With the ink barely dry on their brochure, there is one soloist I can tell you won't be appearing with the Utah Symphony next season, even though he has been announced.
That is co-principal horn Jeffry Kirschen, who is down for the Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 on Nov. 24 and 25. Instead he will be holding down a chair in the horn section of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a lifelong ambition for this native Philadelphian that was secured by him in audition last month.Otherwise it is tempting to say that it looks like business as usual in 1989-90, with 18 subscription concerts featuring, by and large, the usual selection of guest artists. That means return visits from the two piano-playing Andres - Watts and Schub - violinist Aaron Rosand, native Utahns Grant Johannesen and Linda Kelm (the latter with tenor Gary Bachlund) and, even closer to home, orchestral soloists Ralph Matson (in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto), clarinetist Christie Lundquist, harpist Konrad Nelson and music director Joseph Silverstein (soloing in Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending").
Even the list of conductors has a familiar ring: George Cleve, Uri Mayer and two who were announced in earlier years but for various reasons didn't make it, David Zinman and Daniel Lewis - i.e., the only new name is Christof Perick's.
But that would be misleading. Because in addition to violinist Zvi Zeitlin and guest cellist Carter Brey, the first-timers who will be performing with the orchestra next season include a formidable array of women, among them soprano Sivan Rotem, guitarist Sharon Isbin and pianists Virginia Eskin and Veronica Jochum. The latter two, moreover, will be heard in music by women, namely piano concertos of Amy Beach and Clara Schumann.
Normally I'm as opposed to pidgeonholing artistic achievements on the basis of gender as I am on the basis of race, religion or politics. (Although I admit the notion of an evening of music by, say, black Buddhist Republicans is at the very least intriguing.) On the other hand Silverstein's announced theme of "women in music" has resulted in a healthy shot in the program-wise.
Which is to say that in addition to such well-worn favorites as "Don Juan" and the Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony (both on the season opener Sept. 8,9), the Brahms First Symphony (Oct. 6,7) and Violin Concerto (Oct. 27,28, with Rosand), Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony (Jan. 12,13), the Mussorgsky-Ravel "Pictures at an Exhibition" (April 13,14) and Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto (April 27,28, with Johannesen), there will also be Ellen Zwilich's "Celebration" (Oct. 6,7), Lili Boulanger's "Buddhist's Prayer" (Dec. 1,2), Germaine Tailleferre's Concertino for Harp (April 13,14) and Joan Tower's "Silken Ladders" (April 27,28).
Nor are the Joseph Schwantner Guitar Concerto Isbin will be playing Jan. 5 and 6 or the Andre Previn Piano Concerto (April 20,21, with Watts) exactly old stuff. But locally the same could be said for Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 1 (March 9,10, with Lundquist), Schubert's Symphony No. 4 (Oct. 27,28), Respighi's "Rossiniana" (April 13,14) or the Prokofiev Sixth (Nov. 24,25) or Vaughan Williams Fourth (Feb. 9,10) symphonies.
(Other works, with the exception of concert performances May 3 and 5 of Act 2 from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" with Kelm and Bachlund, tend to fall in between - e.g., the Prokofiev Fifth Symphony (March 9,10), Berlioz's "Nuits d'Ete" (Jan. 12,13), Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 (Oct. 20,21, with Schub) and Symphony No. 29 (April 27,28) and the Beethoven Eighth, Dvorak Eighth, Brahms Fourth, Bruckner Fourth and Mahler First symphonies.)
Imagination is also apparent in the symphony's approach this season to its chamber and pops programs. For although on the regular subscription series the Utah Symphony Chorus figures on only one program, that of Dec. 1 and 2 (in the Boulanger, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols), they will also be heard on one of the chamber programs, Jan. 20 (program TBA). This year, moreover, the five regular chamber concerts will be supplemented by an evening of chamber opera Feb. 24 ("The Impressario" and "Dido and Aeneas") and an all-request concert May 19, in which among other things Silverstein will return as soloist and conductor in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."
And although the names given prominence in the Merrill Lynch Entertainment Series are Marvin Hamlisch (May 25,26) and Chet Atkins (Nov. 10,11), the pairing that grabs my attention is Sept. 29 and 30, featuring soprano Joan Morris and her husband, composer/pianist William Bolcom - a uniquely effective duo in the songs of Kern, Porter and Gershwin, as anyone who has heard their recordings can attest. Notice, moreover, the two nights for these winter pops offerings, as opposed to one. (Other concerts are scheduled Dec. 15 and 16 and Jan. 26 and 27.)
Against that I suppose we can forgive a summer schedule that looks almost like a Xerox of last summer's offerings: Michael Martin Murphey (June 30 and July 2), "Celebrate America" (July 2), "A Bernstein Celebration" (July 14,16), Keith Brion as Sousa (July 21,23), a three-program Mozart fest (July 28,30) and the obligatory "Russian Spectaculars" (read "1812" Plus) Aug. 4 and 6.
Prices for the regular subscription season range from $44 to $408, from $43 to $79 for the Entertainment Series and from $34 to $52 for the Chamber Series. In addition various combinations are available, including a Fanfare Club Series made up of three classical concerts, two pops concerts and a chamber concert.
For information call the Symphony Hall box office, 533-6407.