Utah Philharmonia opens season tonight

By By Jenny Leiber

By Jenny Leiber

The Utah Philharmonia will hold its first concert of the season tonight in Libby Gardner Hall.

The performance will include musical selections by composers including Franz Liszt, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Aram Khachaturian.

Whitney Pizza, sophomore music major, will be the concert’s featured pianist.

“The piece I will be playing is exciting, virtuosic and brilliant. There is also a slow section,” Pizza said. “There are four movements to it, and it will be great to hear the piano and orchestra together.”

Pizza has been playing the piano for 14 years and was the winner of the 2006 annual Concerto Competition, which the Utah Philharmonia sponsors.

“I enjoy sharing my talent with others and seeing the effect it has on other people’s lives,” Pizza said.

Other pieces the Utah Philharmonia will perform in tonight’s program include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Khachaturian’s Waltz.

Robert Baldwin, director of orchestral activities at the U, will be the conductor for the evening.

“Orchestral ensembles have been an integral part of the musical experience at Utah,” Baldwin said. “Many of the U’s orchestral students have continued to professional positions in music, education and the arts.”

Pizza said the concert will be exciting for the performers and the audience. “Many people think that it’s hard to appreciate classical music, but it’s not,” she said. “This concert will be a good way to add culture into people’s lives.”

The Utah Philharmonia, the core symphonic group at the U, is a full orchestral ensemble made up of 85 members who were chosen through a competitive audition.

The group performs six full concerts per year, presenting the full spectrum of the symphonic repertoire, Baldwin said.

The philharmonia’s appearances include performances at the Utah Arts Festival, the Utah Music Educator’s Conference and an upcoming tour of Austria in 2006.