The King's Singers. Yo-Yo Ma. Bobby McFerrin. These are arguably the biggest draws on the just-announced 1994-95 Utah Symphony season. But if you want to see them, you're going to have to buy tickets to at least three other concerts as well.
Such is the lesson of Itzhak Perlman.Last season, tickets to the celebrated violinist's one-night-only concert with the orchestra were made available only to Utah Symphony subscribers, a move that marketing director Jeffrey G. Paris acknowledged last week had proven "monumentally successful for us."
Hence this year tickets to the Ma, McFerrin and King's Singers specials - the last a Christmas concert Dec. 21 - will be made available only to those who have already signed up for the orchestra's Classical, Entertainment, Chamber and/or Cinema series.
(The McFerrin and Ma concerts are set Jan. 28 and Feb. 27, respectively, the latter featuring the cellist in concertos of Haydn and Dvorak.)
So what's to be had on those other series?
Well, among the guest soloists, the names that jump out most prominently are violinist Elmar Oliviera - who will open the Classical Series in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 - pianists Garrick Ohlsson (Oct. 28-29) and Misha Dichter (Dec. 2-3), the hot young Japanese violin virtuoso Kyoko Takezawa (March 10-11) and, in one of the most quickly booked returns I can recall, violinist Joshua Bell (April 28-29), whose performances of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto last March were among the most enthusiastically received in Utah Symphony history. (This time he will solo in the Beethoven Violin Concerto.)
Unless, of course, you're drawn to the lighter side, in which case the big names, apart from McFerrin and the King's Singers, are probably David Arkenstone (Nov. 25-26), the Chieftains (March 3-4), Peter Nero (April 7-8) and, without the symphony, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (Oct. 18) and pianist Victor Borge (Nov. 7).
If those people look familiar, well, probably they're no more so than guest conductor Norman Leyden and pianist/violinist Eugene Watanabe, who will in turn kick off the Entertainment Series (Sept. 16-17) and Chamber Series (Sept. 22), the latter joining music director Joseph Silverstein for an evening of Bach concertos.
Silverstein will also solo on the Dec. 8 Chamber program, in yet another Vivaldi "Four Seasons," followed by concerts Feb. 9 and May 18 - an all-Mozart outing - that will similarly spotlight soloists from the orchestra.
As for the remainder of the Classical Series, the repertoire is no less meat-and-potatoes, counterpointing long-overdue entries like the Bruckner Ninth, Nielsen Fourth and Shostakovich Seventh symphonies with such reliable fare as the Beethoven Third and Seventh, Schubert Eighth, Tchaikovsky Fifth and Prokofiev Fifth symphonies and the Brahms Second, Mozart 21st and Grieg and Schumann piano concertos.
In terms of audience appeal, though, the piece that is likely to exert the most is a Utah Symphony premiere - namely its March 24-25 performances of the Gorecki Third Symphony, which in the last two years has dominated the classical record charts on both sides of the Atlantic. (In Britain it even rose to sixth on the pop charts for a while.)
Andrea Matthews will be the soprano soloist for the Silverstein-directed performances of the Gorecki. However, the other new pieces next season - including two world premieres - are being entrusted to others, guest conductor Eiji Oue (newly appointed music director of the Minnesota Orchestra) leading the premiere of the Anthony Plog Trumpet Concerto April 21-22 and associate conductor Robert Henderson lifting the veil on a new Henry Wolking concerto, "Trombone Tales," Nov. 4-5.
Similarly James Paul takes the podium Jan. 6-7 for the Nielsen Fourth, a program that will also include the "Aotearoa" of New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn. A returning Matthias Kuntzsch will direct the Schubert Eighth and Bruckner Ninth Feb. 24-25, with Leif Bjaland presiding over March 31 and April 1 performances of the Glazunov Violin Concerto, with soloist Tomohiro Okumura.
Other soloists include Allison Eldredge Nov. 18-19 in the Elgar Cello Concerto, violinist Isabelle Faust Jan. 13-14 in the Paganini First Concerto and pianists Avner Hanani (Feb. 3-4) and Hae Jung Kim (March 24-25) in the Schumann and Grieg concertos.
For its part, the Utah Symphony Chorus is being limited to a Henderson-conducted "Evening of Opera" Oct. 21-22 and performances of the Durufle Requiem, this time under Oue, April 21-22. (They will also host their annual "Messiah" Sing-In Nov. 27-28.) Vocal soloists are similarly few in number, though several have yet to be announced.
More visible is the orchestra's Cinema Series, which despite a variable response this season is being expanded to two nights each, the three silent films to be Buster Keaton's "The General" (Oct. 7-8), the Betty Bronson "Peter Pan" (Feb. 17-18) and Josef von Sternberg's "The Last Command" (May 19-20), for which Emil Jannings won the first best-actor Academy Award.
Again, Donald Hunsberger will conduct the live orchestral accompaniment.
The 18 Classical Series concerts are again subdivided into three subseries - Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald - of six concerts each, available in various combinations. Season-ticket prices range from $65 to $475, an increase over last year's $55 to $443. (Other series are priced as low as $38.)
In addition, the orchestra will again be offering its popular Family, Youth and Finishing Touches series.
In response to questioning, Silverstein said he and other symphony officials were "quite optimistic" about the 1994-95 season actually taking place, after the 11th-hour contract renegotiations that made 1993-94 possible. He acknowledged much would depend on the success of the orchestra's Summer Series but said current budget projections appeared to be holding firm.
(Acting executive director Warren K. McOmber said there is still around $260,000 in board-restricted endowment money available to meet any deficit. At the same time, he acknowledged the orchestra had been hit hard in recent months by the deaths of some of its most generous donors.)
- THE SUMMER SERIES likewise brings back some familiar faces, as well as the relocation of some of the orchestra's downtown concerts to the newly opened Franklin Quest Field - specifically for Michael Martin Murphey on July 27 and the annual "1812" Overture bash on Aug. 28.
Other programs include a Utah Festival Opera 1994 season preview, featuring tenor Michael Ballam, on June 29; an evening with pianist Roger Williams July 8-9; New Orleans jazz with Banu Gibson July 15-16; the Manhattan Rhythm Kings July 29-30; a Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein evening Aug. 5-6; classic rock with Flash Cadillac Aug. 12-13; and Keith Brion's "Sousa at the Symphony" Aug. 19-20.
Friday concerts will take place at 8 p.m. at Abravanel Hall, Saturday concerts at 7:30 p.m. at Deer Valley.
In addition the orchestra will offer yet another round of Sunday-afternoon classical concerts at Snowbird, July 10, 17 and 31 and Aug. 7 and 28, at 3:30 p.m. Programs will range from "Mozart and More in the Mountains" to "A Salute to Leonard Bernstein."
Advance tickets are priced from $13 to $35 for Abravanel Hall, $16 to $32 for Deer Valley and $16 to $22 for Snowbird, with Franklin Quest Field concerts priced at $15.
For information call 533-NOTE.