Maestro Thierry Fischer Leads Utah Symphony in Mozart's Requiem Featured

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (February 9, 2017) – On February 17 and 18 at 7:30 PM, Music Director Thierry Fischer conducts the Utah Symphony and guest artists Joélle Harvey, Sarah Coit, Benjamin Butterfield, Derrick Parker, Utah Symphony Chorus, and the University of Utah Chamber Choir with Mozart’s iconic Requiem and a continuation of the Ives symphony cycle with his Symphony No. 4. Tickets start at $42 ($15 for students), and can be purchased at www.utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 533-6683.

Dive into the world of Mozart with his mysteriously commissioned requiem mass bestowed on him by an unknown stranger for an indeterminate fee to memorialize a nameless friend. Mozart worked on this piece in the final year of his life and it was completed by his student Franz Süssmayr. The piece has astonishing progression and remarkable elemental harmonies. Music critics tell us that if all of his other music had disappeared, the first eight bars of Mozart's Requiem would be enough to assure his place as one of the greatest composers who ever lived.

Ives’ Symphony No. 4 is considered to be his climactic masterpiece even though it was not performed in full until 1965 in Carnegie Hall, more than fifty years after he began work on it. Like many other compositions by Ives, it is a highly philosophical work full of chaos and contradictions that belongs in the same company as Beethoven’s Ninth and the works of Mahler in the monumentality of its overarching themes. The work often requires two conductors for its large and varied orchestration. This will complete this year’s Ives symphony cycle, one of three cycles programmed by Fischer this season. Stay tuned for the final installment of the Brahms symphony cycle with his Fourth on February 24 and 25, and for the dramatic conclusion of the Beethoven piano concerto cycle on April 14 and 15 with world-renowned soloist Yefim Bronfman performing both the Third and the Fourth in one evening.

Dr. Barlow Bradford, who has distinguished himself as a conductor, composer, arranger, pianist, organist, and teacher, leads the Utah Symphony Chorus, University of Utah Chamber Choir, and four guest vocalists in this stunning masterpiece. Dr. Bradford's focused, energetic conducting style led to his appointment as Music Director of the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and Associate Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Prior to that, he was Director of Orchestras at the University of Utah. He co-founded the Utah Chamber Artists in 1991 and has led that organization to international acclaim for its impeccable, nuanced performances and award-winning recordings including an INDIE from NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors & Manufacturers) for the CD “Welcome All Wonders,” released in 1996 on the BWE label.

Joélle Harvey, who previously appeared with Utah Opera in “The Rake’s Progress,” has quickly established herself as a noted interpreter of a broad range of repertoire, specializing in Handel, Mozart, and new music. She has performMed with venerable organizations throughout the world including Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She is the recipient of a 2011 First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and an Encouragement Award (in honor of Norma Newton) from the George London Foundation.

Current Utah Opera Resident Artist Sarah Coit was recently named a Regional Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will compete in the national semi-finals on March 12. Last season she sang the Shepherd, White Cat, and Squirrel in “L’enfant et les sortilèges” with the Utah Symphony and this season performed the role of Mercédès in “Carmen” and will be featured as Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” with Utah Opera. This past summer, she was an Apprentice Singer at The Santa Fe Opera where she covered Erika in Barber’s “Vanessa”and she will return this summer to sing the role of Alisa in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and cover the role of Laurene Powell Jobs in the World Premiere of Mason Bates’ “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs”.

Benjamin Butterfieldhas performed with many of the world’s leading conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, and Nicholas McGegan. Butterfield’s 2016-17 season features a dynamic range of repertoire showcasing his versatility with both contemporary and classic works. Recent performances include Carnegie Hall with Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Haydn’s Creation), Lincoln Center with American Classical Orchestra, Haydn Masses with San Diego Symphony and Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Butterfield is the 2015 recipient of the UVic. Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression. He has also served as guest faculty for Opera Nuova, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, The Victoria Conservatory Summer Vocal Academy, Vancouver International Song Institute, Yellow Barn, and Opera on the Avalon.

Hailed by Opera News for his “vividly flavored vocalism” and “tall and commanding” presence, Derrick Parker is a frequent soloist with Utah Symphony and with Utah Opera, his most recent performances being last season’s “L'enfant et les sortileges” and “Aida”. He returns to Utah Opera as Raimondo in the March 17 production of “Lucia di Lammermoor”. He recently made a triumphant, last-minute debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Porgy in “Porgy and Bess” and sang his first performance of Haydn’s “Creation” with Robert Spano conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

RELATED EVENTS
A pre-concert lecture, free to all ticket holders, will take place at all Masterworks Series performances in Abravanel Hall’s First Tier Room 45 minutes prior to the performance.

PROGRAM
The Utah Symphony presents
Mozart’s Requiem

February 17 & 18 | 7:30 PM
Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Thierry Fischer, Conductor
Joélle Harvey, Soprano
Sarah Coit, Mezzo Soprano
Benjamin Butterfield, Tenor
Derrick Parker, Bass
Utah Symphony Chorus
University of Utah Chamber Choir

MOZART                        Requiem
IVES                              Symphony No. 4

SPONSORS:
Symphony Season Sponsor: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Concert Sponsor: C. Comstock Clayton Foundation

Tickets, priced from $42-$92, are available for purchase through utahsymphony.orgor by calling (801) 533-6683. Tickets increase $5 on the day of the performance.

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, 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 the new release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 last fall. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra’s parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving nearly 145,000 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 participates in Utah Opera's four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley® Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah. 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 utahsymphony.org.

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Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

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