Between the Barlines – Rei Hotoda

During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Born in Tokyo but grew up in Chicago, award-winning conductor and pianist Rei Hotoda has emerged to become one of America’s most sought after and dynamic classical artists. A tenured Associate Conductor for the Utah Symphony, Ms. Hotoda has led the orchestra extensively in chamber concerts, regional tours, and in the Deer Valley Music Festival. For her solo performance with the Utah Symphony, Ms. Hotoda will be accomplishing the incredible and unique feat of conducting while playing the piano, performing Mozart’s 9th Symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival on Wednesday August 3rd.

An open and friendly personality, Rei talks about her great balancing act of her familial life, her career, and her musical performance. In this interview, Rei discusses everything from her admiration for the Dalai Llama, to her opinion on the role of women in the modern classical music world. Rei also comments on her upbringing, talking about the influence of her mother and her very early piano practice beginning at the age of 3.

When discussing her performances at the Deer Valley Music Festival, “I’m really excited about doing these big concerts like the John Williams concert that ends the festival, as well as these chamber concerts that I’m doing where I’m playing and conducting a Mozart piano concerto. I’m thrilled, and since I’ve gotten to know some of the community up there, I’m really excited to share this music with them.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with Rei Hotoda here.

Check out details about Rei’s solo performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Rei Hotoda here.

Between the Barlines – Will Hagen

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During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

A Utah native, award-winning violinist William Hagen has emerged as one of the world’s most accomplished young violinists. William made his professional debut with the Utah Symphony at the age of 9, and since then, has earned international acclaim, winning third-prize at the 2015 Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition, the highest ranking American since 1980. For his performance with the Utah Symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival on August 5th, William will be classic masterworks including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

In this interview, William Hagen discusses his early childhood, playing for the Salt Lake Sluggers baseball team and his beginnings with the violin at the age of 4. In addition to his experience entering the challenging world of classical music and where he thinks the genre is headed in the future, William also exclaims love for more contemporary music, including the recent Justin Timberlake hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and legends like Marvin Gaye.

However, William’s earnest and down-to-earth nature shines when he talks about his home state of Utah, “From the bottom of the heart, I’ve been a lot of places and I love Utah. Every time I come home and I look at the Wasatch front I think, ‘my gosh.’ I haven’t found a more beautiful cityscape in the world…I’ve been to some pretty cool places and I’ve never seen mountains so close to the city. It’s a wonderful place and I always like coming home.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with William Hagen here.

Check out details about William’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about William Hagen here.

Between the Barlines – Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers

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During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

The Grammy-winning band Steep Canyon Rangers has grown from their humble beginnings at University of North Carolina to become one of the most prominent faces of modern bluegrass music. On July 30th, with help from acclaimed conductor Rei Hotoda, the Steep Canyon Rangers will be performing new and classic bluegrass material, which will sure to make an energetic of lively folk music.

When discussing the beginnings of Steep Canyon Rangers, Graham Sharp, one of the founding members of the band, says, “from the start we enjoyed the company and enjoyed hanging out. We were just interested in learning how to play bluegrass because none of us had much of a background in it. We just spend a lot of time working on the music and didn’t really have any big ambitions for it. But over the years it just became apparent that we had chemistry for and it worked. We just plugged away at it and here we are now.”

In this interview, Graham also talks about the tight-knit and open nature of the bluegrass community, as well as the band’s endeavor to spread musical education with their festival, the Mountain Song Festival, which has raised over $500,000 for the Boys and Girls club. Graham also discusses maintain a balance between his familial and his musical life. Graham also comments on one of his most memorable performances at the Golden Gate Park alongside bluegrass legend Steve Martin.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Steep Canyon Rangers here.

Check out details about their performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Steep Canyon Rangers here.

Instrumental Players – Carl Johansen

“Instrumental Players” is a blog series that aims to highlight Utah Symphony musicians as part of the Deer Valley® Music Festival and discover what they love most about Park City, the orchestra’s summer home.   This piece features Utah Symphony violist Carl Johansen.

“I’m really enjoying how well the orchestra is playing and how much everyone is focused on playing together.”  – Carl Johansen

Carl Johansen is not only a skilled musician, but also an enthusiastic motorcyclist, paraglider, skier, and connoisseur of Peruvian cuisine.  In a recent conversation, Utah Symphony violinist Lynn Rosen joked, “Hobbies? Carl doesn’t do anything fun.”

Photo credit: Christine McDonough

Photo credit: Christine McDonough

In 1992, Carl took a week-long paragliding course in Spain, but says that he really became serious about paragliding when he moved to Utah in 2005.  In 1994, when Carl was offered a contract with the Orquesta Simfonica de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluña, he decided to take up motorcycling since it would be difficult to paraglide while he was living in the city.

