If you’ve been to one of the pre-concert chats in the First Tier Room lately you know that they are popular. This season we’ve been reaching the room capacity and have had to turn people away, which is never fun. Starting this weekend we’re excited to report that the pre-concert chats before the Masterworks performances will be moving into Abravanel Hall! They will be on the main floor of the Hall at the front, so just enter through the A or B doors on the main level. The chats are also moving a bit earlier to 7 PM. This is to get them wrapped up in time for the musicians to go on stage and warm up. We hope you enjoy the new format, and we’ll see you soon!
One feature we’re excited to announce on the blog is a look into the rehearsal process. For each of Thierry’s Masterworks performances we’ll share a video of a couple minutes of the first rehearsal. We hope you enjoy it!
Last night I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the Utah Symphony. I’ll be honest – I cannot think of enough superlatives in the English language to describe the experience, but I’ll give it a try!
For the evening the orchestra was composed of one Utah Symphony musician and one excited amateur on each stand. We worked on the fourth movement of Beethoven’s 5th and the format of the evening was about 45 minutes of rehearsal with Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Vladimir Kulenovic and then a performance of the movement for family, friends, and media.
The butterflies I had all day were almost overwhelming! I had the worry in the back of my head all day that I hadn’t practiced enough or that Vlada would take really fast tempos. Fortunately, all those worries were gone once the exhilaration of playing again hit – I had a blast!
Vlada was such a animated conductor and worked us with great focus on the articulation, dynamics, and phrasing he wanted us to produce. Not only was I thrilled to play again, but it was such an honor to play with the Utah Symphony musicians who made us feel right at home.
The Symphony is hoping to make this a yearly event, so if you didn’t get in this year, definitely apply again next year. This was an experience that I will never forget!
Great thanks to the Education Department, Maestro Kulenovic, and the Utah Symphony musicians for making this possible!
This year through Concert Connections (the UBS-sponsored display in the lobby prior to performances) we’ve had some great questions about the different musicians in the orchestra and also about the different instruments that make up the orchestra. As part of a weekly feature on the Utah Symphony blog, we thought we’d share some facts and trivia about the most common symphony orchestra instruments.
This Week – Flute
The flute is a member of the woodwind family and it is the only woodwind (along with it’s sister, the piccolo) to not use a reed. The sound is produced by air moving across an opening, similar to blowing across the top of a glass bottle. Flutes are the earliest recognized instrument and researchers have dated flutes back 35,000-40,000 years!
The flute used in orchestras is called a concert flute and, although it can be made of wood, it is most often made of metal. Most professional flutes are made of different purities of silver. One reason is because the silver is poisonous to super-small organisms so, even with the flute being exposed to all the moisture from playing, bacterias and molds are not able to grow. Cool, huh?
The flute’s little sister, the piccolo is essentially a half-sized flute that sounds one octave above the flute. Some logic trivia for you – because the piccolo is a type of flute not all flute players are piccolo players, but all piccolo players are flute players. Speaking of flute players, a person who plays the flute can be called a flautist, a flutist, or a flute player. I was hoping that someone who played the piccolo would be called a piccolist, but they are usually just called a piccolo player.
So, I’m pretty sure you know about the new Nordstrom that is opening downtown this month. Who doesn’t? The opening of City Creek is quite a big adventure for downtown, and there are some great events happening. One of them is the Nordstrom Grand Opening Gala that will benefit Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Utah Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. At the event you’ll be one of the first to step through the doors of the new Nordstrom. Dinner, desserts, incredible shopping – what’s not to love?
Tickets for the event are available here.
To get ready for the Gala, we were invited along on a sneak-peek tour of the Nordstrom before it’s open. Here’s some pictures from the day:
Right now they are still unpacking racks and merchandise and setting up.
But soon it will look like this.
Nordstrom’s origins are as a shoe store, which is why shoes play such a prominent role in their store layouts.
The City Creek Nordstrom has two (!!) Gucci boutiques. One for accessories, and one for women’s clothing. It’s one of only 8 Nordstrom that have these little boutiques!
This is super cute – the kids’ section is decorate with all these colorful fish tiles. They were made by kids as a fundraiser for local schools. Each kid made two tiles so that if one of these ever breaks, there will be a replacement!
This is the dressing room in the Junior’s section. So fun!
Friday, February 17 was a great day at USUO! We were extremely honored to go up to the state capitol building and receive recognition from the Utah Senate and House of Representatives in honor of “contributions and service to the people of the state of Utah.” This was also our chance to stand up and publicly thank the Legislature for their continued support.
We are so proud of our tradition of visiting all the communities in Utah, and it is through state POPS funding that this is possible.
After the resolution was presented, Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer and Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth spoke with members of the Utah Legislature and the press about the different education programs that tour to Utah schools. They even ran into Governor Herbert!
Utah Symphony musicians were also on hand throughout the afternoon performing solos and chamber music in the Capitol Rotunda.
We just want to take another opportunity to thank the communities and officials of Utah for your continued support and well-wishes – we can’t do what we do without you!
A video of the Legislative session can be viewed here.
Another Beethoven concert approaches! The lucky winner will receive two tickets to this weekend’s performance of Rachmaninoff and Beethoven – Beethoven and Andre Watts on the same program!
Just leave a comment identifying where Beethoven is by Thursday the 16th at 4 PM. A winner will be chosen at random, and contacted by email.
Right now is a super busy time for us – the next Utah Opera season was announced on Monday, Utah Symphony season will be announced this coming Monday the 6th, and Deer Valley will be announced Thursday the 9th! Soon we’ll be sending out information on renewing your season tickets, or purchasing them for the first time. Our graphic designer just sent me this photo from the printing house – the Utah Symphony brochure pages printed, and ready to be trimmed and put together. Just wait till you see the finished product and the line-up! We think you’re going to be excited.
Beethoven is continuing his exploration of Utah. Do you know where he is now?
Leave your guess in the comments, and be entered to win a pair of tickets to Beethoven’s Fifth! Contest will close Thursday at 3 PM.
I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with baritone Guido LeBrón about Rigoletto, and I was fascinated by how he perceives each of the facets of Rigoletto’s character, and how that personality is displayed through his singing. Hope you enjoy it as well!
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