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Utah Symphony Appoints Benjamin Manis as Associate Conductor

Mr. Manis brings skill on the podium, charisma, chemistry with the orchestra, and passion for music education.

Utah Symphony Appoints Benjamin Manis as Associate Conductor

Following a nationwide search, Benjamin Manis has been appointed Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony beginning in the 2022-23 season.

Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer made the appointment at the recommendation of an audition/interview panel of Utah Symphony musicians and staff members, who recognized Mr. Manis' skill on the podium, charisma, chemistry with the orchestra, and passion for music education.

Manis succeeds Conner Gray Covington, who completed his four-year tenure as Utah Symphony Associate Conductor at the end of the 2020-21 season and continues to appear regularly as a guest conductor. In his role as Associate Conductor, Manis will lead many of the symphony's education performances for elementary and secondary school students; Deer Valley Music Festival, Film Series, and Family concerts; and other programs throughout the state of Utah. He will also serve as the cover conductor for the orchestra's Masterworks Series, among other artistic responsibilities.

A graduate of the Colburn School and Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Manis also spent three years at the Aspen Conducting Academy and returned as Assistant Conductor, leading two programs with the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He has been Resident Conductor at Houston Grand Opera since 2019.

"I'm thrilled to begin working with the fabulous musicians of the Utah Symphony and to join a wonderful organization bringing music to people all over the state of Utah!" says Manis, who begins his new position in September 2022. Prior to his official arrival in Utah, audiences will first have the opportunity to see him on the podium with the Utah Symphony this summer in four programs at the Deer Valley Music Festival as well as community concerts across the Wasatch Front. Deer Valley Music Festival programs and details are planned to be announced this week.

Benjamin Manis has been Resident Conductor at the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) since September 2019. He made his HGO debut with Verdi's Rigoletto and this season conducts Carmen, Romèo et Juliette, and The Snowy Day.

Manis was winner of the 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, as well as the Richard S. Weinert Award from Concert Artists Guild. He has served as cover conductor for the St. Louis and Dallas Symphonies, working with conductors David Robertson and Stéphane Denève. After three years in the Aspen Conducting Academy, Manis returned to Aspen in the summer of 2021 as Assistant Conductor, where he conducted two programs with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.

Before moving to Houston, Manis studied cello and conducting at the Colburn School, where he led concerts in public schools across Los Angeles and performed Lutosławski's Cello Concerto as soloist with conductor Robert Spano. In May of 2019, he completed his master's degree at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns access to world-class live 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 the Great American Road Trip to Utah state parks and national monuments-the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours, from Europe to Central and South America, and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2016 coinciding with the orchestra's 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, and recent releases include the first of a three-volume set of all five Saint-Saëns symphonies on Hyperion Records in 2019, and on Reference Recordings, Mahler's Symphonies No. 1 and 8 (2015 and 2017, respectively) and Dawn to Dust (2016), which features three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. The orchestra's discography with former Music Director Maurice Abravanel includes not only the complete Mahler symphonies, but also premiere recordings of works by Honegger, Milhaud, Rorem, Satie, Schuman, and Varèse.

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra's parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. In addition to performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, and concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony plays for all of the Utah Opera's productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah.

For more information about Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Deer Valley Music Festival, visit usuo.org, utahsymphony.org, utahopera.org, or deervalleymusicfestival.org.



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