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Mateusz Jagiello
Evgenia Zharzhavskaya, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, was selected as a new violinist for Utah Symphony's 2017-18 season.

SALT LAKE CITY — Evgenia Zharzhavskaya, one of three violinists joining the Utah Symphony for its 2017-18 season, was beyond excited when she found out she had been selected as a member of the distinguished musical group.

“I was so extremely happy that I think I jumped in the air (a) few times like a little girl,” Zharzhavskaya said.

Zharzhavskaya, Bonnie Terry and Hannah Linz were chosen as violinists for this season’s symphony based on national auditions held in spring 2017. The Grammy-nominated 85-member symphony began in 1940 and performs more than 175 concerts each season.

Terry, a Salt Lake City native, is returning to Utah after serving as the San Antonio Symphony’s associate concertmaster for a decade. Terry first soloed with the Utah Symphony at age 10 during a Salute to Youth concert under Joseph Silverstein’s direction.

“I love playing in Abravanel Hall in my hometown,” Terry said. “I've been coming to see concerts here since I was a child. I remember running backstage to get autographs from Perlman, Zukerman, Stern, etc.”

Zharzhavskaya, who was born in Russia and was previously a full-time substitute with the Houston Symphony, is looking forward to the opportunity of playing both symphony and opera music with the Utah Symphony.

“I am very excited to work with very energetic musicians under music director Thierry Fischer, who strives to make Utah Symphony a place of excellence and inspiration,” she said.

Linz, who is originally from Michigan and previously performed with the Dallas Symphony for two seasons, said the Utah Symphony is unique in that it travels to perform concerts throughout the state.

“We get to play for audiences that may not hear live classical music often,” Linz said.

Terry said her most exhilarating Utah Symphony performance so far was playing Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto” with Augustin Hadelich a few weeks ago.

“Being onstage playing it versus sitting in the audience as a child listening to Joseph Silverstein play that concerto felt nostalgic and surreal,” Terry said. “That piece will always feel like ‘home’ to me.”

On Oct. 20-21, the Utah Symphony will perform the iconic Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Terry said the well-known piece is a new experience each time a musician plays it.

“A different conductor and therefore different interpretation, different group of musicians, stand partner, hall, audience, and even the mood you are in that day or that week can change how it feels to play it,” Terry said. “I never get sick of it.”

This performance will also feature renowned violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who will play Schoenberg’s “Violin Concerto” with the symphony.

“I have already had a privilege to play with Ms. Kopatchinskaja in the past,” Zharzhavskaya said. “She is (a) very original and one-of-a-kind musician.”

The Utah Symphony will then perform the film score to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Oct. 24-25 — a fun yet challenging task for the musicians.

“Playing film scores is tricky because it has to be exactly together with the film, which is why many times, we’ll use a click track,” Linz said.

Terry said a big reason she auditioned with the Utah Symphony versus elsewhere was because of how supportive its audience is of the arts.

“I think Utah has a long history of supporting the arts,” Terry said. “I love the people here, and I love how important the arts are to its residents.”

If you go …

What: “Fischer Conducts Beethoven's Fifth”

Where: Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

When: Oct. 20-21, 7:30 p.m.

How Much: Tickets range from $15 to $93

Web: www.utahsymphony.org

Also …

What: “Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’”

Where: Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

When: Oct. 24-25, 7 p.m.

How Much: Tickets range from $31.90 to $84.70

Web: www.utahsymphony.org