SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 15, 2017) – On May 26 and 27 at 7:30 PM, Maestro Thierry Fischerleads the Utah Symphony and guest violinist Simone Porter in the final Masterworks performance of the 2016-17 season featuring Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” Also on the concert repertoire are works by Tchaikovsky and Varèse. Tickets are priced from $21-$82 and can be purchased at www.utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 533-6683.

Beginning the night is Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir d’un lieu cher,” featuring guest violin soloist Simone Porter, whom the LA Times declared as being "on the cusp of a major career." Conceived while working on his Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir d’un lieu cher” has three movements, the first of which, “Méditation,” was the one that challenged Tchaikovsky the most, but is considered to be among his best work. The work was later orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov, whose arrangement has perhaps become even better known than the original composition.

The final concerts of the 2016-17 season offer a unique chance to encounter two great works exploring primitivism in Central Asia and the Americas by Igor Stravinsky and Edgar Varèse, composers who spent large periods of time in the United States, explained Utah Symphony Principal Librarian Clovis Lark.

“Both ‘Amériques’ by Varèse and ‘The Rite of Spring’ by Stravinsky are the respective composers’ seminal works. Quoting Varèse on ‘Amériques,’ his first work written in the United States: ‘The mere word ‘America’ meant all discoveries, all adventures. It meant the unknown’,” said Mr. Lark.

Edgard Varèse’s “Amériques” was shaped by the forces of political catastrophe and a changing world. He was conscripted into the French army during World War I before being labeled as unable to serve because of health problems. Though luckily, this sparked his creativity and a realization that America was the home of change and the new. He felt he had to live there. Immediately after the war, he emigrated on his quest looking for the grit, grime, and noise. Acknowledged as visionary “Amériques” is a piece that puts America’s pulse to music.

“Amériques” was recorded for the Vanguard label in 1973 by Utah Symphony with legendary Music Director Maurice Abravanel conducting.

Closing the night is Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (“Le Sacre du printemps”). Premiering in 1913 it was the shock heard round the world, with such an unfamiliar sound that listeners at its Paris premiere became a violent mob. Just a year later, Stravinsky was hearing cheers and bravos, turning him into a hero of music. Today, after more than a century, the music of “The Rite of Spring” in its artful brutality shocks no one and instead, delights.

Simone Porter has been recognized as an emerging artist of impassioned intensity, musical integrity, and vibrant energy since her early years in Utah when her parents were instructors at the University of Utah. An early mentor of hers was Mikhail Bugoslavsky, the late violist with the Utah Symphony who was a faculty member at the University of Utah for more than 20 years. Ms. Porter performed works of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert with Utah Symphony at St. Mary’s Church during the 2013 Deer Valley Music Festival. 

Ms. Porter studied with Margaret Pressley and, as a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Scholarship. Afterwards she was admitted into the studio of the renowned pedagogue Robert Lipsett, with whom she presently studies at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. At only 19 years of age, she has already appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She made her professional solo debut with the Seattle Symphony at 10 years old and her international debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London at age 13.

A pre-concert lecture, free to all ticket holders, will take place at all Masterworks Series performances in Abravanel Hall’s First Tier Room 45 minutes prior to the performance.

Utah Symphony will hold Finishing Touches: “The Rite of Spring” on May 26 at 10 AM for $17 and $15 for students. See the final rehearsal before the last performances of the 2016-17 season. Tickets are available at http://www.utahsymphony.org/component/k2/1232-the-rite-of-spring. Complimentary tickets to Finishing Touches rehearsal are available for Alzheimer’s care recipients and their care givers. For free tickets call 801-533-6683or reserve tickets online and use code word: ALZHEIMER’S. Please inform the ticket agent if you require wheelchair seating. 

Making Sense of Alzheimer’s Month 2017 is a collaboration of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Alzheimer’s Association. These organizations know that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect people’s cognitive abilities, but not their senses. The joy of seeing and hearing professional musicians perform has a positive effect on functionality and often encourages reminiscence, conversation, and enduring connections otherwise forfeited. Utah Opera Resident Artists and Utah Symphony musicians will travel throughout the valley to perform at Alzheimer’s Care facilities during the month of May to spread the joy of music.

The Utah Symphony presents
“The Rite of Spring”
May 26 & 27 | 7:30 PM
Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Thierry Fischer, Conductor
Simone Porter, Violin
Utah Symphony Orchestra

Tchaikovsky            “Souvenir d’un lieu cher
Varèse                      “Amériques”
Stravinsky               “The Rite of Spring”

Symphony Season Sponsor: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Concert Sponsor: O.C. Tanner
Conductor Sponsor-Thierry Fischer: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Guest Artist Sponsor- Simone Porter, Violin: Patricia Richards and William Nichols

Tickets, priced from $21-$82, are available for purchase through utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 533-6683. Tickets increase $5 on the day of the performance.

About the Utah Symphony
Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns easy access to world-class live musical performances of the world’s greatest music in the state’s top venues. Since being named the orchestra’s seventh music director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including the Mighty 5® Tour of Utah’s National Parks, the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2016 coinciding with the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, including, most recently, two albums for Reference Recordings: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Dawn to Dust, which features three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours, the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged orchestras in the nation. For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.


Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.


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