Thierry Fischer, reshaping the Utah Symphony’s sound

Posted on: February 22, 2018

“The Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer, who was named music director of the Utah Symphony in 2009, gets around this city in a 10-year-old Toyota Tundra,” writes David Mermelstein in Tuesday’s (2/20) Wall Street Journal. “And that hardworking pickup truck suits the man who has spent the better part of a decade” leading the orchestra. “The Utah Symphony rose from a provincial group to an orchestra that punched well above its weight thanks to its third music director, Maurice Abravanel, who served from 1947 to 1979…. Like Abravanel, Mr. Fisher, who didn’t fully assume his duties until the 2011-12 season, has shaped the sound of the orchestra by determining its personnel.… At this point, an extraordinary 40% of the orchestra’s current roster has been hired during his tenure…. The musicians, who have called Mr. Fischer ‘tenacious’ and ‘forward-thinking,’ have generally supported his changes, including his emphasis on technical precision and his interest in programming newer music—or at least music not overly familiar to local audiences…. In recent seasons, the orchestra gave premieres of works by the American composers Augusta Read Thomas, Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman.… And this season concludes with the U.S. premiere of a co-commission by the French composer Tristan Murail.”

Posted February 22, 2018