Utah Symphony's 2013-2014 season revealed: Get ready for Nielsen cycle
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First Beethoven. Then, Mendelssohn. And soon, Nielsen.Utah audiences will learn who composer Carl Nielsen is during the Utah Symphony's 2013-2014 season, which was announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Symphony's home, Abravanel Hall.Music director Thierry Fischer will lead the orchestra through a Nielsen symphony cycle that will include all six of the late Denmark composer's symphonies next year after prior seasons including symphony cycles for Beethoven (in 2011-2012) and Mendelssohn (in the current season, which wraps up in May).In an interview before the announcement, Fischer acknowledged that Nielsen is not as well-known as the composers who have had their symphony cycles performed during his tenure as head of the orchestra."Our mission as programmers is to open up that pleasure is in discovering, not just recognition," Fischer said a day after flying in from his native Switzerland. "For people excited by unconventional concerts, there will be Nielsen ... After the Beethoven and Mendelssoh cycles, I think that our audience and orchestra are ready for Nielsen.Fischer's choice of Nielsen (1865-1931) was made because the maestro believes that Nielsen's uniquely different symphones will "represent all of the sides of the Utah Symphony." Nielsen's six symphonies show that he was a progressive, risk-taking composer, who began as an admirer of Brahms but then metamorphised into a forward-thinking believer in experimentation, Fischer said. "Each symphony shows an evolution." Fischer, Utah Symphony Principal Pops Conductor Jerry Steichen, Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Vladimir Kulenovic and President and CEO Melia Tourangeau unveiled the tightly guarded schedule for the public that included subscribers and long-time supporters.Other highlights of the 2013-2014 season include:• World-premiere commission by Andrew Norman of a percussion concerto that will be debuted by the young Scottish percussionist Colin Currie. Fischer said one of his mandates when he agreed to become the music director was to be able to commission pieces that would further cement Utah as a place that not merely performed at a high level, but premiered new works. The commission will be performed the weekend of April 18, 2014.• Beethoven's Triple Concerto will open the season the weekend of Sept. 13, with guests Philip Setzer on violin, David Finckel on cello and Wu Han on piano. Finckel and Han are married, and at the end of the 2012-13 concert season, Finckel will leave the Emerson String Quartet (which includes Setzer), the acclaimed string quartet in residence at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.• Performances of Berlioz's "The Damnation of Faust" on Sept. 27-28; Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"on Nov. 8-9; Mahler's Symphony No. 5 on April 18-19; and Dvorak's "New World Symphony" on March 8-9.• British conductor Mark Wigglesworth will conduct the orchestra on two successive weekends that begin February 28. Fischer said that he hopes Wigglesworth will be part of a special pool of conductors he especially admires that will be regular guests in Utah.• Cellist Matthew Zalkind, who was raised in Utah and is the son of Utah Symphony trombonist Larry Zalkind and Symphony violist Roberta Zalkind, will perform on the season's closing weekend of May 23-24, 2014. "It's a fabulous story," Fischer said. "It's a community story ... We want to promote talents that are Utah-grown."• Guests will include singer Brian Stokes Mitchell (Nov. 1-2), fiddler Natalie MacMaster (Feb. 21-22), and conductors Yan Pascal Tortelier (Oct. 25-26), Hans Graf (Dec. 6-7), Nicholas McGegan (Jan. 4-5) and Andrey Borekyko (April 18-19), as well as the aforementioned Wigglesworth.• Pops concerts including include "Disney's Pixar in Concert" (Jan. 3-4) The Magic of Harry Potter (Feb. 18) and "The Beat Goes On! The Music of the Baby Boomers" (May 2-3).• "Remembering JFK" the weekend of Nov. 22 that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John. F Kennedy's assassination. Fischer will lead the orchestra though a program that includes Britten's "An American Overture" The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," Stavinsky's "Elegy to JFK," Liberson's "Remembering JFK" and Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 (known as "The Inextinguishable").FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:Masterworks 1Beethoven's Triple ConcertoSeptember 13-14, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorPhilip Setzer, ViolinDavid Finckel, CelloWu Han, PianoBEETHOVEN: Egmont OvertureWAGNER: "Forest Murmurs" from SiegfriedNIELSON: Symphony No. 1BEETHOVEN: Concerto for Violin, Cello, and PianoMasterworks 2Tchaikovsky's 1812 OvertureSeptember 20-21, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorEmmanuel Pahud, FluteTCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 OvertureElliott Carter: Flute ConcertoTCHAIKOVSKY: "Lenski's Aria" from Eugene OneginMOZART: Flute Concerto No. 2R. STRAUSS: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier Masterworks 3The Damnation of FaustSeptember 27-28| 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorMichael Spyres, FaustKate Lindsey, MargueriteRoderick Williams, MephistophlesUtah Symphony ChorusBERLIOZ: The Damnation of FaustFamily 154th Annual Salute to YouthOctober 1, 2013 | 7 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, Conductor Masterworks 4Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25October 25-26, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallYan Pascal Tortelier, Guest ConductorOrion Weiss, PianoDUKAS: "Fanfare" from La PeriDUKAS: The Sorcerer's ApprenticeMOZART: Piano Concerto No. 25SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5Family 2A Superhero HalloweenOctober 29, 2013 | 7 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorEntertainment 1Brian Stokes Mitchell with the Utah SymphonyNovember 1-2, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallJerry Steichen, Conductor Brian Stokes Mitchell, VocalistMasterworks 5Vivalidi's Four SeasonsNovember 8-9, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorNicola Benedetti, Violin VIVALDI: The Four SeasonsNIELSEN: Symphony No. 2 "The Four Temperaments"Special 1Katheen Cahill's Fatal SongNovember14-16, 2013 | 7:30 p.m. | Jeanne Wagner TheatreNovember 17, 2013 | 4:00 PM | Jeanne Wagner TheatreA witty cabaret opera with some of opera's favorite divas like Violetta and Mimi who beg the question, "Must the diva always die?" Masterworks 6Beethoven, Mozart & NielsenNovember 15-16, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorRonald Brautigam, PianoHAYDN: Symphony No. 4BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3MOZART: The Magic Flute OvertureNIELSEN: Symphony No. 