in Verdi&rsq Photo
Combine a supreme farceur with a stentorian voice that thrills and you get baritone Michael Volle’s portrayal of the title role in Verdi’s FALSTAFF, which breezed into town late last week for a limited run at the Met. While we’ve had dramatic singers in the role before, they were mostly from Italian repertoire; I don’t know when the last time a Wagnerian--a Wotan from the Ring, for instance--took on this role around here, but Volle did himself proud.

OPERA AT JIMBOUR Celebrates 20 Years With Biggest Program Ever Photo
Twenty years after its first event, Opera at Jimbour will return from May 5 to 7 with a rich program to make its decades-long heritage proud. The capstone event of Qld Music Trails' Southern Trail, gives classical connoisseurs a chance to immerse in the stunning Western Downs region while enjoying the spoils of the state's finest arts.  

Review: SAN DIEGO OPERAS TOSCA at San Diego Civic Center Theatre Photo
Puccini is one of Michelle Bradley’s favorite composers, and she’s in San Diego to sing his Tosca for the San Diego Opera company. We were originally scheduled to talk in person, but a rehearsal change meant Zoom was going to work better for an hour discussion. “I'm happy to be back, and I know that everyone's happy to have me back because I've been treated warmly as always. They check up on me making sure I'm okay, and Southern California feels like a working vacation. After rehearsal I can have a nice walk any time of day. The ocean’s close, the mountains, beautiful views. I've made some great friends, and it’s a wonderful relationship to have. They seem to think I’m a star.”

More Hot Stories For You

THE ARTWORK OF THE FUTURE World Premiere Opera To Run At Fresh Squeezed Opera, May 13-19THE ARTWORK OF THE FUTURE World Premiere Opera To Run At Fresh Squeezed Opera, May 13-19
February 28, 2023

A new opera by composer Eric Moe and librettist Rob Handel, The Artwork of the Future, will have its world premiere in a production by Fresh Squeezed Opera in five performances at HERE Performing Arts Center in SoHo on May 13, 14, 16, 18, and 19, 2023. The 70-minute work, scored for four singers and instrumental septet, is a lighthearted science-fiction opera that looks at the purpose of art in challenging times through the lens of comedy.

OPERA America Awards Opera Grants For Women Stage Directors And ConductorsOPERA America Awards Opera Grants For Women Stage Directors And Conductors
February 22, 2023

OPERA America has announced the first-round recipients of the 2023 Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors. 

Opera Saratoga Names New General And Artistic Director Mary BirnbaumOpera Saratoga Names New General And Artistic Director Mary Birnbaum
February 13, 2023

Opera Saratoga's board of directors has announced that Mary Birnbaum has been named the company's new general and artistic director. She succeeds former General and Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson, whose eight year tenure concluded at the end of the 2022 season. Birnbaum is the tenth general director in the Opera Saratoga's celebrated history.

OPERA America Awards The 2023 IDEA Opera Residencies To Three New-To-Opera Creators Of ColorOPERA America Awards The 2023 IDEA Opera Residencies To Three New-To-Opera Creators Of Color
February 6, 2023

OPERA America has announced the recipients of the 2023 IDEA Opera Residencies program (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), an initiative that provides New York City-based composers and librettists of color an opportunity to explore opera as an expressive medium.

Works & Process at The Guggenheim Presents CHAMPION, An Opera By Terence BlanchardWorks & Process at The Guggenheim Presents CHAMPION, An Opera By Terence Blanchard
February 6, 2023

Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents Champion-an opera by Terence Blanchard, with a libretto by Michael Cristofer-featuring performances by members of the cast and a moderated discussion about the work's forthcoming company premiere at the Metropolitan Opera.