Utah Symphony Welcomes World-Renowned Violinist Hilary Hahn for Masterworks Opening Weekend

EDIT: Jahja Ling replaces Music Director Thierry Fischer as conductor for these concerts, and the program has been updated to include Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 on the second half. Edo de Waart had been originally scheduled to step in for Fischer, but had to withdraw due to illness. 


International Violin Sensation and Three-Time Grammy Award Winner Will Also Lead Music Education Opportunities for Utah Students

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 9, 2021) – The website of superstar violinist Hilary Hahn counts her total number of concerts performed at an astounding 1,594—and three more will be added to that long list after her upcoming week with the Utah Symphony. As Artist-in Association for the 2021-22 season, Hahn will open the Utah Symphony’s O.C. Tanner Company Masterworks Series at Abravanel Hall on September 17 and 18, as well as the orchestra’s series at The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts at UVU on Thursday, September 16.

Hahn, a three-time Grammy Award winner, earned her first Grammy in 2003 for an album featuring the beloved Brahms Violin Concerto—the same work that she will now bring to Utah Symphony audiences as they return to the concert hall. Brahms’ one and only violin concerto was inspired by his lifelong friend and the great violin virtuoso of his day, Joseph Joachim. Yet it is a work that, while displaying the virtuosity of the soloist, also spectacularly showcases the orchestra.

Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer was originally scheduled to conduct the season-opening concerts—however, following hospitalization in August for treatment of a non-Covid related infection, Fischer remains focused on his recovery and, at the advice of his doctor, is unable to travel for this month’s performances. Fischer looks forward to a return to full health and is eagerly anticipating his return to Utah in January.

Stepping in for the season opener and making his Utah Symphony debut is conductor Edo de Waart, whose artistic brilliance and frequent collaborations with Hilary Hahn make him a natural choice. (Conductor Ludovic Morlot, also making his highly anticipated Utah Symphony debut, will take the podium for the second Masterworks program of the season, September 24 and 25 at Abravanel Hall, featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini along with works by Stravinsky and Lutoslawski.)

De Waart is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, and his long and distinguished career has included music director posts at orchestras and opera houses from the Netherlands to Hong Kong to San Francisco and many others; he retains the title of Conductor Laureate at the Antwerp, Netherlands Radio, and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras. De Waart began his career as Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic.

In place of the Shostakovich symphony previously programmed, de Waart has chosen to present Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 to complement the Brahms Violin Concerto. This symphony will also highlight the artistry of the Utah Symphony musicians, with its virtuosic demands, plush melodies, and swooning romanticism. The program will open with Beethoven’s heroic and powerful Egmont Overture.

“After 36 since I was last in Utah, it’s my great pleasure to play with the home orchestra and to make music with Hilary Hahn again.” says de Waart.

In her role as the Utah Symphony’s Artist-in-Association, Hilary Hahn will participate in community events and provide music education opportunities for students in the Salt Lake City area and beyond during her time in Utah. On Monday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. she will appear at the Get to the River Festival, performing at free concert at the Kennecott Nature Center amphitheater on the shore of the Jordan River and sharing the hour-long performance with young musicians of the Mariachi Ensemble from the El Sistema@Salty Cricket after-school music program. Hahn will also make a virtual visit to music students at Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, coach student violinists from El Sistema@Salty Cricket, and visit a Utah Youth Symphony rehearsal for a Q&A session with the students. In addition, she will perform with Utah Symphony musicians in a private concert to support the Haitian National Orchestra Institute, an educational initiative of the Utah Symphony musicians.

Hahn will return to the Utah Symphony in April for another week of performances and community engagement initiatives.

Concert Listing

Hilary Hahn Plays Brahms
Friday-Saturday, September 17-18, 2021 / 7:30 p.m. / Abravanel Hall
(123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah)

Hilary Hahn Plays Brahms at The Noorda
Thursday, September 16, 2021 / 7:30 p.m. / The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts at UVU
(800 W University Pkwy, Orem, Utah)

Edo de Waart, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Utah Symphony

BEETHOVEN: Egmont Overture
BRAHMS: Violin Concerto
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 3