THE UTAH SYMPHONY AND MUSIC DIRECTOR THIERRY FISCHER CELEBRATE THE ORCHESTRA’S 75TH-ANNIVERSARY SEASON
WITH CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT FEATURING
THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF ANDREW NORMAN’S
PERCUSSION CONCERTO, SWITCH, WITH COLIN CURRIE
New York, NY, January 11, 2016 – The Utah Symphony and music director Thierry Fischer perform at Carnegie Hall in April 2016—in a concert celebrating the orchestra’s 75th anniversary. The program features the New York premiere of American composer Andrew Norman’s Percussion Concerto, Switch, with Scottish soloist Colin Currie, commissioned by the Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer, and includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 in D major, “Miracle,” Bartók’s Suite from the Miraculous Mandarin, and selections from the ballet score Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev.
The performance takes place at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium on Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets, priced from $25 to $90 are on sale now from Carnegie Hall by phone at (212) 247-7800, online at www.carnegiehall.org, or in person at the box office.
Music Director Thierry Fischer said, “This program showcases the great flexibility of the Utah Symphony and our commitment to a wide range of repertoire in our concerts. We are especially proud of our collaboration with Andrew Norman and Colin Currie on Switch. It was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience for the orchestra to work with these two amazing artists and the result was one of the highlights of the 75th anniversary season. I believe this new concerto will have a long life indeed.”
The Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer gave the world premiere of Switch on November 6, 2016 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. About Switch, Mr. Norman, a finalist at age 32 for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, says “the percussionist’s many instruments act as triggers, turning other players on and off, making them play forward and backward, and causing them to jump to entirely different musical worlds.” The work is, he continues, “a game of control. Each percussion instrument (both in front of and behind the orchestra) is a switch that controls other instruments in specific ways, making them play louder or softer, higher or lower, freezing them in place and setting them in motion again.” Mr. Norman further discusses the inspiration for his new work in this video.
Since his appointment as music director of the Utah Symphony in 2009, Mr. Fischer has instituted a major commissioning program in Utah. Mr. Fischer says, “It’s our responsibility, as an orchestra, to present historical compositions but also crucial that we keep classical music alive by creating exciting opportunities for composers, musicians, and audiences in our community. We are fortunate as an orchestra to be able to commission works by living composers. Today’s music is tomorrow’s culture.”
In his seven years as music director, the Utah Symphony has presented the world premieres of five works, a demonstration of the orchestra’s commitment to and Mr. Fischer’s advocacy for contemporary classical music. In December 2015, the Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer presented the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Control: (Five Landscapes for Orchestra)—a work inspired by the desert panorama of southern Utah’s national parks and commissioned by the orchestra in honor of its 75th anniversary. A recording of Mr. Muhly’s Control, along with Mr. Norman’s Switch, and Eos (Goddess of the Dawn) by Augusta Read Thomas, also commissioned and premiered by the orchestra and Mr. Fischer, will be issued in March 2016 on the Reference Recordings label. Ms. Read’s Eos was written in honor of Pierre Boulez, a champion of her music. Other contemporary compositions commissioned by the Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer are Simon Holt’s Ellsworth 2 (2013) and Swiss composer Michael Jarrell’s cello concerto Emergencies (Nachlese VI) (2012).
This Utah Symphony concert also marks the 50th anniversary of the orchestra’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 1966, during the tenure of the orchestra’s visionary music director Maurice Abravanel. In the 2015-16 season Mr. Fischer concludes performances of the complete cycle of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies, a two-season tribute to Abravanel, a noted Mahlerian under whose baton the Utah Symphony was the first American orchestra to record all of Mahler’s symphonies, a landmark achievement. Standing in this tradition, music director Mr. Fischer and the Utah Symphony performed—and recorded live—Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan.” The recording was issued on Reference Recordings in fall 2015 and forms part of a recording program re-instituted by Mr. Fischer.
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 will perform at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, IL and Carnegie Hall in spring 2016 coinciding with the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, including the new release of Mahler Symphony No. 1 in fall 2015. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra’s parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. In addition to performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, and concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony participates in Utah Opera’s four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawon Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley® Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah. 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.
Percussionist Colin Currie is a dynamic and adventurous soloist with an unrivalled commitment to commissioning and creating new music. In 2015 he was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society as Instrumentalist of the Year Award for these achievements. Mr. Currie has premiered works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Anna Clyne, HK Gruber, James MacMillan, and Steve Reich. He is Artist in Residence with the Oregon Symphony and London’s Southbank Centre where he was the focus of a major percussion festival Metal Wood Skin in autumn 2014, featuring the world premieres of Steve Reich’s “Quartet” with the Colin Currie Group, Anna Clyne’s “Secret Garden” and the UK premieres of James MacMillan’s “Percussion Concerto No.2” with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Louis Andriessen’s “Tapdance” with Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble. Highlights of his 2015/16 season have included the world premiere of HK Gruber’s “into the open…” at the BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic, followed by the Austrian premiere of the same work at Wien Modern with the Vienna Symphony in November 2015. Mr. Currie performed the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s “Percussion Concerto No.2” – more than 20 years after Mr. MacMillan composed Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, the most performed work in the genre – at the Cabrillo Festival with Marin Alsop conducting. Upcoming performances include a new double concerto for saxophone and percussion by Ross Edwards, to be premiered by the Sydney Symphony.
Andrew Norman is a Los Angeles-based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. A lifelong enthusiast for all things architectural, Mr. Norman writes music that is often inspired by patterns and textures he encounters in the visual world. He is increasingly interested in story-telling in music— often cited for his distinctive, often fragmented and highly energetic voice. His symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los Angeles, New York, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, as well as the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras. In recent seasons, Mr. Norman’s chamber music has been featured at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Norman is the recipient of the 2004 Jacob Druckman Prize, the 2005 ASCAP Nissim and Leo Kaplan Prizes, the 2006 Rome Prize and the 2009 Berlin Prize. He is currently Composer in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Norman’s recent compositions include a piano concerto, Suspend, for Emanuel Ax for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as another for Jeffrey Kahane and the New York Philharmonic, and a widely-discussed symphony-in-all-but-name, Play, for BMOP. Upcoming projects include a major new orchestral work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a series of short works for violin and piano for Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner.
Friday, April 29. 2016 at 8 p.m.
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
Thierry Fischer, music director and conductor
Colin Currie, Percussion
HAYDN Symphony No. 96, “The Miracle”
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
ANDREW NORMAN Switch (New York Premiere)
PROKOFIEV Selections from Romeo and Juliet
Tickets priced from $25 to $90 are available from Carnegie Hall by phone at (212) 247-7800, online at www.carnegiehall.org, or in person at the box office.