This year's edition of the long-running Vivaldi by Candlelight marks a milestone: It's Gerald Elias' 10th anniversary as music director.
Many of Elias' former violin students about half of this year's chamber orchestra are returning to celebrate. Among them are Bonnie Terry, associate concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony; Amanda Chamberlain Kofoed, a prominent free-lance violinist in Houston; Dallin Hansen of the Brigham Young University-Idaho faculty; and Leslie Henrie, one of Salt Lake City's leading freelance musicians.
Henrie has been playing on the Vivaldi concerts since returning to her hometown for doctoral studies at the University of Utah six years ago. She said the "really fantastic music" and Elias' professionalism keep her coming back. "Jerry is one of the finest musicians I've ever had the pleasure to work with," she said, adding that she's always impressed with the lineup of players he assembles.
Another member of the ensemble will be familiar to longtime Salt Lake City concertgoers: cellist Meeka Quan-DiLorenzo, former associate principal with the Utah Symphony and now assistant principal with the Seattle Symphony. "She loves playing Baroque continuo," said Elias, who confessed to choosing music with good cello solos to entice her to return.
Concerti grossi by Corelli will alternate on the program with violin concertos by Vivaldi. "I think it's interesting not only from a musical viewpoint but a historical viewpoint," Elias said. Though written around the same time, the pieces are "totally different from each other," he said. "Listeners will really hear the incredible contrasts between the two composers, but even within each composer's production."
Elias will solo in the Vivaldi concertos, playing the "Firebird" Stradivarius on loan from local luthier Peter Paul Prier. The instrument, nicknamed for its brilliant varnish and sound, was formerly owned by author Antoine de Saint-ExupÃ©ry and 20th-century violinists Zino Francescatti and Salvatore Accardo.
The concert is a fundraiser for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, a nonprofit organization that promotes cultural exchange.
Vivaldi by Candlelight
When • Saturday, 8 p.m.
Where • First Presbyterian Church, 12 C St., Salt Lake City
Tickets • $45 general admission; $125 for sponsorship level; http://www.utahdiplomacy.org