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Friday, August 20, 2010

Utah Symphony Opens with Beethoven and Brahms (SLC: Sept 10 - 11)

Contact: Jana Cunningham, (801) 869-9027

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                    
August 18, 2010                                                                                                                                      

The Utah Symphony opens 2010-11 Season with Beethoven and Brahms

The concert features guest conductor Hannu Lintu and pianist Louis Lortie

SALT LAKE CITY – After a successful record-breaking summer of performing at Deer Valley Resort, the Utah Symphony returns to the stage of Abravanel Hall for the 2010-11 season with a program led by renowned guest conductor Hannu Lintu. The program includes Beethoven’s 6th Symphony “Pastorale” in F Major and pianist Louis Lortie performing Brahms’ Concerto No. 2 for Piano in B-flat Major. The performances will be held at Abravanel Hall on Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11 at 8:00 p.m.

            September 10, 2010 will mark the first concert of the new Cadenza Society, a social group for patrons 55+ who want to share dinner and performances with other music lovers. The dinner on September 10 will be held at the New Yorker at 6:00 p.m. with a pre-fixed price of $30 (plus $30 for concert). For more information, patrons may call 801-533-NOTE.

            The opening weekend program begins with the Star Spangled Banner followed by Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. One of just a few works of program music (compositions meant to convey non-musical stories, scenes or images); Beethoven composed this symphony out of his love for nature. Each of the movement’s titles describes the detailed imagery: Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country, Scent at the brook, Happy gathering of country Folk, Thunderstorm and Shepherd’s Song.        

            The evening concludes as Louis Lortie performs Brahms’ Piano Concerto. The concerto features grand design, a vast range of moods, an unusually close partnership between soloist and orchestra, melancholy and a difficult solo part  in one of the most powerful and monumental concerti in the repertory.

Currently Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Hannu Lintu has previously held Artistic Director positions with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (2002-2005) and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (1998-2001). He is a regular guest conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony and Avanti! Chamber orchestras. In September 2009 Lintu was appointed Principal Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin beginning in September 2010.

Recent engagements have included appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Belgique, the Royal Stockholm, Malaysian and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Sydney Symphony orchestras. Highlights of the 2010/11 season include engagements with the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St Louis and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Hong Kong and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestras.

Lintu studied cello, piano and then conducting with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He participated in masterclasses with Myung-Whun Chung at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and took first prize at the Nordic Conducting Competition in Bergen in 1994.

Hannu Lintu has made several recordings for Ondine, Hyperion and Naxos, as well as two recordings for Danacord with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.

Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has been praised for the fresh perspective and individuality he brings to a deliberately broad spectrum of the keyboard canon. He studied in Montréal with Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of French pianist Alfred Cortot), in Vienna with the Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher, among others.

Mr. Lortie has performed the complete works of Ravel in London and Montréal for the BBC and CBC, and is also known for his interpretation of Chopin. Following a recital of Chopin’s complete Etudes in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Financial Times wrote: “Better Chopin playing than this is not to be heard, not anywhere.”

Louis Lortie has performed under the baton of conductors Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Sanderling, Neeme Jarvi, Sir Andrew Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Mark Elder and Osmo Vanska among others.

Born in Montréal, Louis Lortie made his debut with the Montréal Symphony at the age of thirteen and the Toronto Symphony three years later, which as a result engaged him for an historic tour of the People’s Republic of China and Japan. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was a prize-winner at the Leeds Competition. In 1992 he was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and received both the Order of Quebec and an honorary doctorate from Laval University. As his schedule permits, he teaches at Italy’s renowned piano institute at Imola. Mr. Lortie has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.

Tickets for the evening’s performances start at $20 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall box office, or by visiting www.usuo.org . Subscribers and those desiring group or student discounts should call (801) 533-NOTE (6683). Ticket prices will increase $5 day of performance.

Press photos available at http://www.utahsymphony.org/media.php. (Username: usuoimages, password: media).


Smith/Key/Damrosch             Star Spangled Banner

Ludwig Van Beethoven         Symphony No. 6 in F Major, op. 68 ("Pastorale")
1. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande (Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country): Allegro ma non troppo.
2. Szene am Bach (Scene at the brook): Andante molto mosso
3. Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute (Happy gathering of country folk): Allegro
4. Gewitter, Sturm (Thunderstorm; Storm): Allegro
5. Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm (Shepherds' song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm): Allegretto

Johannes Brahms                  Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra in B-flat Major, op. 83          
I.    Allegro non troppo
II.   Allegro appassionato
III.  Andante
IV.   Allegretto grazioiso


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