Utah symphony ‘electrifies’ BYU audience

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European conductor, Matthias Pintscher, conducted the Utah Symphony at BYU on Jan. 9. Photo courtesy Utah Symphony
European conductor, Matthias Pintscher, conducted the Utah Symphony at BYU on Jan. 9. (Photo courtesy Utah Symphony)

A European conductor and a pianist wowed BYU audiences with their debut Utah Symphony performance on Jan. 9 at the de Jong Concert Hall.

Over 400 students and public attendees experienced a three-piece musical sample from the Utah Symphony’s “Classically Charged” concert series. This concert featured a special performance by Inon Barnatan, the pianist, and an original composition by conductor Matthias Pintscher.

“Towards Osiris” tells the story of a Greek sibling feud that ultimately leads to the destruction and then reinbodiment of Osiris as the hero. Inspired by a work of art depicting the battle of Osiris, Pintscher went on to research and then compose a dramatic experience.

“For me as a composer … it is very interesting for me to present little objects (or) pieces of sound (and) music separately and what they sound like as a whole,” Pintscher said. “I think it’s a very poetic story, and it inspired me to write that piece.”

Barnatan performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 as a soloist accompanied by the Utah Symphony. The concerto was a 34-minute performance with a sweet resolution and decisive touch.

“He seemed to be totally lost in the music and enjoyed the band as much as the audience was,” said Caleb Barton, a student who attended. “He waved his hands in the air, and then the music just flowed.”

Pianist Inon Barnatan performed with the Utah Symphony at BYU on Jan. 9. (Photo courtesy Marco Borggreve)
Pianist Inon Barnatan performed with the Utah Symphony at BYU on Jan. 9. (Photo courtesy Marco Borggreve)

Both performers have an extensive musical background and reputation that marks them as some of the most influential current musicians. The Atlanta Symphony supports the claim that Pintscher is said to be one of the most sought-after German composers of his generation, while London’s Evening Standard described Barnatan as “a true poet of the keyboard.”

The Utah Symphony comprises of over 85 full-time professional musicians that perform more than 175 concerts each season. This performance is being duplicated Jan. 10 at their home, Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. The Symphony travels to perform for over 55,000 students per year for different universities across the country.

“BYU hosts a lot of musical variety, and it’s great to have the Utah Symphony so close instead of going all the way to Salt Lake City,” said music minor Jamie Larson.

Most attendees were non-BYU students who came for the proximity to home that concert performance offered.

Visiting performing arts groups, such as the Utah Symphony, are part of BYU’s “BRAVO!” series that features world-renowned artists on a university stage.

Translunar Paradise is the next guest for the series, as it is highly anticipated for it grand US debut. Tickets are available now for the Jan. 23 performance in the Nelke Theatre at BYU.

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