The 48th annual Salute to Youth concert took place Tuesday evening in Abravanel Hall.
The concert, sponsored by the Deseret Morning News, gives some of the most talented young artists in Utah the opportunity of playing with the Utah Symphony.
This year, the concert, under the baton of the symphony's assistant conductor David Cho, featured six young musicians ranging in age from 11 to 16 years, playing flute, harp, violin and piano.
The program opened with 16-year-old flutist Helen McGarr playing Cecile Chaminade's captivating Concertino, op. 107.
McGarr, who has been featured on the PBS radio and television program "From the Top," captured the lyricism of the one-movement work wonderfully. She is a very talented performer whose fluid phrasings brought out the expressiveness of the music eloquently.
She was followed by the youngest of the six soloists, 11-year-old Molly Langr, whose father, David Langr, is a violinist with the Utah Symphony. She played the finale from Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf's Concerto for Harp.
Langr was a delight to see and hear play. She showed fine talent and musicality in this brief movement, playing with lyricism and clean phrases.
The final soloist before intermission was David Price, a 15-year-old violinist who performed Camille Saint-Sans' "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso."
Price, making his second appearance at a Salute to Youth concert, was an obvious audience favorite for his bravura playing, which was both exciting and dynamic.
Verina Chen opened the second half. The 13-year-old pianist played the first movement from Frederic Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor.
Belying her young age, Chen gave an incredibly charged and compelling performance of this movement. Her dynamic playing displayed her impressive technical skills as well as her remarkable musicality. She brought subtlety and nuance to her interpretation. And her reading was all the more notable for the maturity and insight she brought to it.
Chen was followed by the second flutist of the evening, 16-year-old Gabriella Roderer, who performed the last movement of Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto.
Roderer made short work of the demands the composer placed on the soloist. Her performance of the movement was both engaging and entertaining. Her phrases were fluid and seamless, and she brought out the humor and witty character of the music wonderfully.
Closing out the evening was 16-year-old violinist Andrea Hughes. She played the opening movement from Edouard Lalo's "Symphonie espagnole," one of the most popular 19th century works for violin and orchestra.
The first movement of this work is a challenge for any violinist, but Hughes rose to the occasion. Her interpretation was refined and polished, and she gave a bravura performance that showcased her immense talents.