The idea of creating a symphony can be traced even before Utah was given the rank of a state. Starting from the establishment of the Salt Lake Symphony, there were two more companies created which remained in existence until 1925. These companies were the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra and the Salt Lake Philharmonic. However, there was one more company which was created before Utah Symphony was established and that was Utah State Sinfonietta. This group comprised of 5 core members which increased in number gradually and started touring extensively in all parts of the state.
The popularity of Utah State Sinfonietta encouraged the interested parties to establish Utah State Symphony Orchestra and so the project was made possible by a bunch of local enthusiasts as by that time, federal funding for the promotion of arts and culture in the area had ceased. Fred E. Smith was elected as the first president of the company and it scheduled its first concert the very next month of its foundation. Hens Henriot was asked to conduct this first concert that took up the challenge and presented a program which turned out to be highly successful. Afterwards, Henriot was offered a permanent contract as the conductor.
Until 1960, the company operated as a part-time orchestra with Maurice Abravanel as the conductor – an exceptional one at that. It was because of his efforts that it became a full-time orchestra and gained national identity. Apart from touring extensively with the orchestra, it was under Abravanel that the company started recording, first with Vanguard Records and later with Vox Records. Ever fortunate in getting all the excellent conductors, Joseph Silverstein was appointed as a new conductor in 1983. A true concertmaster, Silverstein brought his experiences from the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra to Utah Symphony and added a much-needed luster to it. Keith Lockhart came after Silverstein and proved to be another good music director for the company. His contract expired in 2009 after which Thierry Fischer was selected and the symphony is under his supervision presently.
In 2002, Utah Symphony merged with Utah Oprah as a result of which a combined organization was formed with the name of Utah Symphony – Utah Opera. Although the trend led to many other symphonies merging with operas but at the time this merger happened, it was only the second one of its kind. Utah Symphony works with the Utah Opera in four of its productions annually.
Utah Symphony is a vital presence in the American music scene since 1940. It is known all over the world for its distinctive performances and a recording-legacy with its CDs a good buy for any music lover. The orchestra received its breakthrough because of the efforts of Maurice Abravanel who made it a leading ensemble. All the other conductors continued the good work started by Abravanel and did their part in staying committed to the music.
Abravanel Hall is the home venue of Utah Symphony – a venue credited as one of the greatest concert halls. The place is remarkable not only for its amazing acoustics but also for its architecture and for that it has won several awards. Abravanel Hall holds 70 subscription concerts of the symphony. In addition, the symphony travels to neighboring communities like Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. The orchestra made its first European tour in 2005, performing in prominent concert halls including Germany and Austria. For all these reasons and a large following, Utah Symphony tickets see hefty demand wherever it’s performing.
Utah symphony is not just a symphony company, it merged with the Utah Opera in 2002 to become only the second company in the United States which was formed as a result of two independent companies merging together. It is also known by its abbreviations of USUO and USO which stand for Utah Symphony Utah Opera and Utah Symphony Organization respectively. Salt Lake City is the birthplace of this symphony company and it made the city a symphony and opera hub in the state of Utah. Numerous labels sponsor and work alongside the company. These include Classical Records, Vanguard Classics, Analogue Productions Limited, Silverline Records and Silverline Classics to name a few.
The orchestra plays regularly from the Abravanel Hall which is located near Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. The history of this orchestra is very interesting. It was way back in the late eighteen hundreds when a plan was formulated to create a symphony group in Salt Lake City. This was obviously before the state of Utah even existed. The symphony was therefore called the Salt Lake Symphony. It could only muster one concert before it broke up due to financial constraints. After a grueling twelve years of legal battles and sponsorships, the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra came into being in 1902. This company continued performing for nearly a decade after which plans were formed by a committee to turn the existing organization into a philharmonic. That venture kept crowds entertained well into the twenties. The company gave solace to audiences during the Great Depression. At the time the Work Project Administration had hired the infamous Reginald Beales to create a music school. Since the times were tough an assistance program from the Federal Music Project was initiated to get the project on the road and towards finalization. The Utah State Sinfonietta was inaugurated under the auspices of a five member bench. The venture was a huge success and the school was one of few that could afford travelling all over North America for its concerts. With the fund dwindling in the early forties, local enthusiasts and art lovers backed the opening of the Utah State Symphony and were able to kick start their first performance with Hans Henriot. An important point to note here is that the funds were always meager owing to the great depression and WW II, yet the perseverance and dedication of the staff and performers was focused on converting the dream of a company to reality. Under the able guidance of Maurice Abravanel the symphony flourished. National fame was only a matter of time. Soon becoming a full time orchestra the company won the rights to play Tchaikovsky classics and became so famous that they are still available to date even on CD’s and DVD’s.
The Utah Symphony got a lucky break after nearly a century when Joseph Silverstein volunteered to conduct the symphony himself. Before joining the organization, Joseph had already amassed world-wide acclaim for his services rendered as the concertmaster for one of Boston’s leading Orchestra’s. Keith Lockhart was one of the esteemed music directors for the symphony and became its principal coordinator as well. He held this auspicious position till the fall of 2009 and made an illustrious career in the business. David In-Jae Cho is currently the assistant coordinator for the symphony and the principal conductor is Gerald Steichen. Thierry Fischer, world renowned musician and music director brought his experience and prowess to the Symphony in 2009 and has since been responsible for the resounding success of the company. The Symphony is going to be performing live in a spectacular event soon. This is a great chance for avid fans of music and the orchestra to be a part of this brilliant event by getting your Utah Symphony tickets.
With the Utah Symphony tickets in your hands, you are surely going to enjoy a fabulous time at this remarkable event.