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Zukerman to join symphony for show Saturday

The world-renowned musician Pinchas Zukerman will join Joseph Silverstein and the Utah Symphony in this season's first Special Event concert on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall.

The versatile Zukerman is a world-class violinist, violist and conductor who has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world. The artist achieved wide popular renown for his appearances and recordings with violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Isaac Stern, and has received 21 Grammy nominations. His most acclaimed appearance with the Utah Symphony was in January of 1996 when he filled in on short notice for his ailing friend, Itzhak Perlman, and wowed the audience with his brilliant playing.On Saturday, Zukerman will be playing viola, and will be joined by Joseph Silverstein, on violin, for Mozart's Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major. Silverstein will conduct Bartok's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, and Harold in Italy by Berlioz, both of which feature Zukerman on viola. The two artists are friends who have worked together often in the past.

The Mozart Duo is written for violin and viola - without orchestra. The two melody instruments weave a textured counterpoint around one another that is most pleasing. Mozart is also the composer of the curtain-raiser for the evening: the charming Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.

The Bartok concerto, which is possibly the most demanding work in the viola repertoire, has a Utah connection. It was written for the violist William Primrose, who spent the final years of his life in Provo and donated his personal library and memorabilia to Brigham Young University. Bartok sketched the work while dying of leukemia, and it was completed by a student. The Hungarian genius had been forced to flee his homeland during the turbulent years leading up to World War II, and died in New York in 1945, a lonely and embittered man.

Harold in Italy is named for the Byronic hero Childe Harold, but the true hero of the work is the none-too-modest Berlioz himself, who had traveled in Italy a few years earlier. Zukerman's viola will take the protagonist's role of Harold in a series of vignettes depicting a journey through the mountains of Italy.

The Utah Symphony Special Event with Pinchas Zukerman, viola and Joseph Silverstein, conductor and violin, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall. Tickets ranging from $18 to $44 may be obtained at the Abravanel Hall box office or by calling 533-NOTE (6683).