Carl enjoys riding his motorcycle in Utah, and especially appreciates the drive from Salt Lake City to Deer Valley®, the symphony’s summer home.  “If it’s not raining or forecasted rain, I grab the motorcycle and I go over Guardsman Pass to come into Park City,” Carl says.  “It’s a great trip to come over the mountain pass. It’s a wonderful way to go to work… the best commute that I could imagine.”

Carl JohansenCarl has a special appreciation for Utah’s distinctive mountain scenery because he grew up near mountains in Juneau, Alaska. He says, “I really enjoy living where there are mountains… When I was a kid, we moved to Juneau and there were mountains everywhere. It was tremendously beautiful. My mom and I would be driving along, and [sometimes] she would pull over to the side of the road just to admire how beautiful the mountains were. I missed the mountains when I lived in other places like New York City.”

While Carl enjoys Utah’s mountains, he admits that they can sometimes be inconvenient when paragliding.  In a paragliding flight from Bountiful to Draper in the summer of 2014, Carl accidentally flew into a mountain and injured his collarbone.  “[It was] very annoying,” he joked when recounting the experience. He says, however, that Utah is a great place for paragliding and he finds many opportunities to take flights in the summer.

Carl has enjoyed performing in the Utah Symphony and feels that it has a unique sense of community.  Carl feels that the musicians are “team players” and appreciates their focus on playing together.  Carl joined the Utah Symphony in 2005, and was previously a member of the Orquesta Simfonica de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluña, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic.  While Carl was in Spain, he met his wife Maritza, who is originally from Peru.  They currently have a daughter who is a rising senior in high school.

This year’s Deer Valley® Music Festival includes seventeen concerts and takes place over a six-week period throughout the months of July and August.  The schedule includes numerous pops themed concerts, which are held in the Deer Valley® Resort Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, and a midweek chamber series, which takes place at St. Mary’s Church in Park City. The concert Carl is currently most looking forward to is Haydn’s “Oxford” Symphony concert on July 27 at St. Mary’s Church. He says, “I’m really looking forward to [performing]… the Sinfonia concertante of Mozart, with Kathryn Eberle and Brant Bayless (our own people) as soloists. It’s a great piece and it will be fun to hear them play it.”


Carl’s Park City Restaurant Recommendation

Del Mar al Lago Peruvian Cevicheria (1890 Bonanza Dr, Park City, UT 84060) – Carl enjoys eating ceviche, a Peruvian seafood dish, at the Del Mar al Lago in Salt Lake City and is excited to try the new Park City location.

 

Between the Barlines – Tony Vincent

During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Through his experiences on Broadway and TV’s The Voice, vocalist Tony Vincent has emerged to be one of America’s most dynamic modern vocalists. Enamored with early rock influences including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Tony has performed rock music extensively, culminating with Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, where he fronted the legendary band Queen for over 200 million television viewers world-wide in 2010. For his performance with the Utah Symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival, Tony will be performing the music of David Bowie with award-winning conductor Martin Herman.

In this interview, Tony Vincent discusses everything from his humble beginnings in Albuquerque, New Mexico to his best and favorite musical performances, including concerts alongside Ozzy Osborne, Eric Clapton, and other rock idols. Tony also talks about his journey leading up to him joining Team Cee Lo Green on TV’s hit show The Voice, including his run on Broadway’s first national tour of the Pulitzer prize-winning Rent. Besides music, Tony talks about his brief career in wine education and desires to be a high-end sommelier in New York and his dedication to the security of his family life.

When discussing his upcoming performance of the music of David Bowie, alongside conductor Martin Herman, Tony says, “This is something I’m incredibly excited about. I mentioned English bands that influenced me growing up and David Bowie is absolutely in that same camp. His recent passing was devastating to me…and when I heard about this opportunity I really jumped to it. His catalogue of material is so vast…he continued to challenge the music industry and to challenge himself.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with Tony Vincent here.

Check out details about Tony’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Tony Vincent here.

Between the Barlines – Martin Herman


During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Accomplished and award-winning conductor Martin Herman is known throughout the music community for his innovative and experimental fusion of classical and electronic music. Martin currently teaches electronic music classes at California State University and directs the BCCM Laptop Ensemble. For his performance with the Utah Symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival, Martin will be performing the music of David Bowie with Broadway vocalist Tony Vincent.

In this interview, Martin shares his expertise and insight on the world of classical music and how he thinks it will continue to progress in the modern age, as well as how his musical interest brought him to some of the nation’s top universities, including Stanford, Duke, and U.C. Berkeley. Martin also discusses extensively contemporary artists that he loves, who he believes are breaking new ground in the world of sound and music, as well as his experience studying as a Fullbright Scholar in Paris, France. Despite being an adroit composer, Martin is also an avid hiker nature-lover, and traveler.

