Utah Symphony Announces 2018-19 Season
Music Director Thierry Fischer and President & CEO Paul Meecham today announced the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 season, with highlights including the live recording of a Berlioz album for Hyperion Records, semi-staged performances of Bernstein's "Candide" in celebration of the composer's centennial, and a cycle of Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos paired with works by the late composer Pierre Boulez. American composer Andrew Norman will be in Salt Lake City as Composer-in-Association for performances of his works and additional activities. The orchestra also welcomes Russian-American violinist and Artist-in-Association Philippe Quint, who will perform music by John Corigliano and Berlioz, including a work for the live Berlioz recording. Additional highlights at Abravanel Hall include performances with James Ehnes in Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, pianist Ingrid Fliter in Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain," and Jan Lisiecki in Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, among other guest soloists; concerts conducted by Richard Egarr, Andrew Litton, Peter Oundjian, Vassily Sinaisky, and Xian Zhang, among other guest conductors; and performances of a new Utah Symphony co-commission from Grammy Award-nominated Chinese composer Zhou Tian in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of The Golden Spike, which joined the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit. Details of the Films in Concert, Entertainment, and Family Series were announced as well as new initiatives geared towards expanding audiences.
"Over the ten years since I first conducted the Utah Symphony, it's been an immense pleasure to witness and be a part of the ensemble's incredible musical growth and the heightened enthusiasm for classical music it has inspired throughout Utah," said Thierry Fischer, who was named Music Director in 2009 and will be in his eighth full season with the orchestra. "This season will continue that upward trajectory with performances of works from J.S. Bach to Andrew Norman and an exciting new recording project focused on Berlioz, whose 'Symphonie fantastique' I conducted in my first concert with the Utah Symphony. Given the exceptional talent of the orchestra and all the wonderful guest artists who will be joining us in Salt Lake City, we're sure audiences will be as thrilled listening to this music as we'll be in performing it."
This season, Mr. Fischer will conduct Berlioz' "Symphonie fantastique," "Sara la baigneuse," "La Mort d'Ophélie," and "Rêverie et caprice" for the recording project, as well as Boulez' "Dérive 1," "Mémoriale," and "Initiale" alongside Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. In addition to these and the works by Bernstein and Zhou Tian, Mr. Fischer will conduct Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 "Choral;" Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1; Copland's Symphony No. 3, "Appalachian Spring," and Suite from "Billy the Kid;" Dutilleux's "Tout un monde lointain;" Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 9 "From the New World;" Gershwin's "An American in Paris;" selections from Grieg's "Peer Gynt;" Haydn's Symphony No. 9; Mahler's Symphony No. 1 "Titan;" Composer-in-Association Andrew Norman's "Suspend" and "Play;" Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 4, and "Vocalise;" Rossini's Overture to "William Tell;" Schnittke's "Moz-Art à la Haydn;" Schubert's Symphony No. 9 "The Great;" Sibelius' Violin Concerto; Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique;" and Wagner's Overture to "Tannhäuser."
Los Angeles-based composer Andrew Norman, the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 Composer-in-Association, will be present in Salt Lake City for performances of his works by the orchestra and other activities with music students in the community. The Utah Symphony will perform two of Mr. Norman's orchestral pieces: "Suspend," a fantasy for piano and orchestra, featuring Principal Keyboard Jason Hardink, and "Play," his large-scale work for orchestra that won the prestigious 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The Utah Symphony commissioned Mr. Norman to write "Switch," a percussion concerto that was recorded live in November 2015 and released by Reference Recordings, and also performed at the Utah Symphony's 2016 Carnegie Hall concert.
Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint, the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 Artist-in-Association, will perform with the orchestra on two programs, including performances of John Corigliano's Violin Concerto "The Red Violin" and Berlioz' "Rêverie et caprice," to be recorded for later release as part of the orchestra's Berlioz recording project. Mr. Quint has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and has appeared with leading orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Minnesota Orchestra. He performs on the 1708 "Ruby" Antonio Stradivari violin.
Since Mr. Fischer became Music Director in 2009, he has led the Utah Symphony in surveys of works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Nielsen, Ives, and Stravinsky. As part of the orchestra's 75th anniversary celebrations and in honor of former Music Director Maurice Abravanel, the orchestra performed all nine Mahler symphonies over two seasons and released live recordings of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 "Titan" and, in collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of a Thousand" on Reference Recordings in 2015 and 2017 respectively. The orchestra is currently in the process of recording the complete Saint-Saëns symphonies, and upon their release by Hyperion Records, the Utah Symphony will become the first American orchestra with a complete Saint-Saëns symphony cycle in its discography. In addition to pursuing projects with Hyperion, the orchestra continues to record for Reference Recordings.
