February 16, 2017
Music Director Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony to Record Saint-Saëns Symphony Cycle on Three Recordings for Hyperion

First recording of complete Saint-Saëns symphonies by an American orchestra

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (February 16, 2017) — The Utah Symphony, led by Music Director Thierry Fischer, will record all five of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ symphonies live for Hyperion Records over the course of the 2017-18 season, becoming the first American orchestra to record the composer’s complete symphonies. Featuring other orchestral works in addition to the symphonies, this Saint-Saëns recording cycle will be released in three installments, marking the Utah Symphony’s sixth, seventh, and eighth recordings with Mr. Fischer.

“Programming a Saint-Saëns symphony cycle with an American orchestra, and recording it for a European record label, provides us with a unique opportunity. A Saint-Saëns cycle is incredibly rare here so I believe it’s about time an orchestra of our caliber takes this on as a very motivating challenge,” said Mr. Fischer, who approaches his ninth year as Utah Symphony Music Director and has led the orchestra in the complete symphonies of a variety of composers, most recently Mahler.

In shifting the orchestra’s focus to Saint-Saëns, Mr. Fischer will lead the Utah Symphony in a symphony cycle by a French composer for the first time. In addition to the three numbered symphonies, the Hyperion cycle will include the lesser-known Symphony in A Major—written in 1850 when the composer was only 15 years old—and Symphony in F Major, “Urbs Roma”—whose descriptive title, Saint-Saëns’ own, suggests a musical evocation of the city of Rome. The three recordings will also feature the composer’s famous Danse macabre and The Carnival of the Animals, as well as two pieces with connections to dramatic works—Trois tableaux symphoniques d’après La foi, based on Saint-Saëns’ incidental music for a play by Eugène Brieux, and “Danse Bacchanale” from the composer’s own opera Samson and Delilah.

The Utah Symphony’s initiative to create the first American recording of all five Saint-Saëns’ symphonies is reminiscent of the orchestra’s achievement in recording the first Mahler symphony cycle by an American orchestra, an effort led by former Music Director Maurice Abravanel in the 1960s and ‘70s. Mr. Fischer revived the complete Mahler symphonies for performances in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons, celebrating the orchestra’s 75th anniversary with a recording of Symphony No. 1 in September 2015 on Reference Recordings. Additional symphony cycles led by Mr. Fischer in concert include Beethoven (twice), Brahms, Ives, Mendelssohn, and Nielsen.

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns easy access to world-class live musical performances of the world’s greatest music in the state’s top venues. Since being named the orchestra’s seventh Music Director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including the Mighty 5® Tour of Utah’s National Parks, the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2016 coinciding with the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, most recently Dawn to Dust on Reference Recordings in April 2016, featuring three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours, the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged orchestras in the nation. For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.

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Hyperion Records

Utah Symphony
Thierry Fischer, conductor

Three Recordings

No. 1: To be recorded December 1 & 2, 2017.
• Trois tableaux symphoniques d’après La foi
• “Danse Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah
• Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Opus 78, “Organ”
Total timing: approximately 74 minutes

No. 2: To be recorded September 22 & 23, 2017; December 8 & 9, 2017; and February 23 & 24, 2018.
• Symphony in F Major, “Urbs Roma”
Danse macabre, Opus 40
• Symphony No. 2 in A Minor, Opus 55
Total timing: approximately 72 minutes

No. 3: To be recorded December 8 & 9, 2017; February 23 & 24, 2018; and March 2 & 3, 2018.
• Symphony No. 1 in E-flat Major, Opus 2
The Carnival of the Animals
• Symphony in A Major
Total timing: approximately 78 minutes

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National press contact:
Shuman Associates
shumanpr@shumanassociates.net | (212) 315-1300

Utah Symphony press contact:
Renée Huang | Public Relations Director
rhuang@usuo.org | (801) 869-9027

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