In his last run conducting the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer aims to give music lovers a season to remember.
“In my final season as music director of this splendid orchestra, it will be my privilege to push the limits of our artistry and hear the insights that the extraordinary musicians of the Utah Symphony will bring to the grand-scale repertoire we’ve programmed,” Fischer said in a statement released by the symphony, as it announced the schedule for the 2022-23 season.
The Swiss-born Fischer, who has been the symphony’s conductor and music director since 2009, announced in 2019 that he would be leaving Utah when his contract ran out in August 2022. He agreed in October 2020 to extend his contract one year, to August 2023, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the symphony to search for his successor.
Fischer has already launched into his next job, as conductor and music director of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil.
In programming the his final season with Utah Symphony, Fischer said, “my hope is to give a gift back to our audiences who have given so much to us over these years. I want to explore musical moments to celebrate the orchestra’s creativity and it is my belief that this season will allow our community to feel the unparalleled power of live music like never before.”
The season will kick off Sept. 8 with a special event, “A Toast to Thierry.” The program will feature musical tributes from Utah Symphony musicians, along with stories to mark his legacy.
The season finale, on May 26-27, 2023, will be a huge concert: A performance of Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler, one of Fischer’s favorite composers. The performance will feature not only the Utah Symphony, but the sopranos and altos of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and choristers from the Madeleine Choir School.
In between, the season at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall also promises:
• Three-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters performing with the symphony, with arranger Marvin Laird conducting, on Nov. 18-19.
• Five conspicuous uses of the number 5: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, with guest conductor David Danzmayr, on Oct. 21 and 22; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, with guest conductor Markus Poschner, on Dec. 2 and 3; Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5, with guest conductor Jiří Rožeň, on March 3 and 4, 2023; Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5, conducted by Fischer, on March 24 and 25, 2023; and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, conducted by Fischer, on April 21 and 22, 2023.
• Broadway singer/actress Morgan James singing for “A Soulful Holiday with the Utah Symphony,” with guest conductor Teddy Abrams, Dec. 16-17.
• The continuation of the popular Films in Concert series, with the symphony playing live soundtrack accompaniment to the following movies: “The Goonies” on Sept. 23 and 24; “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ on Oct. 27, 28 and 29; Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Dec. 21, 22 and 23; “An American in Paris” on Feb. 24 and 25, 2023; and “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens” on June 23 and 24, 2023.
• Two holiday traditions: The “Messiah” sing-in, with the symphony and Utah Opera, on Nov. 26 and 27; and the family concert “Here Comes Santa Claus!” on Dec. 17.
More information regarding the full season can be found at utahsymphony.org. The symphony offers several ticket options, all available through the USUO mobile app, online at Utahsymphony.org, or by phone at 801-533-6683. Season tickets are on sale now, and individual tickets will go on sale on June 14.