Hans Graf will conduct Symphony concerts | ParkRecord.com

Hans Graf will conduct Symphony concerts

Program includes Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Mozart

Submitted by Utah Symphony | Utah Opera

Guest conductor Hans Graf returns on Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m., to conduct the Utah Symphony in a dramatic and emotional repertoire of classical favorites on the stage of Abravanel Hall.

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed with internationally acclaimed guest pianist Jeffrey Kahane.

Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation's major music centers.

Concerto No. 2 is the second of five concertos in the Beethoven composer cycle being performed this season as part of the O.C. Tanner Company Masterworks Series.

Beethoven's piano concerti are among the most beloved in his works. Concerto No. 2 was met with immediate success at its debut in 1795.

Part of its success was surely as a showcase for Beethoven's impressive technique — he was soloist at the premiere. From the first movement's triumphant opening statement, the concerto requires dazzling finger work in both hands.

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Audiences will recognize the melodic and playful third movement. Even during its occasional modulations into minor, it never loses its sunny disposition. In the spring of 2017, Beethoven's Piano Concerti Nos. 3 and 4 will be performed by Yefim Bronfman to conclude the Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle this season.

Graf will also conduct Rachmaninoff's powerful Symphony No. 3 as well as Mozart's melodic Symphony No. 19.

Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 will conclude the evening's program. Starting with the depths of clarinet, cellos and muted horn, the audience will be engaged by the rich harmonies and orchestral textures.

The sense of emotional expansiveness continues throughout the second movement, but the vibrant third, marked by allegro vivace, brings a jolt of energy. As the symphony comes to a close, the themes we heard in the first movement resurface.

Mozart's lively Symphony No. 19 with its subtle and elegant Italian style will also be performed. This symphony is noted for greater dramatic emphasis on the finale than those that came before — an effect that heightens the dramatic weight of the entire piece. Later Beethoven and his successors would carry this idea to even further extremes.

Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians. Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano.

Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.

His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Colorado, Utah and National Symphonies; and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Tickets start at $21 ($15 for students), and can be purchased at http://www.utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 533-6683.

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