Guest Conductor Hans Graf To Lead Utah Symphony In Repertoire Of Beethoven And Rachmanioff

On December 2 and 3 at 7:30 PM guest conductor Hans Graf returns to conduct a dramatic and emotional repertoire of classical favorites on the stage of Abravanel Hall. Beethoven's soulful Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed with internationally acclaimed guest pianist Jeffrey Kahane. Concerto No. 2 is the second of five concertos in the Beethoven composer cycle being performed this season as part of the O.C. Tanner Company Masterworks Series. Mr. Graf will also conduct Rachmaninoff's powerful Symphony No. 3 as well as Mozart's melodic Symphony No. 19. Tickets start at $21 ($15 for students), and can be purchased at or by calling (801) 533-6683.

Beethoven's piano concerti are among the most beloved in his works. Concerto No. 2 was met with immediate success at its debut in 1795. Part of its success was surely as a showcase for Beethoven's impressive technique - he was soloist at the premiere. From the first movement's triumphant opening statement, the concerto requires dazzling finger work in both hands. Audiences will recognize the melodic and playful third movement. Even during its occasional modulations into minor, it never loses its sunny disposition. In the spring of 2017, Beethoven's Piano Concerti Nos. 3 and 4 will be performed by Yefim Bronfman to conclude the Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle this season.

Mozart's lively Symphony No. 19 with its subtle and elegant Italian style will also be performed. This symphony is noted for greater dramatic emphasis on the finale than those that came before-an effect which heightens the dramatic weight of the entire piece. Later Beethoven and his successors would carry this idea to even further extremes. Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 will conclude the evening's program. Starting with the depths of clarinet, cellos and muted horn, the audience will be engaged by the rich harmonies and orchestral textures. The sense of emotional expansiveness continues throughout the second movement, but the vibrant third, marked by allegro vivace, brings a jolt of energy. As the symphony comes to a close, the themes we heard in the first movement resurface.

Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians. Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano. Mr. Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Colorado, Utah and National Symphonies; and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Performing Beethoven's piano concerto is guest pianist Jeffrey Kahane. Mr. Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation's major music centers. Jeffrey Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then, he has guest conducted many of the major US orchestras. Currently in his 20th season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Kahane concluded his tenure as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in June 2010 and for ten seasons was Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony, where he is now Conductor Laureate. 2016-17 season highlights include return visits to the Oregon Bach Festival, the Ravinia Festival, and New York's Mostly Mozart Festival.

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