So where is Joseph Silverstein this week? Would you believe Leningrad, where Monday he is scheduled to lead the Leningrad Philharmonic in the opening concert of its 20th Century Music Festival, a program of Bernstein, Barber, Petrov, Korchmar and Shostakovich?
So far only one of those names pops up on the Utah Symphony's 1991-92 concert schedule - Barber, whose First Essay and Violin Concerto will be heard again, on Oct. 25 and 26 and March 20 and 21 respectively. But a number of other 20th-century composers are represented, in some cases for world premieres.Among the latter are Joan Tower, whose Violin Concerto will be getting its first airing April 24 and 25 with violinist Elmar Oliveira, for whom it was written; University of Utah composer Morris Rosenzweig, whose "Concord" will be premiered as part of the Dec. 6 and 7 concerts; and Utah Symphony pianist Ricklen Nobis, who is likewise coming up with a new piece, to be unveiled May 29 and 30, in this instance by mezzo-soprano Isola Jones.
What's more, another living composer, David Diamond, figures on not one but two programs - the March 20 and 21 classical concerts, at which his Symphony No. 4 will be performed, and the April 4 chamber concert, which will offer his Rounds for String Orchestra.
Otherwise those 20th-century pieces that are being featured rank pretty high on the accessibility scale. Which means the expected doses of Prokofiev (the Sinfonia Concertante), Stravinsky (the Divertimento from "The Fairy's Kiss"), Copland (the "Lincoln Portrait"), Bartok (the "Dance Suite") and Hindemith (the Symphonic Metamorphosis), along with such even easier-on-the-ear types as Respighi, Strauss, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Enesco, Sibelius and Vaughan Williams.
Respighi, in fact, launches the '91-92 season via his popular "Pines" and "Fountains of Rome" Sept 20 and 21. The news here, though, is the guest artists - a rarity on a season-opener - in this case the Kalich-stein/Laredo/Robinson Trio, who will join the orchestra for a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto.
Were that not enough, soprano Jessye Norman will make her bow locally in a special concert with the orchestra Sept. 25. She will be heard in Beethoven's "Ah, Perfido!" and Strauss' Four Last Songs, Silverstein rounding out the program with Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and Strauss' "Don Juan."
Nor is she the only name to conjure with among next season's soloists. Among the returnees one finds Pinchas Zukerman (Feb. 14 and 15, in the Beethoven Violin Concerto), Grant Johannesen (Nov. 29 and 30, also in Beethoven, the Piano Concerto No. 2), guitarist Christopher Parkening (Jan. 3 and 4), Oliveira and 1984 Gina Bachauer Competition winner David Buechner (Nov. 22 and 23).
Another Bachauer Competition winner - namely, whoever walks off with the gold this summer - is scheduled for the concerts of March 6 and 7, along with such other first-timers as Jones, pianist Louis Lortie (Feb. 21 and 22, in Mozart and Ravel), violinist Corey Cerovsek (March 13 and 14, in Paganini's Concerto No. 1) and the Russian pianist Alexander Paley (May 1 and 2, in the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto).
Where next season may be at its strongest, however, is its lineup of guest conductors, arguably the finest in recent memory. For example, Utah Symphony patrons will have their first chance to hear Gerard Schwarz, currently music director of the Seattle Symphony, on March 20 and 21 (the Diamond and Barber program, with Silverstein as soloist in the latter, filled out by Wagnerian excerpts), as well as returning maestros Christoph Perick (Nov. 22 and 23, this time in more Bruckner, the Symphony No. 7), Raymond Leppard (Feb. 7 and 8, a program of Tchaikovsky and Handel) and James DePreist (April 17 and 18, in the Mozart 29th and Rachmaninoff Second symphonies). In addition Jacksonville Symphony conductor Roger Nierenberg will conduct the Jan. 10 and 11 concerts.
For the rest Silverstein himself, now entering his eighth season, will conduct 11 of the orchestra's 18 classical subscription pairings, along with the Jessye Norman special, as well as an Oct. 19 retirement-fund benefit, the annual Deseret News "Salute to Youth" on Nov. 25, the annual New Year's Eve concert, two of next season's four chamber programs and four of the orchestra's now-traditional Christmas concerts. Associate conductor Kirk Muspratt will likewise direct two of the subscription programs (Oct. 25 and 26 and March 6 and 7), the other two chamber programs and the bulk of the Entertainment Series - i.e., winter pops concerts.
Other Entertainment Series performers include Marvin Hamlisch (Nov. 15 and 16), conductor Norman Leyden (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1), the Manhattan Rhythm Kings (Feb. 28 and 29) and Marie Osmond (April 10 and 11). The annual Irish Night is scheduled March 16. Also the symphony is sponsoring, but not performing with, the Peking Acrobats, on Jan. 28, and the Bulgarian State Female Chorus, on March 31.
In addition, soloists from the orchestra will be very much to the fore. Not only will Silverstein play the violin on three programs, those of Jan. 18 (in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"), Feb. 14 and 15 (with Zukerman) and March 20 and 21 (with Schwarz), but principal cellist Ryan Selberg will be heard in the Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante Sept. 27 and 29, followed by principal tuba Gary Ofenloch Oct. 25 and 26 (in the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto), concertmaster Ralph Matson Jan. 10 and 11 (in the Bruch Concerto No. 1), violist Robert Zalkind Jan. 18 (in Hindemith's "Der Schwanendreher") and harpist Konrad Nelson Feb. 7 and 8 (in the Handel Harp Concerto).
Besides the above, major symphonic works include the Brahms Fourth (Sept. 27 and 29), Haydn's Symphony No. 102 (Oct. 25 and 26), the Saint-Saens Third (Nov. 29 and 30, organist TBA), the Schumann "Spring" Symphony (Jan. 3 and 4), the Dvorak Sixth (Jan. 10 and 11), the Tchaikovsky Fifth (Feb. 7 and 8), the Beethoven Fourth (March 13 and 14), the Sibelius Fifth (April 24 and 25) and, winding up the season, Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben" (May 29 and 30).
Choral offerings include a Muspratt-conducted Rodgers & Hammerstein evening Oct. 4 and 5, the Hanson "Song of Democracy" and Vaughan Williams "Dona Nobis Pacem" Dec. 6 and 7 and the most unexpected entry in the chamber series, a complete performance of Haydn's "The Creation," with Silverstein conducting, on May 16. Soloists have yet to be announced.
In short, it looks to be about as mixed a season as this orchestra has offered, with the 20th century taking its place alongside the 18th and 19th as just another programming source. Whether that will be the future's perception is open to question, but it's certainly the way the calendar's heading. After all, in nine more years a festival of 20th-century music will automatically be not the music of today but the music of yesterday. Which, with few exceptions, is what audiences have favored for a long time anyway.
Season tickets are available in a variety of packages, from $48 to $169 for six concerts to $127 to $443 for 18. In addition the six-concert Entertainment Series and four-concert chamber and Saturday-morning youth concerts may be purchased either individually or as a unit. However, since the last sold out last year, you may not want to wait for single tickets - there may not be any left.
For information call 533-NOTE.