Utah Symphony welcomes the New Year | ParkRecord.com

Utah Symphony welcomes the New Year

Submitted by the Utah Symphony | Utah OperaMusic Director Thierry Fischer leads the Utah Symphony in "New Year's Celebration" concert on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple, in Salt Lake City.

The symphony invites music lovers to kick off 2016 with traditional Strauss waltzes, polkas and other Old-World dance hall favorites as the orchestra pays homage to the Vienna Philharmonic’s enduring New Year’s Day concert.

Tickets, priced from $18-$80, are available for purchase by visiting http://www.utahsymphony.org or by calling 801-355-2787.

The New Year’s Concert in Vienna started in 1939, right in the midst of World War II, under the baton of Clemens Krauss. It signified a shift in repertoire for symphonic performances by bringing bourgeois music from private salons to the public concert hall setting. With an entire repertoire from Johann Strauss, the first concert was called "Johann Strauss Concert," and Strauss’ music has headlined every show since.

Annually performed in the morning on New Year’s Day at the Musikverein Concert Hall in Vienna, the concert highlights polkas, waltzes and march music. The concert highlights music from the Strauss family because at that time.

The Strauss’s’ dance music was the soundtrack of Viennese social life. Johann Strauss II is known as the "Waltz King," and he wrote well-known waltzes including "Artists’ Life," "Wine, Women and Song," and "The Blue Danube," which closes the Utah Symphony’s concert repertoire.

"New Year’s Celebration" showcases works by Strauss, Rihm, Lehár and Prokofiev. This energetically charged repertoire is sure to enchant audiences with stunning waltzes, joyous polkas, marches, and surprise encores.

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Soloist Celena Shafer will combine her silky voice with the Utah Symphony for an evening of remembrance and celebration. Shafer is a Utah native soprano who has a long history with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, first appearing with the orchestra as a high school student.

During the USUO’s 2014-15 season Shafer was the artist-in-residence and will return during the 2015-16 season for Beethoven Symphony No. 9, the New Year’s concert, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 on February 19 and 20.

Opera Now raves, "Her voice is as clear as running water, with just the right amount of ring to it, and wonderfully sensitive to dynamics. There is a touch of Sutherland about the sound, with a perfect lightness, and an ability to dance her coloratura on point."

Franz Lehár’s Overture to "The Merry Widow" will be performed after intermission during the "New Year’s Celebration" concert. The overture gives audience members a taste of the Utah Opera production of "The Merry Widow," full of tuneful waltzes and dance music similar in style to Strauss, set to take the stage for a run at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre from Jan. 16 to Jan. 24.

For more information, visit http://www.usuo.org.