OGDEN — The Utah Symphony announced its 2020-21 season, and the orchestra’s schedule will include 10 trips to Ogden between next September and April 2021.
Melissa Klein is executive director of Onstage Ogden, which works with the Utah Symphony to bring world-class classical music to Northern Utah. Klein said they wanted to emphasize Ludwig van Beethoven in the upcoming season.
“The Utah Symphony is celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with some amazing works by the composer this next season, so we wanted to make sure we bring in some audience favorites of his,” she said.
To that end, Onstage Ogden will kick off the new season with a bang, bringing in the Utah Symphony and pianist Stephen Hough for a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5 “Emperor” on Sept. 17.
Also in a Beethoven vein, the symphony will include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” in a Nov. 12 concert featuring the Utah Symphony Chorus, the University of Utah Choirs, and soloists. Called “Ode to Joy,” the concert program will also feature two Mozart pieces and the U.S. premiere of “Aquilo,” a piece by Utah Symphony composer-in-association Arlene Sierra.
“We’re bringing in Beethoven’s Ninth, and we always love it when we can bring in choral works,” Klein said. “Utah, as a whole, has a rich choral legacy, so that was a priority.”
The part Klein is most excited about is the symphony’s annual Entertainment Series of concerts, which this year will bring a Beatles tribute, a Cirque de Soleil-like performance, a Rodgers and Hammerstein celebration, and the return of the popular orchestra Pink Martini.
“The Beatles performance we’re going to be seeing, we’ve not had this before,” Klein said. “There are a lot of wonderful Beatles tribute artists out there, but this is different — it has a very special visual component to it.”
Behind the musicians, a screen will showcase rare photos, videos, archival footage and even animation. The result is both an aural and visual celebration of the Fab Four.
“And, it will be a broad retrospective of their catalog — not just one specific period of the Beatles,” Klein said. “That will be an exciting one.”
Klein said the Bravo Broadway! A Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration on Feb. 11 will be especially meaningful because guest conductor Jerry Steichen will be on hand. She said Steichen has been to Ogden a number of times and has become a crowd favorite.
Another highlight of the coming season, according to Klein, will be the Pink Martini concert on April 15. The “little orchestra” from Portland, Oregon, was last in Ogden in December 2018, and featured the Von Trapp Family Singers.
“But last time they were here, one of their primary vocalists, China Forbes, was not able to be there,” Klein said. “We got a lot of feedback from people saying they wanted her, and she will be the vocalist when Pink Martini comes next year.”
Onstage Ogden’s 2020-21 season will include:
• Sept. 17 — Beethoven’s “Emperor” with Stephen Hough
• Nov. 12 — “Ode to Joy” with Mozart & Arlene Sierra
• Jan. 7, 2021 — Brahms 1 & Prokofiev
• Feb. 18, 2021 — “Pictures at an Exhibition” with Mozart & Haydn
• Nov. 5 — “REVOLUTION: The Music of the Beatles”
• Dec. 17 — “Cirque de la Symphonie: Holiday Spectacular”
• Feb. 11, 2021 — “Bravo Broadway! A Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration”
• April 15, 2021 — Pink Martini with the Utah Symphony
• Dec. 14 — “Here Comes Santa Claus!”
• March 16, 2021 — “Peter and the Wolf”
All concerts will be held in the Browning Center’s Austad Auditorium at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. The Masterworks and Entertainment series concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The Family series concerts begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public sometime in July, according to Klein. Season-ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets in early March.
For more information, call Onstage Ogden at 801-399-9214.
Klein said they also have a date for the Utah Symphony’s annual patriotic pops concert at Snowbasin Resort — it’ll be held July 2 this year — but they don’t yet have a guest artist lined up.
Klein also said they’ll be announcing other events in the Onstage Ogden 2020-21 season in late spring.
And finally, for those willing to travel a bit farther afield, a number of additional Utah Symphony concerts in Salt Lake City will include a cycle of all five Beethoven piano concertos, in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday; as well as the third year of the UNWOUND series, a casual classical experience featuring shorter, intermission-free programs that are visually enhanced and include refreshments and opportunities to mingle with patrons and performers.
Individual tickets for select concerts in the upcoming Salt Lake City season will be available beginning June 9, at www.utahsymphony.org or 801-533-6683.