Maestro Fischer conducts two Masterworks weekends with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and the Bohemian Countryside of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 21, 2019) – The Utah Symphony Masterworks series continues with Maestro Fischer and Utah Symphony for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto the last week in January, followed by an evening of Gershwin and Dvořák the first weekend in February. On January 31 and February 1 violinist Karen Gomyo—praised by the Chicago Tribune as “…a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity”—will bring her talents to Abravanel Hall. Highlights include the harrowing mountain expedition with Strauss’ “An Alpine Symphony,” and a work by Utah Symphony Composer-In-Association Andrew Norman. The following weekend, February 7 & 8, pianist Joyce Yang and Utah Symphony will take the audience on a journey of jazz and classical music meeting. Highlights for the evening are the intoxicating, toe-tapping rhythms from “On the Town” and Gershwin’s jazzy Concerto in F.
JANUARY 31 & FEBRUARY 1 (FRIDAY/SATURDAY) — AN EVENING OF TCHAIKOVSKY, STRAUSS AND COMPOSER-IN-ASSOCIATION ANDREW NORMAN
The Masterworks series continues on January 31 & February 1 with Maestro Fischer and the Utah Symphony bringing one of the most famous concertos for any instrument ever written.
Opening the evening is Utah Symphony Composer-In-Association Andrew Norman’s “Spiral.” Commissioned in 2018 by the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, it was premiered as one of then-Music Director Simon Rattle’s last concerts. “Spiral”, references the contracting cycles of thematic material that gradually come into, and go beyond, focus.
Following is Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. After hearing “Symphonie espagnole” by Edouard Lalo, Tchaikovsky seized upon the idea but was met with lambast reviews of its premiere in Vienna by influential tastemaker Eduard Hanslick as “music that stinks to the ear.” Now regarded as one of the most famous concertos ever written, it is a piece not to be missed.
Closing the program is “An Alpine Symphony” from R. Strauss. Noted as one of his most important compositions, this tone poem is quintessentially his symphony. His interest in dramatic narrative matched with his beautiful melodies create a story of night to morning and back to night, and thus birth to death. Littered with danger as he reaches the alpine summit, his descent back down sees him as a changed man.
Karen Gomyo began her musical career in Montréal and New York before recently making Berlin her home. Having performed with the Danish National Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, and symphonies across North America, Ms. Gomyo opened the Dubai Proms with the BBC Symphony and Ben Gernon in 2019. Ms. Gomyo also performed the world premiere of the now critically acclaimed “Chamber Concerto” with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
FEBRUARY 7 & 8 (FRIDAY/SATURDAY) —COLLISION OF JAZZ AND CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH BERNSTEIN AND GERSHWIN, CAPPED OFF WITH DVOŘÁK’S SYMPHONY NO. 8
Our February 7 & 8 Masterworks performances begin with Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from “On the Town.” Of the piece he writes “it seems only natural that dance should play a leading role in the show…since the idea of writing it arose from the success of the ballet Fancy Free.” In the first episode, romantic sailor Gabe falls asleep on the subway and dreams of sweeping Miss Turnstiles off her feet. The second episode basks in one of Bernstein’s greatest works of reflective melancholy “Lonely Town.” The finale, Bernstein describes as “a more panoramic sequence in which all the sailors congregate in Times Square for their night of fun.”
Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F marks the midway point in the evening with guest pianist Joyce Yang joining Utah Symphony. Strengthening his reputation as a composer that straddled the boundaries of popular and “serious” music, this piece solidified his place in taking the classical music world by storm. Of the piece at the time, conductor Walter Damrosch said, “George Gershwin seems to have accomplished… [a] miracle… he is the Prince who has taken Cinderella [jazz] by the hand and openly proclaimed her a princess to the astonished world, no doubt to the fury of her envious sisters.”
Closing the evening is Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 which was composed in just under three months at his summer resort in Bohemia. Composed for the occasion of his admission to Prague Academy, he claimed the piece would be “different from the other symphonies, with individual thoughts worked out in a new way;” and the piece undoubtedly was.Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang first came to international attention in 2005 after winning the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition before following quickly with her debut with New York Philharmonic alongside Lorin Maazel at Fisher hall. In the last decade she has blossomed with national news like the “Washington Post” calling her blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism.” Miss Yang has performed around the world, captivating audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity and should not be missed at Abravanel Hall.
Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang first came to international attention in 2005 after winning the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition before following quickly with her debut with New York Philharmonic alongside Lorin Maazel at Fisher hall. In the last decade she has blossomed with national news like the “Washington Post” calling her blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism.” Miss Yang has performed around the world, captivating audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity and should not be missed at Abravanel Hall.
The Utah Symphony will perform this program at The Noorda, the University of Utah’s performing arts center in Orem, on February 6 as part of its first season of six performances serving Utah County. The Noorda is supported in part by a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.