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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Performance: Mendelssohn's "Italian Symphony" @ Utah Symphony (SLC 2/8)


SALT LAKE CITY-- The Utah Symphony and Music Director Thierry Fischer will transport listeners to the streets of Italy with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian.”   

The orchestra will also perform “In the South” by Edward Elgar and Stravinsky’s Concerto in D major for violin, featuring internationally renowned violinist Baiba Skride, February 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall.

With all of its charms, architecture and art, Italy has enchanted and inspired many artists and composers, including German composer Felix Mendelssohn and English composer Edward Elgar. 

Mendelssohn spent a year passing through Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples before he returned home.  He spent his time painting watercolors, however, the open vistas, religious gravity and mighty architecture of Italy is more fully portrayed in his music.  His Symphony No. 4 reflects a sunny and bright Italian summer day. 

Elgar received inspiration for “In The South,” considered a tone poem, while passing through the Italian town Alassio.  The piece evokes the charm of the coastal town with mood-shifting and colorful tones.

Stravinsky’s Concerto in D major reveals what he called his “passport chord.”  While writing the piece, he was unsure of whether the desired chord could be played on the violin, but discovered that it was possible for the most talented of violinists to do.  The chord is the declarative opening of each movement of the concerto.  Skride will solo with the orchestra on this piece.

Fischer and Toby Tolokan, Utah Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning, will present a free pre-concert chat each night, one hour prior to the start of the performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall.
Single tickets for the performances range from $18 to $53 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533- NOTE (6683).  All ticket prices are subject to change and availability.  Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance. 

Baiba Skride, Guest Artist
Baiba Skride has appeared with prestigious orchestras such as the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and the US orchestras of Philadelphia, Houston and Cincinnati. Conductors she regularly collaborates with include Charles Dutoit, Thierry Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, John Storgårds and with her peers, Andris Nelsons , Kirill Petrenko and Vasily Petrenko.

Recent highlights included Skride’s much anticipated debut with the Berlin Philharmonic playing Berg “To the memory of an Angel” with Andris Nelsons.  The 2011/12 season saw their close collaborations continue with the Philharmonia Orchestra London performing Bruch violin concerto No.1 and with City of Birmingham Orchestra. She opened her Mozart residency with the RTE National Symphony Dublin performing all Mozart violin concertos and the Sinfonia Concertante. Skride performed with the Danish National Symphony and Thomas Sondergård, Stockholm Philharmonic and Niklas Willen, the Helsinki Philharmonic and Olari Elts, the Vienna Radio Symphony and Cornelius Meister, the Tonkünstler Orchester and John Storgårds, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Czech Philharmonic and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon.

In the USA Skride’s highlights include debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra at their Blossom Music Festival with Bramwell Tovey and further afield with the Boston Symphony and Andris Nelsons performing Shostakovich’s violin concerto No 2.

Skride’s growing commitment to contemporary music sees her world premiere the double concerto by the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen with the Royal Danish and the Swedish Chamber Orchestras, with her long established chamber music partner and sister Lauma Skride. The duo enjoys great international acclaim following tours of North America and Japan. European appearances include the Wigmore Hall London and Gewandhaus Leipzig. Collaborations with Maxim Rysanov, Sol Gabetta and Bertrand Chamayou take her to the Schubertiade Hohenems.

Skride was born into a musical Latvian family in Riga where she began her studies, transferring in 1995 to the Conservatory of Music and Theatre in Rostock. In 2001 she won the 1st prize of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. From November 2010 onwards Baiba has played the Stradivarius ‘’Ex Baron Feilitzsch’’ violin (1734), which is generously on loan to her from Gidon Kremer.

Edward Elgar
In the South, op. 50, "Alassio"
Igor Stravinsky
Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra (1961 revision)
I. Toccata
II. Aria I
III. Aria II
IV. Capriccio
   Baiba Skride, Violin


Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 4 in A Major, op. 90, "Italian"
I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante con moto
III. Con moto moderato
IV. Saltarello: Presto


Hilarie Ashton
Public Relations Manager
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
(801) 869-9027 office
(801) 656-7385 cell

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