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The Mahler Cycle

The Mahler Cycle: Witness the first half of a two-year cycle of all of Mahler's Symphonies in honor of Maurice Abravanel's  legacy.

Join Music Director Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony as we honor our 75th Anniversary with a two-year Mahler symphony cycle. Mahler's first four symphonies will take you on a journey through the evolution of Mahler's expression of nature, life, poetry, and eath with an eperience only the Utah Symphony can create.

The Utah Symphony's Mahler Symphony Cycle

Sep 12-13, 2014:  Symphony No. 1 "Titan"

Nov 14-15, 2014:  Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

Feb 6-7, 2015:      Symphony No. 3

May 22-23, 2015:  Symphony No. 4

Nov 6-7, 2015:      Symphony No. 5

Nov 20-21, 2015:  Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"

Jan 8-9, 2016:       Symphony No. 7

Feb 19-20, 2016:   Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of a Thousand"
                              with Mormon Tabernacle Choir as part of the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Series

May 27-28, 2016:  Symphony No. 9

Mahler Symphony No. 1 Recording

The latest recording from Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony will be available Friday September 11. Learn more >>

Online Learning Materials

Online lessons about Mahler and his symphonies will be posted throughout the season. If you would like to be notified when they become available, sign up here.

 

75th Anniversary Mahler Cycle Sponsors:
Kem & Carolyn Gardner

 

 

The Utah Symphony's Mahler Tradition

The Utah Symphony's first performance of a Mahler symphony came in 1951:

The memorable evening included the Hindemith "Mathis der Maler" the Mahler Fourth Symphony, with Blanche Christensen as soloist; and the Adagio and Hallelujah sections of William Grant Still's "Afro-American" Symphony. In the Salt Lake Tribune the next day, Lowell M. Durham said it was "one of the most ambitious programs" yet attempted by Abravanel and the new symphony...The young ensemble met the challenge suprisingly well."

In July 1964, Thomas C. Marsh proclaimed that "...we have discovered a new Mahler conductor of stature and sympathy in a day when such men are precious indeed." Marsh was referring to Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony's recording of Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand. Abravanel conducted this piece for the first time on December 3, 1963 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle with almost 800 performers on the stage – including seven vocal soloists, an expanded orchestra, the combined University of Utah Choruses, and a large children's chorus from Salt Lake schools.

This recording brought the Utah Symphony accolades and honors from across the world, including the 1965 Mahler Award of the Bruckner Society (awarded to Maurice Abravanel). It lifted the Utah Symphony's to the international stage and, as Robert Angles clearly stated, it brought recognition that the Utah Symphony "is a first-class ensemble."

Arguably, there is no composer's music the Utah Symphony is more well-known for than the music of Gustav Mahler. After the success and acclaim of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of a Thousand" in 1963 (and the desire of the International Gustav Mahler Society that the Utah Symphony record all of Mahler's works), the orchestra, under the direction of Maurice Abravanel, went on to record Mahler's Symphony No. 7 (1966), Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" (1967), Symphony No. 3 (1969), Symphony No. 9 (1969), Symphony No. 1 (1974), Symphony No. 5 (1974), Symphony No. 6 (1974), Symphony No. 10 "Agadio" (1974). The Utah Symphony recordings of Mahler's seventh and eighth symphonies were the first commercial recordings of these works. 

With the recording of the Adagio from Symphony No. 10, the Utah Symphony became the first American orchestra to record all of Gustav Mahler's symphonic works.

More recently, Music Director Emeritus Keith Lockhart completed the Utah Symphony's most recent Mahler Cycle in 2009 and continued the tradition and legacy of the Mahler Tradition.

The 2014/2015 season continues the Mahler tradition under Music Director Thierry Fischer. Over the course of the next two seasons, the Utah Symphony will be performing all ten of Mahler’s symphonies. Symphony No. 1 “Titan” will be performed on opening night, Sept. 12-13, 2014. The following three symphonies will be played throughout the 2014/2015 season, and the last 5 symphonies—including the incomplete No. 10 “Adagio”—will be performed in the 2015/2016 season.

 

Performance History: Mahler's Symphonies

Symphony No. 1 in D Major ("Titan") 

  • January 1954
  • February 1970
  • April 1974
  • February 1977
  • July 1977
  • October 1979
  • December 1984
  • October 1989
  • December 1996
  • November 1999
  • May 2010

Symphony No. 2 in C Minor ("Resurrection") 

  • March 1960
  • March 1966
  • March 1967
  • June 1968
  • March 1975
  • December 1977
  • April 1983
  • March 1989
  • May 1994
  • May 2005
  • November 2009

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor 

  • January 1979
  • February 2001

Symphony No. 4 in G Major 

  • January 1951
  • November 1961
  • March 1968
  • June 1968
  • February 1977
  • February 1984
  • October 1985
  • April 1991
  • December 1997
  • March/April 2003
  • April 2012

Symphony No. 5

  • January 1971
  • March 1974
  • September 1980
  • September 1987
  • March 1995
  • February 2006
  • April 2014

Symphony No. 6 in A Minor ("Tragic") 

  • November 2003

Symphony No. 7 in E Minor ("Song of the Night") 

  • November 1964
  • April 1976
  • February 2007

Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major ("Symphony of a Thousand") 

  • December 1963
  • April 1978
  • November 2002

Symphony No. 9 in D Major 

  • March 1969
  • February 1996
  • April 2009

Adagio from Symphony No. 10 (unfinished) 

  • March 1974
  • November 2007
  • November 2012