Reviews for concerts with the Utah Symphony

Domingo Hindoyan and the Utah Symphony are receiving wonderful reviews for their April concerts with music by Sierra, Bartók & Mozart:

"This compact program, highlighting the Utah Symphony’s string sections, offered many splendid moments with music that resonates as sublime in our 21st century context and experiences. Guest conductor Domingo Hindoyan particularly shined in the slow movements in each of the three works. The opener, a Utah premiere, was Roberto Sierra’s Sinfonietta, filled with lustrous textures and sound hues. (...)

Hindoyan appears to be a marvelous interpreter of Bartók, exuding the ebullient punch of Hungarian-inspired dance rhythms from the strings. This sets up nicely numerous solo bits throughout the piece. And, as in Sierra’s Sinfonietta, both conductor and strings shine in the Divertimento’s slow movement (Adagio), as Hindoyan carefully crafts the rise and fall of emotions, where the lyricism builds to trademark Bartókian outbursts. The acoustic balance was pitched expertly.

Likewise, the orchestra and Hindoyan shine in the slow movement of Mozart’s Symphony 41, known as The Jupiter, the concert’s closing work. This is one of the most familiar pieces in the classical music canon so it’s challenging to see what a conductor and orchestra bring to its performance that stimulates listeners to think about the work in an expanded dimension. (...)

In this performance, Hindoyan and the orchestra strived to finesse how we hear the competing textures in the fugue, representing the two key forces evident in the time of Mozart’s life — the appealing galant style of the Enlightenment and the ecclesiastically-driven intellectualism shaping one’s spiritual journey. In the performance, one could pinpoint the contrapuntal effects of weaving the stylistic opposites in Mozart’s writing. Similarly, Hindoyan sculpts the transcendent lyricism in the second movement, while never letting up the pedal on the continuous rhythmic drive of it. Those who heard the symphony near the time of its composition might have been overwhelmed by the work’s rhythmic richness to discern the competing elements at play. And, as the Utah Symphony’s performance elucidates effectively, we can appreciate why so many today characterize this work as sublime.

Hindoyan, with Armenian and Venezuelan roots, is on a tear with conducting appearances. He was recently appointed the next chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, starting in September 2021. He also is principal guest conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra."

Les Roka, The Utah Review


"Led by Domingo Hindoyan, a guest conductor making his Utah Symphony debut, the strings and the rest of the orchestra acquitted themselves well.

Sierra’s Sinfonietta is a charming, rhythmically inventive and wholly accessible piece calling to mind Leonard Bernstein and John Adams’ post-minimalist works. Hindoyan conducted its world premiere last month in Detroit, and his familiarity showed in Thursday night’s performance. With conscientious phrasing, the 41-year-old Armenian-Venezuelan conductor led the orchestra through the Sinfonietta’s varied moods and styles. The first movement featured broad, chromatic slurs, furious pizzicatos and a Hungarian-sounding melody that alternated between the violins and the violas. (...)

Hindoyan’s unique gifts surfaced in the Divertimento’s stunning Adagio, which begins in a hushed tone and builds to a lyrical melody. In Hindoyan’s interpretation, not a single note was too loud or too soft as the two-note motive evolved from ominous to piercingly sweet. The orchestra swelled as a unit, but each solo passage was played with an expressive flourish.

The conductor’s sensitivity and attention to detail also served Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony, which began more slowly and softly than it is usually played. It soon became clear that this was a deliberate choice, meant to give the piece room to grow through its many moods. More than once, Hindoyan pulled the orchestra back, choosing lucidity and clear expression over volume, and making the piece grow organically to each climax. The four movements blended seamlessly into the piece’s overall architecture and brought the socially distanced, masked audience to a standing ovation."

Rick Mortensen, Utah Arts Review