The Utah Symphony's 59th season will be one of variety, according to music director Keith Lockhart.
"I have a wide range of interests," Lockhart said during a telephone interview from his home in Boston. "And between Maestro (Pavel) Kogan and Maestro (Joseph) Silverstein and I, there was a lot of planning done."
The schedule for the 1998-99 season was announced by Lockhart as he anticipates his first season with the symphony.
While the soloists and other artists had already been chosen by the time Lockhart was named music director in January, the conductor said the selections weren't confirmed until a few weeks ago.
"In an orchestra like the Utah Symphony, a balance is important," Lockhart explained. "And Maestro Kogan comes from a different culture and age demographic than me. So I feel confident we already have a built-in range of programming."
Lockhart said the season will encompass six series - Masterworks, Chamber Music, Family, Youth, Pops and Specials - all with various artists and selections that will appeal to everyone from first-time to veteran symphony subscribers.
"We are working with solid standards and getting more obscure works from the masters in," Lockhart said. "This year is the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin's birth. And instead of performing `Rhapsody In Blue,' we decided to do the full concert version of `Porgy & Bess.'
"We are also going to perform the seldom-heard Symphony No. 2 by Mendelssohn, which is one of my favorite works, and one by Bartok (Dance Suite)."
Likewise, Lockhart said, there are some selections that deserve the big "splashy" treatment.
"The Wagner selections and Holst (`The Planets'), which will open the season are always exciting," Lockhart said.
The season will also feature a world premiere, the conductor said. "We will performa work by Dan Welcher fittingly called `Zion,' " Lockhart said. "The selection was inspired not by what can be thought of as biblical reference but of the majesty of Zion National Park. I do believe it will be greeted with great interest by the Utah audience."
The upcoming season is, of course, Lockhart's debut, and he is anxiously looking forward to working with the Utah Symphony.
"I can't wait to start in full," Lockhart said. "And I'm anticipating some good things in 1999 and 2000."
- MASTERWORKS SERIES HIGHLIGHTS include Maestro Lockhart conducting the symphony with guests such as pianists Misha Dichter (Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2), Garrick Ohlsson (Dvorak's Piano Concerto) and Angela Hewitt (Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major), violinist Vadim Gluzman (Sibelius' Violin Concerto) and the Utah Symphony Chorus (Gersh-win's "Porgy & Bess," among others).
Also conducting selections from the Masterworks will be Pavel Kogan, the symphony's principal guest conductor. Kogan will wave the baton over pianists Alicia de Larrocha (Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 K482) and Helene Grimaud (Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4), violinist Ralph Matson (Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1), the Eroica Trio (selections from Wagner: "Rienzi," "Tannhauser" and "Die Meistersinger") and the Utah Symphony Chorus (Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 "Hymn of Praise").
Conductor Laureate Joseph Silverstein will make appearances during the series as he leads violinist Tai Murray (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole) and violist Paul Neubauer (Walton's Viola Concerto). Silverstein will also lead and duets with violinist Cho-Laing Lin (Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins).
Also guest conducting during the series will be James Paul and Marin Alsop.
- THE CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES will find Mack Wilberg conducting the BYU Choir through Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and other works by Handel and Holst. Also on tap will be Silverstein conducting an all Bach evening featuring the maestro performing and leading all six of Bach's most famous Bran-den-burgs.
Keeping with the conductor-theme concept, guest conductor Bruce Hangen will lead pianist Steven Osborne in works from Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1 and incidental music from "The Creatures of Prometheus" and Symphony No. 4.
Ending the Chamber Music series will be conductor Silverstein again leading and playing Mozart's last three violin concertos and Rondo in C.
- FOR THE FAMILY SERIES, the Utah Symphony will present the much-loved Halloween High-Jinks with guest conductor Hangen; Hangen will also conduct the symphony with guest percussion ensemble Nexus. Silverstein will return to the podium to lead the 39th Annual Salute to Youth concerto performances, and guest conductor Michael Barrett will lead a special evening called "The Bernstein Beat" which will spotlight Leonard Bernstein's daughter, Jamie, while she narrates a program that focuses on her father's famous dance music including excerpts from "Fancy Free" and "West Side Story."
- THE YOUTH SERIES promises to excite and inspire younger sym-phony-goers with the seasonal "Hallelujah Handel" and "Here Comes Santa Claus," both lead by assistant conductor Kory Kat-seanes. Rounding off the series will be Randall Craig Fleischer directing "The Beat Goes On."
- SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS will include a May concert featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma dueting with Sil-ver-stein - conducted by Hangen, a cappela music by Chanticleer, the Vienna Choir Boys and the Canadian Brass.
- THE POPS SERIES lineup is just as diverse - Broadway and TV star Sandy Duncan, composer/
pianist/conductor Marvin Hamlish, Mitch Miller, Lou Rawls, pianist Peter Nero, the Dukes of Dixieland and the Flying Karamozov Brothers are scheduled to appear during the series.
All performances will take place in Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple.
Current subscribers are encouraged to renew their season subscription before April, when new subscribers will be able to reserve their subscriptions. New orders are taken immediately and processed after the renewal deadline for current subscribers. Newcomers wishing to reserve their subscriptions for the 1998-99 season may call 533-NOTE (6683) or inquire in person at the Utah Symphony's temporary box office on the Abravanel Hall plaza. Their reservations will be reserved in order of the date received.