One of the most beloved holiday traditions in Salt Lake City is the Vivaldi by Candlelight concert. A benefit for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, a non profit organization dedicated to promoting global understanding and respect between the people of Utah and other nations, the concert series is celebrating its 35th year this week.
Titled A Baroque Kaleidoscope, the program features music by the concert’s namesake, Antonio Vivaldi, and his German contemporary J.S. Bach. There will also be music by Heinrich Biber, Giuseppe Brescianello, Pietro Castrucci and Alessandro Stradella. Highly regarded as composers and performers in their day (late 17th and early 18th centuries), they’re now mostly forgotten except as footnotes in music history textbooks.(Credit: Nicholas Steffens)
Music director of the concert series, Gerald Elias, noted that Vivaldi had also suffered the same fate after his death. After his music was rediscovered and began being performed in the 20th century, he finally assumed his rightful place next to Bach and George Frideric Handel as one of the most important and respected composers of the baroque era.
The same hasn’t yet happened with Biber, Brescianella, Castrucci and Stradella. And it’s unlikely that they’ll ever become household names. “They’re more like curiosities,” Elias said in an interview, “although Stradella wrote some beautiful music. In fact, we’re opening the concert with a very sublime piece of his.”
Finding music by these long obscure composers is fairly easy, Elias admitted. First, he searches for baroque composers on YouTube. When he finds music he likes and which he believes will work on the concert, he looks it up on, which houses thousands of works that are in the public domain. May of those works are scans of the original manuscript. “I love finding manuscripts, because you get to go right to the horse’s mouth, as it were,” Elias said. “The manuscripts are free from editorial additions, and that’s the best way to learn the music.”
Elias has been the music director of the Vivaldi series since 2004. He feels there is a need for an outlet devoted to the music of the baroque era. “There is so much great music from this period that deserves to be played and heard,” he said. “And it needs to be heard in churches and small halls, where its transparency and clarity and angelic sound can be appreciated.”
The concert takes place on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 12 C St. Tickets are $25-$125 and include a discounted student price. They can be purchased online at or by calling 801-832-3270.


Viktor Uzur

Viktor Uzur, founder of the Bonneville Chamber Music Festival

The Bonneville Chamber Music Festival will feature its eleventh season September 6 – 9, 2017 at Weber State University and Downtown SLC. The idea of the festival is still the same as it was when it began eleven years ago with its founder/director and Weber State University Cello Professor Viktor Uzur: a tradition of bringing renowned guest artists, local musicians, students and the community together to experience the excitement of world class chamber music making. This year festival is also broadening it community outreach aspect to a morning concert for families on the autism spectrum and an evening concert downtown Salt Lake City.

Violinist Tim Fain, a long time collaborator with composer Philip Glass will along with cellist Uzur bring for the first time Glass’s “Five Interludes” from the Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra. Composed in the spring of 2010 the Concerto was commissioned by the Netherlands Dance Theater as the original score for the ballet Swan Song. Another new piece Fain will feature is “Swam Remix”, a soundtrack selection from the movie “Black Swan” in which violinist Tim Fain performed during the scene.

The festival will also include masterpieces by well known composers: Johannes Brahms’ Piano Trio: No. 1 in B major, op. 8 and Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, op. 101; Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 and Prelude and Fugue, op. 87 No. 24; Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 2, op. 10 and Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano.

The “Romantic & Intense” concerts will include violinist Emmanuele Baldini, “Premier Prix of Virtuosité aver distinction” and the concertmaster of the Sāo Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Vadim Serebryany, Julliard and Yale alumni and a Piano Professor at Ithaca College, NY. The “Grand Finale” concert will include violinist Tim Fain from the soundtracks of “Black Swan”, “12 Years of Slave” and “Moonlight”, and Laureate of the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Piano Competitions pianist Stephen Prutsman on the piano. Viktor Uzur will join both trios as cellist.

Following the last year’s success, BCMF will continue an exciting new opportunity scheduled for September 9: Families with children who have autism are invited to participate in a concert that will include trained usher staff, a quiet room, and ability to vocalize and move freely during the performance. This is a wonderful opportunity for families with autism to enjoy themselves with their developmentally disabled loved ones, while listening to incredible live music performed by extraordinary musicians.

Except for the September 7 concert, performances will take place at Val A. Browning Center – Allred Theater (Weber State University; Ogden).
Below is a schedule of events. Unless otherwise noted, admission is $7 general, $6 seniors and military with ID and $4 students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 801-626-7000 or 800-978-8457 or by going online to
For more information and artist roster visit festival website at

▪ September 6: “Romantic & Intense”
Program: Shostakovich, Prelude and Fugue, Op. 87 No. 24; Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor; Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100; Brahms, Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 101
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Allred Theater – Val A. Browning Center at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd, Ogden.
▪ September 7: BCMF in Salt Lake City! “Romantic & Intense” FREE ADMISSION
Program: Shostakovich, Prelude and Fugue, Op. 87 No. 24; Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor; Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100; Brahms, Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 101
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Salt Lake City Recital Hall at 320 E 200 S; Salt Lake City, UT
▪ September 9, 11:00-11:50 a.m.: AZURE Concert for Families with Austim
Allred Theater – Val A. Browning Center at Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd, Ogden.
▪ September 9: “Grand Finale” Program: Glass, Five Interludes from the Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra; Tchaikovsky/Fain, Swam Remix; Franck, Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano; Brahms, Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Allred Theater – Val A. Browning Center at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd, Ogden.