Since he took the helm as President and CEO of the joint symphony and opera company in July 2016, Paul Meecham has made new audience development a primary focus. Starting with its 2018-19 season, the Utah Symphony will present six Masterworks Series performances that begin at 5:30 PM, earlier than the traditional start time of 7:30 PM, to improve access for families, patrons who prefer not to drive after dark, and those who enjoy dining after performances.
The Utah Symphony also launches UNWOUND in March 2019, a casual concert series with shorter, intermission-free performances. Ticket buyers are invited to arrive early for entertainment and food on the plaza, enjoy a performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with a movement selected from Andrew Norman's "Play," and stay after the performance to mingle with other music lovers. UNWOUND will also feature live program notes pushed to mobile devices during the performance for those who opt-in to the enhanced experience.
"I'm very happy that we are launching new initiatives in the 2018-19 season to attract new and young audiences. UNWOUND, earlier start times, and the increased emphasis on family participation are all intended to provide audiences a greater variety of artistic offerings", said President and CEO Paul Meecham. "The future of classical music depends to a large extent upon inspiring and engaging new symphony goers with exciting programming while also honoring the traditions we have upheld year after year in recording projects, cycles and commissions."
In an initiative designed to encourage families of all ages to attend symphony and opera performances together, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera lowered the age requirement from eight years to five years, and introduced a Family Pass in winter 2017 for $30 for a family of four to attend a selection of performances. A Kids Club will launch in spring 2018 with behind-the-scenes access and invitations to special events to further create excitement and loyalty among young people. 2018-19 season Family Night concerts will be announced and go on sale at a later date.
2018-19 SEASON AT A GLANCE
All-Berlioz Live Recording for Hyperion Records
In February 2019, Thierry Fischer leads the Utah Symphony in two programs highlighting four works by Hector Berlioz, to be recorded live for release on Hyperion Records. The first program, on February 1 and 2, features the composer's best-known work, "Symphonie fantastique," which Mr. Fischer conducted in his Utah Symphony debut in October 2007. The second program, on February 8 and 9, features three of Berlioz' lesser-known works: "Sara la baigneuse" for three choruses and orchestra, featuring the Utah Symphony Chorus and University of Utah Choirs; "La Mort d'Ophélie," the second movement of "Tristia" for orchestra and chorus, also featuring the Symphony Chorus and University Choirs; and "Rêverie et caprice" for violin and orchestra, featuring the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 Artist-in-Association Philippe Quint as soloist.
This all-Berlioz album will be the Utah Symphony's second recording project with Hyperion Records. Mr. Fischer and the Utah Symphony first recorded for the label last season when the orchestra launched its currently in-progress Saint-Saëns symphony recording cycle, the first ever undertaken by an American orchestra.
Bernstein's "Candide" in Concert
Building on the "Bernstein at 100" celebration launched during the 2017-18 season, the Utah Symphony continues to honor the birth centennial of late American composer Leonard Bernstein with concert performances of "Candide" led by Thierry Fischer in collaboration with Utah Opera and stage director Garnett Bruce on November 9 and 10. Two additional Bernstein programs are planned for the 2018-19 season: a tribute to Bernstein's works for the Broadway stage on September 14 and 15 with guest conductor Teddy Abrams and vocalist Morgan James; and performances of Three Dances from "Fancy Free" led by guest conductor Andrew Litton on October 26 and 27. A fundraising soirée will follow the Saturday evening performance of "Candide."
Still to come during the 2017-18 season, the orchestra will honor the composer in a two-week "Bernstein at 100" festival featuring Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety" on February 23 and 24 and a program of Chichester Psalms and Divertimento on March 2 and 3.
J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto Cycle and Tribute to Pierre Boulez
During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Fischer will lead the Utah Symphony through a complete cycle devoted to J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. In homage to Pierre Boulez, with whom Mr. Fischer collaborated and whose music he has championed, the orchestra performs the late French composer's works "Dérive 1," "Mémoriale," and "Initiale" between two of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos spread over three separate Masterworks evenings. The cycle begins with the first two concertos on November 16 and 17; the third and fourth concertos on December 6, 7, and 8; and the final two concertos on February 1 and 2.
This cycle is the latest in what has become a regular initiative for Mr. Fischer at the Utah Symphony. In addition to symphony cycles by composers from Haydn to Nielsen (see above), Mr. Fischer has also conducted surveys of other works, including the five Beethoven Piano Concertos.
Utah Symphony Co-Commission from Composer Zhou Tian
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the final railway spike north of the Great Salt Lake connected the rails of America's First Transcontinental Railway at Promontory Summit in May 1869, the Utah Symphony has co-commissioned a new orchestral work from Grammy-nominated Chinese composer Zhou Tian. Thierry Fischer conducts the new work at Abravanel Hall on the orchestra's May 17 and 18 program, which also includes Copland's Appalachian Spring and Billy the Kid.