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva"Masterworks 7Remembering JFKNovember 22-23, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorBRITTEN: An American OvertureNIELSEN: Symphony No. 4 "The Inextinguishable"STRAVINSKY: Elegy to JFKLIBERSON: Remembering JFKBRITTEN: The Young Person's Guide to the OrchestraSpecial 235th Annual Messiah Sing-inNovember 30 & December 1, 2013 | 7 p.m. | Abravanel HallSusanne Sheston, ConductorUtah Symphony ChorusMasterworks 8Schubert & TchaikovskyDecember 6-7, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallHans Graf, Guest ConductorHENRI DUTILLEEUX: The Starry NightSCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished" TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 3 "Polish"Entertainment 2Holiday SwingDecember 13-14, 2013 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallJerry Steichen, ConductorByron Stripling, Trumpet/VocalsJoy to the World, Blue Christmas, White Christmas are just a few holiday tunes Byron Stripling and the Utah Symphony will be swinging to with you. Lollipops 1Here Comes Santa Claus! December 14, 2013 | 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorSpecial 3Disney's Pixar in ConcertJanuary 3-4, 2014 | 7 p.m.| Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorMasterworks 9Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4January 10-11, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallMatthias Pintscher, Guest ConductorInon Barnatan, PianoMATTHIAS PINTSCHER: Towards OsirisBEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4DVORAK: Symphony No. 8Masterworks 10Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4January 31-Feb. 1 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorConrad Tao, PianoQIGANG CHEN: Wu Xing (The Five Elements)PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4Masterworks 11Mozart & ShostakovichFebruary 7-8, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorUtah Symphony ChorusMOZART: Mass in C "Trinity: SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"Masterworks 12Tchaikovsky's Violin ConcertoFebruary 14-15, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorItamar Zorman, ViolinTCHAIKOVSKY: Violin ConcertoMOZART: The Marriage of Figaro OvertureJOHN CAGE: AmoresMAHLER: "Bouquet of Flowers"BIZET: Carmen SuiteTCHAIKOVSKY: "Waltz of the Flowers" from The NutcrackerPIAZZOLLA: LibertangoMENDELSSOHN: "Wedding March" from A Midsummer Night's DreamFamily 3The Magic of Harry PotterFebruary 18 | 7 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorEntertainment 3Natalie MacMaster with the Utah SymphonyFebruary 21-22, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallJerry Steichen, ConductorNatalie MacMaster, FiddleMasterworks 13Grieg's Piano ConcertoFebruary 28-March 1 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallMark Wiggleworth, Guest ConductorAlexander Melrikov, PianoALBERT SCHNELZER: A Freak in Burbank (U.S. Premiere)GRIEG: Piano ConcertoSIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2Masterworks 14Dvorak's "New World" SymphonyMarch7-8, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallMark Wiggleworth, ConductorMOZART: Symphony No. 35 "Haffner" LUTOSLAWSKI: Symphony No. 4DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" Lollipops 2Tyrannosaurus Sue: A Cretaceous ConcertoMarch 15, 2014 | 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorEntertainment 4A Rodgers & Hammerstein CelebrationMarch 28-29, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallJerry Steichen, ConductorUtah Symphony ChorusBravo Broadway Vocal Stars will perform selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein's famous musicals such as Showboat, The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, and Oklahoma. Masterworks 15Mozart, Bernstein & NielsenApril 11-12, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorKathryn Eberle, ViolinMOZART: Eine Kleine NachtmusikBERNSTEIN: Serenade after Piato's SymposiumBERNSTEIN: Candide OvertureNIELSEN: Symphony No. 5Masterworks 16Mahler's Symphony No. 5April 18-19, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorColin Currie, PercussionPACHELBEL: CanonANDREW NORMAN: Percussion Concerto (World Premiere)MAHLER: Symphony No. 5Masterworks 17Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3April 25-26, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallAndrey Boreyko, Guest ConductorRIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Russian Easter OvertureMESESIAEN: L'AscensionTCHAIKOVSKY: Suite No. 3Entertainment 5 The Beat Goes On! The Music of the Baby BoomersMay 2-3, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallJack Everly, Guest ConductorSix vocalists, guest conductor Jack Everly and the Utah Symphony performing favorite hits by Motown, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys and moreFamily 4All-Star EveningMay 20, 2014 | 7 p.m. | Abravanel HallVladimir Kulenovic, ConductorMasterworks 18Rachmaninoff's Symphonic DancesMay23-24, 2014 | 8 p.m. | Abravanel HallThierry Fischer, ConductorMatthew Zalkind, CelloTCHAIKOVSKY: Variations on a Rococo ThemeNIELSEN: Symphony No. 6 "Sinfonia Semplice" RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances