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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Between the Barlines – Jeannette Sorrell

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.

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Between the Barlines – Jayce Ogren

Jayce Ogren_credit Roger_Mastroianni
Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni

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 Jayce Ogren, alongside esteemed soprano Simone Osborne, will be performing a number of classical masterpieces including Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and “Knoxville, Summer of 1915,” Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilante, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 on July 6th at the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival.

In this interview with “Between the Barlines”, Jayce elaborates on how his non-musical upbringing in Washington State developed into a full-blown passion for conducting during high school, and commentates on how his training as a medaled triathlete relates to his musical career. Jayce also commentates on his experiences conducting around the world and his passion for indulging in both vibrant international cultures, and tasty foreign food.

In his own words, when describing when his musical interests first blossomed, Jayce narrates, “It was when I was a freshman in high school. I remember sitting in our band rehearsal and looking up at my conductor and thinking ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

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

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Instrumental Players – Mark Davidson

“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 trombonist Mark Davidson.

“The Utah Symphony has a unique spirit… a lively, hopeful, positive spirit. It’s very uplifting and energetic. It’s something you want to be around. I’m very happy to call the Utah Symphony my job and Utah my home. I see it as a very positive place and collaborative environment.”
– Mark Davidson

Utah Symphony Principal Trombonist Mark Davidson is not only an accomplished musician, but also an enthusiastic mountain biker and hiker. A native of Dallas, Texas, Mark was most surprised by Utah’s flourishing outdoor scene when he moved to Salt Lake City in 2013. “There is an outdoor scene here that I’ve never really experienced anywhere else,” Mark says, “Not just that it’s pretty and there’s scenery, but there’s such a wide variety of things you can do outdoors here…. That’s probably been the biggest thing to get acclimated to… using that as kind of a new way of life. It’s definitely been a great thing.”

MarkDavidson3Fortunately Mark didn’t have to familiarize himself with Utah’s outdoor scene on his own. Many people in the symphony participate in Utah’s outdoor activities, and were more than happy to introduce Mark to new hobbies. “It seems like there’s an expert in the orchestra in every possible sport or hobby you can imagine, from fly fishing to kayaking, canoeing to mountain biking, or hiking,” said Mark. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve been lucky enough to go out with a few of them in their expertise.” He has enjoyed exploring many outdoor activities with orchestra members, but says that his biggest developing passions are mountain biking, road biking, and hiking.

Sometimes Mark will take the time to explore hikes and trails in Park City before or after the orchestra’s rehearsals and concerts for the Deer Valley® Music Festival. His favorite mountain biking trails include Flying Dog Trail and Jenni’s Trail.

In discussing his favorite hiking trails, Mark said, “One of my favorite hikes (not just in Park City, but anywhere) is Summit Park Peak. It’s in Park City West and about six miles. It’s up in the pine trees and it’s just absolutely beautiful. The best time to do it is starting around 4pm so you’ll finish up around 8pm. That is a really special time for me to be in Park City. There’s an ambiance there that I’ve just never experienced in other places.”

MMarkDavidson2ark not only enjoys participating in the outdoor activities that Park City offers, but also appreciates the opportunity to perform music in the magnificent scenery as part of the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley® Music Festival. He says, “Deer Valley is probably one of the most unique venues I’ve ever played in. Sometimes you’re playing in concert and briefly looking out at the conductor from the music and you’ll spot a deer in the distance.”

He also enjoys the festival’s capacity to reach out to new audiences. He feels that the festival’s lineup of guest artists and popular music attract new audiences that might not usually attend a symphony concert. This year, Mark is most looking forward to performing in “The B52s” concert on July 9, “The Music of David Bowie” concert on July 23, the “DreamWorks Animation” concert on July 29, and “The Music of John Williams” concert on August 6. He especially enjoys playing the pieces by John Williams due to the famous and distinct brass melodies. Mark says, “It’s a heavier concert in the brass department. It has a lot of great music that features the orchestra and is very popular music. I think the musicians enjoy playing it since it’s music they’re very familiar with. For audiences, it’s very attractive to all ages.”


Mark’s Park City Restaurant Recommendation

Ritual Chocolate (1105 Iron Horse Dr, Park City, UT 84060) –
“They make their own artesian chocolates and they have specialty coffee drinks like cortados.”

Windy Ridge Bakery (1255 Iron Horse Dr, Park City, UT 84060) –
“I’ve tried all the bakeries in town and I think they’re one of the best.”

Deer Valley Grocery Café (1375 Deer Valley Dr, Park City, UT 84060) –
Sometimes Mark likes to come here for a quick bite or cup of coffee before concerts. It is conveniently located near the Deer Valley® Snow Park Amphitheater.

 

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Instrumental Players – Erin Svoboda

“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 clarinetist Erin Svoboda.

“I think the Utah Symphony is unique because of its location. I’ve never lived in a place so beautiful.”
– Erin Svoboda

When Utah Symphony clarinetist Erin Svoboda is not playing with the symphony, she can usually be found mountain biking, gardening, or spending time with her pet corgi.  Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Erin never imagined her future-self living in Salt Lake City, Utah. In discussing her move to Utah, she said, “I was really shocked by the mountains. I had no idea that they were so close. Of course, I grew up in Florida, where there are no mountains… there are barely even hills! [Salt Lake] is a great city and place to live. There’s an amazing balance with the city as a cultural center and [its proximity to] the outdoors. You get a lot of great things coming together in this city.”

ErinSvobodaErin also enjoys spending time in Park City, the location of the Deer Valley® Music Festival and summer home of the Utah Symphony. One of Erin’s favorite mountain biking trails in Park City is the Flying Dog Bike Trail. Erin says of a recent ride on the trail, “It was a lot of fun. I’m a very cautious mountain biker because I don’t want to hurt myself and not be able to play anymore, so I would say I was not as much ‘flying’ as I was ‘sauntering’ down the trail. It was really beautiful, and I enjoyed the different aspects of the scenery.”

Erin feels that Utah provides unique outdoor activities, and is grateful that her job with the symphony brought her here.  She says, “I’m enjoying the outdoor lifestyle, which definitely wasn’t part of my past. I feel like the outdoor activities in Utah are much more my calling than the outdoor activities I was exposed to [in Florida] as a child… I really enjoy being in the beauty of the outdoors.”

ErinSvoboda2She especially appreciates the opportunity to perform in Utah’s distinctive scenery as part of the Deer Valley® Music Festival. The festival reminds Erin of the Tanglewood Music Festival, a similar outdoor summer concert series located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, which she frequently attended as a child. She loves the family-friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the Deer Valley® Music Festival, and enjoys the opportunity to play in an outdoor summer concert venue.

The festival takes place over a six-week period throughout the months of July and August and includes seventeen concerts.  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.

“I love playing the smaller chamber pieces because it’s a little more intimate and I feel like there’s more interaction between the players. That’s fun, but it’s the more serious side of the summer concerts,” Erin says, “I’m also looking forward to the John Williams concert. He writes so well for the particular mood of the movies and he really knows [how to write for] orchestra. The parts are really fun … You usually think of all the brass melodies, but as a clarinet player it’s still a lot of fun to play.”  She is most looking forward to playing Poulenc’s Sinfonietta in the chamber series concert on August 3, and selections from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the lesser-known film The Witches of Eastwick in “The Music of John Williams” concert on August 6.


Erin’s Park City Restaurant Recommendation

High West Distillery (703 Park Ave, Park City, UT 84060) – “I really like their food and I enjoy learning about the process of distilling the whiskey and trying the different types they have. The people there seem quite knowledgeable.”

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