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The recording celebrates the orchestra’s 75th anniversary
while continuing its landmark Mahler tradition

August 24, 2015 — Honoring the orchestra’s 75th-anniversary season, Music Director Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony release their first recording together on September 11, 2015, featuring a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan,” recorded live in Maurice Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, UT on September 12 and 13, 2014.

The new hybrid SACD, released by Reference Recordings, further honors the legacy of former Music Director Maurice Abravanel, who led the orchestra in the first complete Mahler Symphony cycle ever recorded by an American orchestra for the Vanguard label, between 1963 and 1974. [For further information on the Utah Symphony’s Mahler cycle and history click here.]

The Fall 2014 performances of Mahler’s First Symphony marked the launch of a two-year performance cycle of the composer’s complete symphonic works. The Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer performed the first four symphonies in the 2014-15 season and will complete the cycle this season with Symphonies Nos. 5 through 9.

“Vibrant, dynamic, and well-defined,” wrote critic Edward Reichel in his review of the September 12, 2014 performance. “All of the musicians played magnificently. One can only hope this is the beginning of a long series of recordings.”

The album is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. After the September 11 release date, the CD will also be available for purchase through the Utah Symphony’s online store and gift shop at Abravanel Hall.

“It is an honor to continue the glorious legacy of Maurice Abravanel by recording Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 ‘Titan,’” said Mr. Fischer. “I am so proud that we have together reached a point of artistry where we are ready to enter the intense, moody, dramatic, and extreme world of this monumental composer.”

Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the “Symphony of a Thousand” will be recorded live with Mr. Fischer, the Utah Symphony, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir on February 19 and 20, 2016; the album is scheduled for release in 2017. Scheduled for release in Spring 2016 is a live recording of three world premiere works by acclaimed American composers Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas, all commissioned by the Utah Symphony.

The Utah Symphony and Mr. Fischer further celebrate the orchestra’s 75th anniversary with a concert at Carnegie Hall on April 29, 2016 performing Haydn’s Symphony No. 96, Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin, the New York premiere of a Utah Symphony-commissioned percussion concerto by Andrew Norman featuring Colin Curie, and Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. The orchestra will perform the same program at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign-Urbana, IL on April 27, 2016.

Additional highlights of the 2015-16 season include a two-week Beethoven Festival and cycle of the composer’s complete symphonies; world premieres of an orchestral work by Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman’s percussion concerto “Switch”; and collaborations with five of the state’s great cultural organizations including Utah Opera, Ballet West, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and The Madeleine Choir School.

Thierry Fischer, Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra since 2009, has revitalized the orchestra with creative programming and critically acclaimed performances that have drawn consistently full houses. Highlights of his tenure include complete Beethoven and Nielsen cycles, a multi-season Haydn symphony cycle and the Mighty 5® tour of Southern Utah’s National Parks. Mr. Fischer has also initiated a major commissioning program in Utah that has produced new works by Simon Holt, Michael Jarrell, Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. His recordings include Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, works by Honegger and Stravinsky with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Beethoven’s piano concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Louis Schwizgebel. Mr. Fischer began his music career as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera. He made his conducting debut in his 30s leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2001-06 and Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic from 2008-11 (now the orchestra’s Honorary Guest Conductor), and Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006-2012. Mr. Fischer also has a busy guest-conducting schedule, appearing with leading orchestras worldwide such as Boston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester.

The Utah Symphony is one of America’s major symphony orchestras and a leading cultural organization in the Intermountain West. It is recognized internationally for its distinctive performances, commitment to music education programs, and recording legacy. Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony became recognized as a leading American ensemble largely through the efforts of Maurice Abravanel, Music Director from 1947 to 1979. During his tenure, the orchestra undertook four international tours, released numerous recordings and developed an extensive music education program. The Utah Symphony has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Carnegie Hall, at the Kennedy Center, Musikverein, Konzerthaus, Philharmonie, Schauspielhaus, Gewandhaus, Royal Festival Hall and Teatro Colón. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including most recently the Mighty 5® Tour to Utah’s national parks, it has embarked on seven international tours. The orchestra has released more than 100 recordings and has been nominated for Grammy Awards for albums with Maurice Abravanel (Honegger’s Le Roi David, Bloch’s Sacred Service and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms) and Michael Tilson-Thomas (Copland’s Old American Songs).

Reference Recordings, founded in 1976, is based in San Francisco, with multiple Grammy® awards and a catalog that includes numerous American and international orchestras, ensembles and choruses. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists, and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally. Reference Recordings are distributed in North America by Naxos USA, and internationally through a network of independent distributors.

For more than 40 years, Soundmirror has been the first choice recording and post-production company for orchestras, choral groups, opera companies, solo artists, and record labels. Soundmirror’s recordings have received over 70 Grammy® nominations and awards as well as special commendations from prestigious publications. The Utah Symphony’s Mahler Symphony No. 1 was recorded and post-produced in 64fs DSS on a Pyramix workstation by producer Dirk Sobatka and engineer John Newton, with mixing and mastering by Mark Donahue, all of Soundmirror in Boston.
UTAH SYMPHONY Reference Recordings
Thierry Fischer, Music Director and Conductor FR-715 SACD

Mahler Symphony No. 1 “Titan”

1. Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaug
– Immer ser gemächlich 15:27
2. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell 7:41
3. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen 10:46
4. Stürmisch bewegt 18:59

Total:  52:55

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