When discussing his upcoming performance of the music of David Bowie, alongside vocalist Tony Vincent, Martin says, “I did this concert once before in Charlotte with the Charlotte Symphony and it is SO much fun. It’s electrifying and the audience loves it. The venue we’re performing at is one of the most spectacular venues on the planet with the Utah Symphony…we’re the doing the full gambit all the way from his earliest to his latest material. It’s fun for the orchestra to play and it’ll be a great evening for the family.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with Martin Herman here.

Check out details about Martin’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Martin Herman here.

Between the Barlines – Matthew Morrison

During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Known across the country for his roles on Broadway and on the national hit show Glee, Matthew Morrison has earned his role as a musical superstar and a celebrity sweetheart. His performance alongside the Utah Symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival will consist of hits from throughout his career including those of Glee and his two studio albums, and will surely make a fun and memorable experience.

However, before Matthew started his long and rewarding journey as a television and Broadway superstar, he was just a regular kid in Orange County, California. In his own words, Matthew comments on the start of his musical journey, “My parents threw me and my cousin Jason into a theatre camp thing for the summer. And lucky for me I found my passion at such a young age. It was just such an amazing experience and I really came off the heels of that wanting to do theatre. It really just changed my life and opened me up to a whole new world.”

In this interview, Matthew’s funny and down-to-earth personality shines when talking about his lifelong passion for soccer, including his recent game playing with Manchester United, and his hilarious and disastrous experiences in various Broadway boy bands, including one called Fresh Step (yes, named after the kitty litter brand). Matthew also talks about his influential relationship with TV host David Letterman and his future ambitions of creating, alongside his old music teacher, his own charter school to further art and music education in America.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Matthew Morrison here.

Check out details about Matthew’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Matthew Morrison here.

Between the Barlines – Robert McDuffie

During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie won international acclaim while working with some of the world’s best symphonies, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and the Hamburg Symphony. A strong proponent for classical music, Robert is founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. On July 20th, with help from acclaimed conductor Rei Hotoda, Robert will be performing Phillip Glass’ lauded concerto “The American Four Seasons,” a piece that Robert himself helped commission.

In this interview, Robert discusses how the vibrant life of Rome has influenced his work and his life, including his role with the Rome Chamber Festival and his relationship with the Mayor of Rome. Robert also talks about one of his most memorable experiences with an audience member who was reading a book during his performance. Furthermore, Robert comments on his relationships with the band R.E.M. and acclaimed American conductor Phillip Glass.

When discussing his upcoming performance with the Utah Symphony, Robert says, “It’s amazingly beautiful. I asked [Phillip Glass] to use a synthesizer instead of the harpsichord that Vivaldi used to get that Rock N’ Roll Phillip Glass sound…some really beautiful music came out of this experience. It’s really taken off and the title is provocative and the word-of-mouth of the piece has been great. I think this will be close to the 90th performance of this piece that I’ve had.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with Robert McDuffie here.

Check out details about Robert’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Robert McDuffie here.

Between the Barlines – Under the Streetlamp

During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Broadway vocalist Michael Ingersoll is one of the four members of the group Under the Streetlamp, which will be headlining performances of a variety of hits straight out of the American Radio Songbook. A surely electrifying evening, come experience a night of slick dance moves and your favorite Doo-Wop, Motown and old Rock n Roll hits. With Under the Streetlamp, retro has never sounded so now.

In this interview, vocalist Michael Ingersoll, one of the leading cast members from the Tony Award-winning sensation Jersey Boys, comments on everything from the very start of his musical career, to his hobbies inside and out of Broadway. With his fun and sincere manner, Michael talks about his early musical interest playing on his grandfather’s knee, his strong love for the Food Network and all things cooking, and what it’s like performing around the country.

When discussing Under the Streetlamp’s upcoming performance with the Utah Symphony, he said: “We take the music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to talk to the audience and joke around and tell stories, and really host more of a party than anything…with our concerts, we just want to bring joy to folks, and we can’t wait to bring joy to the folks at Deer Valley.”

Be sure to listen to our interview with Under the Streetlamp here.

Check out details about Michael’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Under the Streetlamp here.

Between the Barlines – Jeannette Sorrell

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During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.

Guest conductor Jeannette Sorrell will be leading performances of classical masterpieces such as Handel’s “Water Music and Selections for Terpsichore,” Haydn’s “Overture to Uninhabited Island”, and Mozart’s “Ballet Music from Idomeneo” on July 13th at the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival.

In this interview, award-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell discusses more than just her musical credentials. Acclaimed for her creative programming, Ms. Sorrell discusses her first experiences entering the world of classical music, featuring her entertaining stories of childhood mischief revolving around practicing the piano. Other highlights include Ms. Sorrell’s discussion on her mentorship, including speaking about the multi-faceted wisdom of her preeminent mentor Leonard Bernstein, as well as her hobbies outside of music such as hiking in her old hometown of Colorado.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Jeannette Sorrell here.

Check out details about Jeannette’s performance at the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival here and learn more about Jeannette Sorrell here.