The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the Utah Symphony will present Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah” for this year’s O.C. Tanner Gift of Music concert.
The performances will be on Friday, Feb. 17, and Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the concert, which began in 1983, according to the concert announcement on the choir’s website. The concert is generally performed every other year, and was paused in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tickets are free and required, are limited to those 8 years old and older. They were available starting Friday, Jan. 20, at TabChoir.org/2023tannergift or by calling 801-570-0080 or 1-866-537-8457.
Thierry Fischer will conduct the Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony in his final Gift of Music performance as he completes his tenure with the symphony at the end of the season.
The choir and symphony will be joined by soloists Susanna Phillips, soprano; Sasha Cooke, alto; Matthew Polenzani, tenor; and Kyle Ketelsen, bass. All four of them have previously performed with the choir, symphony or both. A boy soprano from the Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School will also perform.
“I am incredibly honored to conduct The Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony one more time before the end of my tenure as music director. Leading these two premiere ensembles in these performances of ‘Elijah’ is one of the capstones of my time here in Salt Lake City. I am so grateful to the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music for enabling both the performers and our audiences to experience this monumental work,” Fischer said in the announcement.
“Elijah” was previously performed at the Gift of Music concert series in 1987 and was directed by Jerold Ottley. Mendelssohn composed the oratorio in 1846 and revised it 1847 and was the last of the German composer’s works to be premiered in his lifetime.
The concerts were the idea of neighbors Obert C. Tanner, businessman and philanthropist, and President Gordon B. Hinckley, then an Apostle and later President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help encourage unity among the community. The concerts are funded by an endowment from Obert C. and Grace Tanner.
The past concerts include:
1983: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem”
1985: Americana music
1989: Operatic and concert selections with Kiri Te Kanawa
1991: Operatic and concert selections with Frederica von Stade
2005: “A Celtic Celebration” with Ronan Tynan and the band Leahy
2009: Mahler’s Symphony no. 2
2013: 30th Anniversary Gala featuring singer-songwriter James Taylor