This commission reflects Mr. Fischer's commitment to cultivating new music for orchestra. During his tenure, the orchestra has commissioned and premiered works by Simon Holt, Michael Jarrell, Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas, among other composers. The commissions from these latter three were recorded and released as Dawn to Dust on Reference Recordings in spring 2016.
Guest soloists during the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 season include the orchestra's Principal Keyboard and Artistic Director of the NOVA Chamber Music Series Jason Hardink, who performs Andrew Norman's piece "Suspend," a fantasy for piano and orchestra on September 21 and 22; French pianist Alexandre Tharaud making his Utah Symphony debut in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G on September 28 and 29; Russian-American violinist and 2018-19 Utah Symphony Artist-in-Association Philippe Quint performing John Corigliano's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra "The Red Violin" on October 26 and 27; Latvian violinist Baiba Skride playing Sibelius' Violin Concerto on December 7 and 8; Argentine pianist and 2006 Gilmore Artist Ingrid Fliter in Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" on December 14 and 15; Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, winner of the 2017 ECHO Klassik Award for "Concerto Recording of the Year," making his debut with the Utah Symphony performing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 on January 11 and 12; violinist and Artist-in-Association Philippe Quint returning for Berlioz' "Rêverie et caprice" on February 8 and 9; American violinist Stefan Jackiw performing Brahms Violin Concerto on February 22 and 23; Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, a Gold Medal winner in both the Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competitions, performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 on March 22 and 23; German cellist and three-time ECHO Klassik Award winner Alban Gerhardt performing Dutilleux's "Tout un monde lointain" on March 29 and 30; Macedonian pianist and multi-Gramophone Award-winner Simon Trp?eski making his Utah Symphony debut with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 on April 12 and 13; Canadian violinist and Grammy Award-winner James Ehnes playing Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 on May 17 and 18; Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas-the first guitarist to receive Spain's top classical music honor, El Ojo Crítico-performing Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" on April 26 and 27; and, to conclude the season, Utah Symphony violinists Kathryn Eberle and Claude Halter in Schnittke's "Moz-Art à la Haydn" on May 24 and 25.
Vocalists and Choral Performances
The Utah Symphony season features soprano Joélle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez, tenor Issachah Savage, and bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 "Choral" on September 21 and 22. The Utah Symphony Chorus, under the direction of chorus director Barlow Bradford and augmented by members of the University of Utah Choirs, will also perform in this Beethoven symphony, as well as Berlioz' "Sara la baigneuse" and "La Mort d'Ophélie" on February 8 and 9.
Vocalists Brenton Ryan (Candide), Lauren Snouffer (Cunegonde), Hugh Russell (Dr. Pangloss), Victoria Livengood (Old Lady), Aleks Romano (Paquette), and Mark Diamond (Maximilian) will perform in a semi-staged production of Bernstein's "Candide" under the vision of stage director Garnett Bruce and the baton of Music Director Thierry Fischer on November 9 and 10. These performances will also feature the Utah Opera Chorus, under the direction of Utah Opera Chorus Master Michaella Calzaretta.
Guest conductors during the Utah Symphony's 2018-19 season include Andrew Litton, Music Director of the New York City Ballet, conducting Bernstein's Three Dances from "Fancy Free," John Corigliano's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra "The Red Violin," and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 on October 26 and 27; Jun Märkl conducting Chabrier's "España," Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain," selections from Bizet's "Carmen," Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio espagnol," and Ravel's "Boléro" on December 14 and 15; Xian Zhang, Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, making her Utah Symphony debut conducting American composer Joan Tower's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman" No. 1, Tchaikovsky's Suite from "Sleeping Beauty," Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, Johann Strauss Jr.'s Overture to "The Gypsy Baron" and "Bitte schön!," and Richard Strauss's Suite from "Der Rosenkavalier" on January 4 and 5; Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra through 2017-18, conducting Vivian Fung's "Dust Devils," Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, and Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7; Mario Venzago, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, conducting Beethoven's "Leonore" Overture No. 2, Brahms' Violin Concerto, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 4, Sibelius' "Valse triste" from "Kuolema,"" and Verdi's "Ballet for the Queen" from "Don Carlos" on February 22 and 23; Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Philharmonic Vassily Sinaisky, leading performances of Kodály's "Dances of Galánta," Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4, and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12 "The Year 1917" on April 12 and 13 in his Utah Symphony debut; Richard Egarr, Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music and Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducting Mozart's Symphony No. 31 "Paris," Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," and Schumann's Symphony No. 2 on April 26 and 27.
