Utah Symphony music director Keith Lockhart is excited about the upcoming 2000-01 season called "The Sound of Gold," a name that pays homage to the 2002 Winter Games. The season includes concerts that will be part of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Arts Festival.
"It will be an extraordinarily eclectic season. It's the widest range of music I've done so far," Lockhart told the Deseret News. "I'm going to be doing my first French program (Nov. 2-3), which includes Fauré's 'Requiem' — one of the most beautiful works, I think, ever written."
However, for the season opener, Lockhart wanted to do something rousing.
"For the opening night concert, I'm doing another (Richard) Strauss tone poem, 'Ein Heldenleben,' " he said. "That's a bombastic way to start the season!"
Lockhart is happy with the pieces that were chosen for the new season, especially the programs for the Cultural Olympiad.
"We're trying to celebrate the concept that the world is coming to Utah, and we're going to be celebrating that with the orchestra," he said. "Our three chamber orchestra concerts have nationalistically based programs, and our masterworks series will feature music by contemporary composers from around the world."
Getting the programs together was fun and stimulating.
"It's such a challenge, and it becomes more so each year. . . .It requires more thought with each year you're with the same orchestra," he said. "But we have new roads to go down, and there are advantages in not hearing the same pieces too often, like Beethoven's Fifth. Putting programs together is a puzzle assembly."
Other highlights of the season include a performance with the Utah Shakespearean Festival actors and singers on April 19 and 20.
"There is a wonderful cross-pollination of arts with Shakespeare," Lockhart explained. "Next to nature, Shakespeare prompted more composers to write great works — some 400 years' worth of music. The hardest thing for me was to decide what not to include (on the concert)."
Then there's the special-event concert that will pair Lockhart with former Utah Symphony director Joseph Silverstein. Lockhart will conduct while Silverstein plays the violin.
"That's going to be fun. This will be the first time that we're going to work together," Lockhart said. "Joey will be doing two concerti (Prokofiev's Second and the Brahms concerto), and I'm excited about it personally. This is an appropriate way to honor someone who's been associated with the Utah Symphony for 20 years."