UTAH SYMPHONY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Thursday.

It's always a special occasion when one of the Utah Symphony's own steps into the soloist's spotlight in front of his or her colleagues. It gives the audience a rare opportunity to hear what exceptional musicians there are in the orchestra individually rather than just collectively.

Such was the case Thursday evening when the symphony's assistant concertmaster, David Park, soloed with the Utah Symphony Chamber Orchestra under music director Keith Lockhart in Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

Park is a fabulous violinist with impeccable technique and musicality to match. And both were on display in abundance in the work he played, Christian Sinding's Suite for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 10.

A relatively unknown and seldom performed work, the suite nevertheless has every necessary component to make it a tour de force showpiece for the violinist. From the dazzling pyrotechnics of the perpetual motion first movement, to the lushly romantic slow movement, to the virtuoso finale, the suite requires a violinist with dexterity and technical mastery to play it convincingly. And Park is just such an artist. He gave a luminous performance that sparkled with vitality.

After the Sinding, Park treated the audience to an encore, the Largo from J.S. Bach's Sonata No. 3 for Solo Violin. Park played this sublimely beautiful movement with sensitivity and deep emotional involvement that transported the listeners to a higher consciousness.

Lockhart opened the concert with a dynamic performance of Edvard Grieg's "Holberg Suite" that captured the warm romanticism that lies couched within the baroque dance forms that make up this work. The string orchestra, with only a few substitute players, played wondrously and gave the music a sheen that enhanced the performance immensely.

Even though the concert was titled "Nordic Masterpieces," Lockhart ended the evening with a work by the decidedly Viennese Franz Schubert. But any reason to play Schubert's music is acceptable, and his Symphony No. 2 was given a captivating performance, in which the deliciously innocent tunes and the joie de vivre atmosphere that permeates the work came through with breathtaking exuberance.


E-mail: ereichel@desnews.com