Musician's Note: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4

Erich GrafTchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony is a member of one of the “basic food groups” for classical concert audiences. I have been asked on many occasions how I deal with the “endless” repetition of popular orchestral works. My mentor, Julius Baker, told me that if I “did things right” that I would always continue to improve. Every time the Utah Symphony repeats a popular work like Tchaikovsky’s 4th, I revert back to that statement. Over the years, I have been able to keep popular works fresh by comparing my current performance with my previous one.

Erich Graf

Principal Flutist

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Musician's Note: Carnival of the Animals at DVMF

Erich GrafIt’s a smorgasbord this week at USUO’s Deer Valley® Music Festival!

Utah Opera highlights soloists in a concert conducted by the inimitable and popular Gerald Steichen–NEWS FLASH! The orchestra really likes him, too!! Enjoy a return engagement by the Georgia Guitar Quartet, this time performing a cappella at the Deer Valley® Music Festival.

Additionally, this week includes one of my all time favorites—Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. This cleverly-conceived masterpiece is truly a multi-purpose work—equally appropriate to the formal concert stage or to the intimacy of a concert for children. The instruments and sections of the orchestra assume the roles of zoo animals and “speak” music that uncannily resembles the voices of the animals they portray. The work is accompanied by scrumptious poetry written by Ogden Nash. This presentation is enhanced by an off-stage instrument petting zoo. Bring your kids and get your “zoo-ducation!”

I hope to see you this week in Park City!


Erich Graf
Principal Flute, Utah Symphony

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