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The Utah Symphony performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto as the opening chamber concert of the 2019 Deer Valley® Music Festival

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 1, 2019) – The Utah Symphony will open the chamber concert series at the 2019 Deer Valley® Music Festival with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring violin prodigy Maria Ioudenitch, on Wednesday, July 10th at 8:00 PM at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, under the baton of Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Conner Gray Covington. The concert will also feature works by Debussy, Fauré, and Stravinsky, creating a varied evening of chamber music that stretches across a century of diverse and compelling musical traditions.

Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Conner Gray Covington is completing his second season with the Utah Symphony and was recently named Principal Conductor of the Dear Valley® Music Festival. In his tenure with the Utah Symphony, he has conducted over 150 performances throughout the state – including classical, education, film, pops, and family concerts. He has served as guest conductor for symphony orchestras in St. Louis, Virginia, Monterey (California), Kansas City, and Portland (Maine). Prior to his tenure in Utah, he was the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he was mentored by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director designee of the Metropolitan Opera. Maestro Covington received his Bachelor of Arts in violin performance at the University of Texas at Arlington and his Master of Music in orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music.

Maria Ioudenitch is one of the nation’s most exciting rising young violinists. Originally from Balashov (Russia), she began studying the violin at the age of three. Currently a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, she has appeared in performance across the world – playing with the National Orchestra of Uzbekistan, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Kansas City Symphony. She has received first prize at the Kansas City Symphony’s Young Artists Competition and won second place at the 2012 Johansen International Competition (JIC) for Young String Players in Washington. As part of that prize, she debuted with the Prince George’s Philharmonic with a stunning rendition of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto called “an awe inspiring musical moment…as if she were holding the universe on the head of a pin” by “The Prince Georgian.”

Felix Mendelsson’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 remains one of the most popular violin concertos in the orchestral repertory. Considered to be among the most influential concertos of the Romantic era, the masterpiece was first performed in Leipzig in 1845. From its achingly beautiful opening virtuosic theme through the soft gentle longing of its second movement and the passionate frenzy of its closing, the concerto celebrates the youthful and romantic power of the violin.

Accompanying the Violin Concerto are Stravinsky’s “Danses concertantes,” Fauré’s Suite from “Pelléas et Mélisande,” and Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque.” All three provide beautiful insights into the power of a small chamber orchestra to create unforgettable stories through music. With “Danses concertantes,” one can almost hear the instruments of orchestra bound through the air in dance-inspired sequences that alternately bounce, glide, spin, and march with delightful dexterity. Fauré’s  Suite was developed from the instrumental music he composed for the first London production of Maurice Maeterlinck’s playPelléas et Mélisande,” long before Debussy translated the play into an opera. Each movement references moments from the tragic play of passion, betrayal, and murder: from the delicate echoes of an oboe inspired by a woman at her wheel to the lamentation of unexplainable loss (a movement ultimately played at Fauré’s own funeral). The impressionistic “Suite bergamasque” for piano and chamber orchestra provides beautiful insights into Debussy’s early career and offers the pleasure of his iconic, simple, and sweet “Clair de lune.”

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s 16th season of the Deer Valley® Music Festival comprises 19 performances over 7 weeks with performances in a variety of venues featuring a wide array of music styles, including musical theater, folk, rock, jazz, and more. This performance is one of five Wednesday evening chamber concerts at St. Mary of the Assumption Church featuring the Utah Symphony’s principal players. The 16th season of the festival continues to focus on celebrating community involvement and engagement through a series of pop-up ensemble performances at existing summer events and venues throughout the community, including the Park Silly Sunday Market and Mountain Town Music. A new Gallery Series also brings small ensembles to two galleries on Main Street in Park City, a chance to experience live music and evocative contemporary art together.

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