Utah Symphony Announces Third Masterworks Concert Featuring Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings” with Works by Tower, Takemitsu, and Copland

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 6, 2020) — Utah Symphony returns to the Abravanel Hall stage on October 22, 23 and 24 for the the third weekend of Masterworks concerts on the reimagined 2020-21 season, featuring Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings,” and highlighting brass and percussion musicians performing works by Joan Tower and Tōru Takemitsu, among others. Making his Utah Symphony debut is guest conductor David Robertson. Tickets for the general public go on sale October 12 at 12 PM.

The orchestra’s third masterworks program of the season begins with an all-string ensemble performing George Walker’s moving “Lyric for Strings.” Walker, the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music (1996), originally titled the piece “Lament” and dedicated it to his grandmother who had died the year prior. It is followed by Antonín Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings,” which he finished composing in just 12 days. The music captivates throughout its five movements, moving from lyrical to high spirited to reflective to an exuberant finale.

Also highlighted on this concert are American contemporary composers Joan Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1” and Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” featuring the Utah Symphony’s brass and percussion sections, which bookend other brass pieces spanning nearly 400 years from Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Sonata pian’ e forte” (1597) to Tōru Takemitsu’s peaceful “Night Signal – Signals from Heaven II” (1987).

Leading the orchestra in his Utah Symphony debut is guest conductor David Robertson, who has served as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and held a transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Since 2018, he has served as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, of The Juilliard School.

In keeping with recommended coronavirus health precautions and after six months of silence in Abravanel Hall, the orchestra opened its 2020-21 season on Thursday, September 17 with shorter programs that require fewer musicians to allow for greater physical distancing between artists. The frequency of performances has increased due to the reduced seating capacity – this Masterworks presentation has an added date of Thursday, October 22 to its regular Friday and Saturday performance evenings.

Estimated concert length is 70 minutes (with no intermission). The programming on this performance has been modified to abide by local, state, and national health and safety recommendations. This project is funded in part by the CARES Act and the Utah State Legislature through Arts & Museums.

Utah Symphony presents
Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings with Tower, Takemitsu, Copland & more

October 22, 23 & 24, 2020 | 7:30 PM | Abravanel Hall (Doors open at 6:30 PM)

David Robertson, conductor
Utah Symphony

WALKER: Lyric for Strings
DVORÁK: Serenade for Strings
JOAN TOWER: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1
GABRIELI (arr. David Robertson): Sonata pian’ e forte
TOMASI: “Evangile” and “Apocalypse” from Fanfares Liturgiques
GRIEG: Funeral March
TORU TAKEMITSU: Night Signal – Signals from Heaven II
COPLAND: Fanfare for the Common Man


Current season subscribers and patrons with account credit or gift certificates from a canceled performance will have an opportunity to purchase additional tickets or exchange their existing tickets beginning October 6 at noon. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on October 12 at 12 PM for performances that are not sold out on subscription.


Tickets may be purchased using the new Utah Symphony | Utah Opera mobile app, available free for iPhone and Android. Tickets may also be purchased online at usuo.org, or by calling USUO Patron Services at (801) 533-NOTE(6683) or through ArtTix.org. In-person assistance is not available at this time. For Ticket Office hours and the most up-to-date information, please visit us at usuo.org,

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