Entertainment, Family, and Special Event Concert Series
The 2018-19 Entertainment series lineup comprises Bernstein on Broadway, featuring Broadway vocalist Morgan James, on September 14 and 15; Pink Martini's Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular with the Utah Symphony on December 21 and 22; a semi-staged performance of Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" on February 15 and 16; and Cirque Dances with Troupe Vertigo on April 18, 19, and 20.
Family Series highlights include the annual Here Comes Santa Claus holiday concerts on December 17, and "Peter and the Wolf" choreographed by Christopher Sellars with Ballet West II on March 16. The series concludes with Story Pirates: Symphony Extravaganza! on April 20.
Special Events for 2018-19 include the annual "Messiah" Sing-in on November 24 and 25. The series also includes the annual youth musicians' concerts: the 59th Annual Salute to Youth concert on September 11, and the Utah Symphony Pro-Am: Youth All-Stars Edition on May 21.
Films in Concert Series
Building upon the success of film presentations coupled with live orchestra playing the soundtrack, the Utah Symphony proudly presents five orchestra concerts featuring motion pictures on the big screen. "Ghostbusters" will launch the 2018-19 Films in Concert series on November 2 and 3, followed by a continuation from last season with "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" on November 29, 30, and December 1. After the New Year, the series continues with "Casablanca" in Concert on March 1 and 2, the "Star Wars: A New Hope" in Concert on May 9, 11, and 13, and the season will conclude with the fifth film in the "Harry Potter" series "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" on June 20, 21, and 22.
2018-19 MASTERWORKS SERIES GUEST ARTISTS
Xian Zhang (*Utah Symphony debut)
Vassily Sinaisky (*Utah Symphony debut)
Jason Hardink (Utah Symphony Principal Keyboard)
Alexandre Tharaud (*Utah Symphony debut)
Jan Lisiecki (*Utah Symphony debut)
Simon Trp?eski (*Utah Symphony debut)
Philippe Quint, violin (Artist-in-Association)
Baiba Skride, violin
Madeline Adkins, violin (Utah Symphony Concertmaster)
Stefan Jackiw, violin
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar
James Ehnes, violin
Kathryn Eberle, violin (Utah Symphony Associate Concertmaster)
Claude Halter, violin (Utah Symphony Principal Second Violin)
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Kirstin Chávez, mezzo-soprano (*Utah Symphony debut)
Issachah Savage, tenor (*Utah Symphony debut)
Patrick Carfizzi, bass-baritone
Brenton Ryan, tenor
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Hugh Russell, baritone
Victoria Livengood, mezzo-soprano
Aleks Romano, mezzo-soprano
Mark Diamond, baritone
UTAH SYMPHONY CHORUS
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH CHOIRS
Tickets and Subscriptions
Subscription renewals and purchases are available online at www.utahsymphony.org starting February 8, 2018. Current season subscribers have until March 30, 2018 to renew their subscriptions or request seat changes for the 2018-19 season before seats are released to new subscribers and subscribers requesting seat changes. Subscriptions may also be renewed or purchased by calling (801) 533-6683 or by visiting the Abravanel Hall Ticket Office (123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah).
To request a printed 2018-19 Utah Symphony season schedule, please call Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Patron Services at (801) 533-6683, email email@example.com, or write to ATTN: USUO Patron Services, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.
Single tickets for select concerts in the 2018-19 Utah Symphony season will be available starting June 19, 2018.
About the Utah Symphony
Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns easy access to world-class live musical performances of the world's greatest music in the state's top venues. Since being named the orchestra's seventh music director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including the Mighty 5 Tour of Utah's national parks and 2017's Great American Road Trip, the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours and performed at Carnegie Hall in Spring 2016 coinciding with the orchestra's 75th anniversary celebrations.
The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, including, most recently, two albums for Reference Recordings: Mahler's Symphony No. 8, in collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Dawn to Dust, which features three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. Included in the Utah Symphony's discography are premiere recordings of works by Honegger, Milhaud, Rorem, Satie, Schuman, and Varèse, led by the orchestra's former Music Director of 30 years, Maurice Abravanel. The Utah Symphony's recordings of Mahler's symphonies with Mr. Abravanel were the first complete cycle recorded by an American orchestra.
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra's parent organization, merged in 2002 and through the Education Department, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with music outreach programs serving around 75,000 students annually. These initiatives include child-friendly Family Series concerts, pre-performance lectures before every classical symphony and opera performance, and other special learning events and activities for adults and special needs individuals. In addition to performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, and concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony participates in Utah Opera's four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City, Utah, the summer home of Utah Symphony. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours, the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged orchestras in the nation.
For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.
Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.
Masterworks Series Sponsor: OC Tanner Company
Entertainment and Films in Concert Series Sponsor: Zions Bank Corporation
Family Series Sponsor: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation