Utah Symphony Announces Conner Gray Covington to the Position of Assistant Conductor Starting September 2017 Featured

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (February 9, 2017) – The Utah Symphony today announced the appointment of Conner Gray Covington as assistant conductor, starting September 2017.

Mr. Covington will work closely with Music Director Thierry Fischer in his role as Assistant Conductor. In addition to leading the orchestra in various programs for community and chamber concerts, regional tours, and the Deer Valley Music Festival concerts in Park City, he will play an active role in the orchestra’s education department, conducting family, education and outreach concerts. He will also be a spokesperson for the Utah Symphony in pre-concert lectures and community events and will act as a mentor for several youth orchestras in a variety of regional guest clinics and performances. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Conner Gray Covington to the Utah Symphony artistic family,” said Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer. “He is a very talented young conductor and, without a doubt, his abilities and enthusiasm will be a great asset to our organization. I am very much looking forward to working with him next season.”

Utah Symphony’s current Associate Conductor Rei Hotoda will conclude her two-season term on August 31, 2017 at the end of the 2016-17 season.During her tenure, she led the orchestra in more than 100 concerts in Abravanel Hall and in the community, performed for more than 50,000 school children and teachers on tour throughout Utah, led the ensemble from the piano as soloist and conductor, assisted and consulted on several live recordings, and conducted many concerts at the Deer Valley Music Festival. Ms. Hotoda will move on to pursue other guest conducting opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

Mr. Covington was selected by unanimous choice by an advisory committee comprised of Maestro Fischer and orchestra musicians following an extensive audition process that involved conducting several concerts in front of live audiences.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the Utah Symphony as Assistant Conductor,” said Mr. Covington, who is currently a conducting fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. “I was so impressed with the fantastic quality, attitude, and flexibility of the orchestra during my time in Salt Lake, and I look forward to many wonderful musical moments together. I grew up coming out to West to ski every year, usually in Salt Lake, and I cannot wait to hit the slopes!"

Said Roberto Diaz, president of Curtis Institute of Music: “Conner is an extremely talented, naturally gifted conductor, and it is no surprise he is already receiving professional opportunities. He generated a great deal of excitement among our faculty when he entered Curtis as a conducting fellow. During his time here, Conner had the opportunity to broaden his exposure and work with important conductors in the industry including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and mentor conductor for the Curtis program. I’m thrilled to see his potential has started to be recognized and look forward to following his career in the years ahead.”

About Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Education Department
The Education Department of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera creates and oversees opportunities in music for audiences of all ages, with special emphasis on musical experiences for K-12 students and teachers. As the largest performing arts organization in Utah, USUO promotes a broad public knowledge and appreciation of music through more than 30 state-assisted community outreach programs, amounting to more than 600 performances annually. USUO Education serves more than 7,000 teachers and 155,000 students each year throughout Utah by bringing both symphony and opera programs, free of charge, to every school district in Utah over a three- to five-year rotation. For more information, visit www.usuoeducation.org or call 801.869.9091.

About Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera connects Utah communities with great live music in orchestral and operatic art forms that celebrate past traditions while cultivating present and future audiences. The Utah Symphony, which performs at Abravanel Hall, is one of the nation’s only year-round orchestras. Together with Utah Opera, which performs at the Capitol Theatre, USUO reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. The organization employs 57 staff and 85 full-time musicians and presents four full operas and more than 70 symphony performances in each regular season as well as community concerts throughout Utah and an annual summer series – the Deer Valley® Music Festival – in Park City, Utah. For more information, visit www.usuo.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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