Conner Gray Covington to Replace Thierry Fischer as Conductor for Utah Symphony’s Forever Mighty® Tour

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 3, 2021)—Conner Gray Covington, Utah Symphony’s Associate Conductor, will lead the Utah Symphony’s “Forever Mighty® Tour” performances on August 4, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. He replaces Music Director Thierry Fischer, who regretfully needs to withdraw as he is hospitalized for treatment of a non-covid related infection.

The tour programs remain unchanged. The August 4, 11 and 13 performances include Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, Elgar’s “Salut d’amour” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” in honor of the 125th anniversary of Utah, the Beehive State. The August 10, 12 and 14 performances feature guest violinist Aubree Oliverson performing selections by Tchaikovsky, Gardel and Vivaldi. The orchestra also performs Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” “Jupiter” from Holst’s “The Planets” and “Nimrod” from Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.”

Currently in his fourth season as Associate Conductor with the Utah Symphony, Covington also serves as the Principal Conductor of the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley® Music Festival. During his tenure in Utah, Covington has conducted more than 250 performances of classical, education, film, pops, and family concerts as well as tours throughout the state. Previously, he was a Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he worked closely with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, and the Curtis Opera Theater while also being mentored by Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. A four-time recipient of a Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., Covington was a featured conductor in the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview presented by the League of American Orchestras.

Covington was also scheduled to conduct the Utah Symphony’s performances with The Beach Boys on August 6 and 7 at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City, Utah. Enrico Lopez-Yañez, Principal Pops Conductor for the Nashville Symphony, is now conducting these concerts in his place.

Tickets for the Forever Mighty® Tour are available at utahsymphony.org/foreverMighty.

The “Forever Mighty® Tour” builds on the success of the Utah Symphony’s 2014 “Mighty 5® Tour” and 2017 “Great American Road Trip Tour.” This year’s tour is offered in collaboration with the Utah Office of Tourism’s “Forever Mighty®” initiative, which encourages visitors and residents to travel responsibly to help ensure strong communities and preserve cherished parks and outdoor recreation access, and the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement’s Thrive125 statewide celebration of Utah’s 125th anniversary of statehood.

The tour kicks off in northern Utah with the full orchestra performing in Cache Valley at the foot of the majestic Wellsville Mountains at the American West Heritage Center on August 10. Two of Utah’s Mighty 5® National Parks are highlighted on the tour with concerts on the rim of Bryce Canyon at Ruby’s Inn on August 12 and near Zion National Park in Hurricane, Utah on August 14. A chamber orchestra performs on August 11 at the Historic Main Street in Helper, a mining and railroad town that has reinvented itself as a destination for artists, and on August 13 in Kanab at Angels Landing, a natural amphitheater at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary—the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals. A free tour preview concert is presented at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on August 4.

The August 14 performance, originally scheduled to take place at the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale, has been moved to Hurricane due to July 2021 flash flood damage at the Springdale venue.

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is the season sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. The State of Utah and Thrive125 are the lead sponsors for the tour, which is also sponsored by presenting sponsor Zions Bank, orchestra sponsor Dominion Energy and conductor sponsor the Joseph and Kathleen Sorenson Legacy Foundation.