During the mid-1930s as the United States recovered from the Great Depression, a feeling of national optimism took hold which was complemented by a new era in popular music. Benny Goodman, crowned the “King of Swing,” was a popular musician heard everywhere, including on the radio, records, and in movies. Mr. Goodman began commissioning new works for clarinet to play at his many concert engagements. In 1947, Mr. Goodman commissioned Aaron Copland (1900–1990) to write a clarinet concerto. Although not a “jazz” piece per se, there are numerous hints and subtle references that remind the listener that this was written for the “King of Swing.” The work is divided into two large sections bridged by an extended cadenza for the soloist. The slow movement features a soaring melody that stretches from the sweet tones of the altissimo to the warm sonorities of the middle and low registers of the clarinet. With punctuation from the harp and piano, the strings create an ethereal bed of sound for the clarinet to weave the melody.
Conner Gray Covington was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Utah Symphony, a position he formally begins in the 2017-2018 season. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sharing the podium with Ludovic Morlot. Mr. Covington began playing the violin at age 11. He completed high school at the renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. He then went on to study violin at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in violin performance. He continued his studies with Neil Varon at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned an MM in orchestral conducting and was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize.
Tad Calcara has been principal clarinet of the Utah Symphony since 1999. He began studying piano at age five and clarinet at 12. Mr. Calcara studied clarinet at the Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition, he attended summer music festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, and Music Academy of the West. He performed the Copland “Clarinet Concerto” with the New World Symphony, Utah Symphony, the Texas Festival Orchestra at Round Top (broadcast on NPR), and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist several times with the Utah Symphony in performances of clarinet works with orchestra by Mozart, Artie Shaw, and Lutoslawski. He has performed recitals for Radio France in Montpellier and in the first ever New World Symphony Honors Concert in the spring of 1999.
This performance concludes the Deer Valley® Music Festival Chamber Concert series at St. Mary’s Church. Other performances at the Deer Valley® Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater this week include “Disney in Concert - A Dream is a Wish” on Friday, July 28 and prominent guest artist Ben Folds on Saturday, July 29.
The Deer Valley® Music Festival Presents
Calcara plays Copland
Wednesday, July 26 at 8:00 PM
St. Mary's Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Rd, Park City Utah
Conner Gary Covington, conductor
Tad Calcara, clarinet
Debussy (arr. Büsser) Petite Suite
Copland Clarinet Concerto
Rossini Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 “Italian”
Chamber Series Sponsor (Wednesdays @ St. Mary’s): Sorenson Legacy Foundation
Subscription, group, and VIP tickets for the Deer Valley® Music Festival are on sale now. Prices are subject to change and increase $5 on the day of the performance. Children 8 years of age and younger are not admitted to the performance. No babes in arms. Programming and guest artists are subject to change. Performance tickets and lodging information are available by calling (801) 533-6683 or online at http://deervalleymusicfestival.org
Food and drink are not permitted in the church. Concessions are for sale at intermission. House opens approximately 30 minutes before the concert begins. Arrive early for best seating options as the venue fills up quickly and is general admission. Approximate performance time is two hours with one 20-minute intermission. Free parking is available at the venue, and wraps around the Church. Carpooling is strongly recommended to help alleviate traffic congestion. Do not park in the surrounding neighborhood: you will be ticketed.
About Deer Valley Music Festival
The Deer Valley® Music Festival (DVMF) is Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s (USUO) summer home in the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah. The 2017 festival marks the 14th season of providing chamber music, classical, and pops concerts in several venues: the Deer Valley® Resort Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, St. Mary’s Church, and salon events in private homes in the Park City area. The goal of the Deer Valley® Music Festival is to consistently deliver a high quality and musically diverse experience in casual settings of unparalleled natural beauty. For more information, visit http://deervalleymusicfestival.org
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is the Summer Symphony Sponsor, Zions Bank is the Summer Entertainment Sponsor, and Sorenson Legacy Foundation is the Chamber Series Sponsor for the 2017 Deer Valley® Music Festival.