Do you do this for a living?
Yes, we do. Playing in the Utah Symphony is a full-time job. The time necessary to individually prepare at least one program every week (sometimes two or even three) is significant. When combined with time we spend actually rehearsing and performing with each other, we don’t have nearly enough spare time to pursue another career, with the possible exception of some teaching on the side. We have all worked hard to get where we are. Music is our passion, and we are all lucky to be able to make a living doing something we love.
Do you need a music degree to get into a symphony?
There is no requirement of any sort of degree to join the symphony. The only requirement is that you play a convincing audition. However, this is easier said than done. The time and work involved in both becoming a great instrumentalist and learning how to represent one’s self well in an audition is great enough that most audition-winners have a degree or two (or several) under their belts. While there are rare exceptions, the competition in these auditions is fierce enough that winning one requires years of intense and concentrated study; the kind of specialized training that usually also leads to a music degree in the process.
What are you playing coming up that is really pretty, that I should go to?
The easiest answer I can give is that there is something pretty on every concert, so you should immediately buy tickets to all of our remaining concerts. Keeping in mind that everybody’s taste is different, and that you may find other concerts just as “pretty,” a few of the highlights for me this season are:
- Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra (Nov. 7 and 8)
- Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (Nov. 14 and 15)
- Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Dec. 5 and 6)
- Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (Feb. 13 and 14, 2015)
- Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe (April 10 and 11)
- Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (May 22 and 23)
But again, I stress that there is something for everyone on the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera season schedule, whether your tastes lean toward pops, opera, or symphonic masterworks. Browse the USUO calendar for yourself here.