The night starts off with Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” which critics and musicologists say transcended the stylistic trends of the mid-20th century. While he was a soft-spoken, modest composer, Barber “had the integrity and sheer will to write the best music he knew how to write”. As a result, works such as this have endured the test of time. Almost 80 years later, it continues to provide beauty, solace, and inspiration for all who hear it. “Adagio for Strings” has been called upon during some of the most difficult times in U.S. history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when hundreds of ensembles throughout the U.S. spontaneously chose to play the “Adagio” in tribute and again in the days following 9/11.
Barber’s Violin Concerto evokes interplay between soloist and orchestra in a superbly crafted and technically-refined way that still manages to give the audience the showmanship it craves. Once called “unplayable,” it is now indispensable.
Closing out the evening is Johannes Brahms’ gorgeous Piano Quartet No. 1. which unfolds with luxuriously expansive development sections in its first three movements, then comes to a flashing finale in an extremely fast, energetic rondo. The final movement is built on simple, catchy motifs with thumping double rhythms, one of the most technically challenging in all of Brahms’ chamber music.. Schoenberg’s arrangement for full orchestra was deemed a great success at its premiere. Klemperer declared, “You can’t even hear the original quartet, so beautiful is this arrangement.”
Jun Märkl is known for and highly respected as an interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French Impressionists. He has long-standing relationships at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich, and Semperoper Dresden, and has held Music Directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon and MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig as well as the Basque National Orchestra and Pacific Music Festival (Japan). He was born in Munich to a distinguished concertmaster and a solo pianist. In 1986, he won the conducting competition of the Deutsche Musikrat and a year later, was awarded a scholarship from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to study at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.
Karen Gomyo has established herself as a soloist internationally, performing with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. Outside of the U.S. she has appeared with the Danish National Symphony, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Ms. Gomyo has worked with conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, David Zinman, and Mark Wigglesworth.
U.S. veterans are invited to attend this concert free of charge, as part of USUO’s Arts in Service to the Military Cultural Festival. Tickets are free but limited in number; they are available through VetTix.org
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.
The Utah Symphony presents
“Barber’s Violin Concerto”
April 28 & 29 | 7:30 PM
Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun Märkl, Conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin
Barber “Adagio for Strings”
Barber Violin Concerto
Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1 (orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg)
Symphony Season Sponsor: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Concert Sponsor: Martine
Conductor Sponsor- Jun Märkl: Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation
Tickets, priced from $21-$81, are available for purchase through utahsymphony.org or 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 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. 1 and Dawn to Dust, which features three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. 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 visitwww.utahsymphony.org.
Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.