04 Feb 2020

9 Musical Moments in the 2020-21 Season

by Robert Bedont

If you came to any Utah Symphony concerts in the 2019-20 season, you probably picked up a few new favorite pieces of music. If you did, brace yourselves, the 2020-21 season is coming! This coming season promises new world-class musical experiences, and we bet you’ll add a few of these works to your favorite playlist.

Want to know what you should look forward to? Here are a handful of concerts we’re looking forward to in the 2020-21 season:

¡Celebración Sinfónica!

When was the last time you danced during a Utah Symphony concert? The second annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month promises to begin where we left off in 2019! Make sure to bring your dancing shoes because guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto will encourage you to join your fellow concert-goers in the aisles!

Don’t believe us? Just check out this video from last year’s concert:

Beethoven’s “Emperor”

Our 2020 celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday continues with this brilliant season. This concert is also the first in a cycle of all of Beethoven’s piano concertos, all played by incredible world-class artists like Stephen Hough, Benjamin Grosvenor, Ingrid Fliter, and more.

The “Emperor” concerto was composed shortly after the French invasion of Austria. The composition was ahead of its time with a wide dynamic range and virtuosic style. This piece signaled the beginning of the transition from the Classical to Romantic eras of music. This concerto is not to be missed!

Prokofiev’s Cinderella

Premiered in 1945, Prokofiev’s Cinderella was an instant classic. If you’ve ever listened to the music, there’s no doubt as to why! Prokofiev created a rich, magical world for this kind and genuine fairy-tale character to live in. In September 2020, we’ll perform the symphonic suite of the ballet, but you can hear a snippet of the ballet’s music here:

Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 or the “Ode to Joy”

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is, perhaps, the most famous of any classical work. The finale’s “Ode to Joy” has been performed and recorded countless times.

Speaking of recording, back when CD’s were an emerging technology, record executives decided that it was important that the standard compact disc be able to fit Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in its entirety on one side—roughly 74 minutes-worth of music! Although the legendary composer was long gone by the time CDs rolled around, this work had a big impact on the development of the then-new technology.

Arlene Sierra’s US premiere of Aquilo

If you’ve been to any of our concerts, you know that we like to keep things exciting—and we love programming tried and true favorites like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with hidden gems in classical music repertoire by living composers. This season is no exception. Arlene Sierra will join us as a Composer in Association. If you liked her work Moler on the 2019-20 season, you’ll love this piece as well:

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Dmitri Shostakovich’s career took off like a rocket at an early age, receiving praise from the public and the Soviet government. After a rebuke from Stalin, however, concerning his opera Lady Macbeth, Shostakovich claimed “everyone knew for sure that I would be destroyed.” His next work, Symphony No. 5, written as “A Soviet artist’s response to just criticism” is one of history’s most unnecessary musical apologies.

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition

Imagine a promenade through a museum filled with the artwork of a recently deceased dear friend. Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a programmatic work that captures the musical mood of pieces of such an art exhibit. Huts on legs, children chasing birds in the Tuileries Gardens, and the Great Gate of Kiev are some of the pieces Mussorgsky describes through music.

As if this program couldn’t get any more epic, flute virtuoso Emmanuel Pahud playing Nielson’s Flute concerto, and we’ll perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 11.


Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf

Are you brave enough to outsmart the Big Bad Wolf? Open up your imagination in this symphonic adventure that introduces our littlest listeners to the instruments of the orchestra. This family-friendly concert features some wild musical characters from the popular children’s story—and it’s only 45 minutes long!

Live too far away to bring your family up to Abravanel Hall? We’ll also be performing it at The Noorda Center for Performing Arts at UVU.


Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 with Mozart and Schoenberg

Our Masterworks season goes out in a bang with music from Mozart, Schoenberg, and Tchaikovsky, and boy are we excited about this one! Tchaikovsky’s Sympohony No. 5 is both an audience and musician favorite! With countless pop culture examples to its credit, Mozart’s ubiquitous Eine kleine Nachtmusik (translated as A Little Night Music) starts with one of the most recognizable themes in orchestral history:

With musical moments like this, you can’t miss this season. Don’t miss any of the concerts with your favorite music and consider becoming a subscriber. Click here to learn about our affordable subscription options and decide what is right for you.