The 40th Anniversary Concert for the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Series
Felix Mendelssohn’s monumental oratorio Elijah will be the 40th anniversary concert performance of the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music series. The work will be performed at two concerts on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Thierry Fischer will conduct Utah’s two premiere musical institutions—the Utah Symphony and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square—joined by renowned soloists Susanna Phillips, soprano; Sasha Cooke, alto; Matthew Polenzani, tenor; and Kyle Ketelsen, bass. The soloists are no strangers to Salt Lake City, having appeared previously with the Choir, the symphony, or both in previous engagements. A boy soprano from the Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School will round out the performers. This will be Maestro Fischer’s final Gift of Music performance, as he completes his tenure with the Utah Symphony with the close of this concert season.
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1846 and substantially revised in 1847—nearly at the same time the pioneers were entering the Salt Lake Valley—Ellijah was the last of the celebrated German composer’s works to be premiered in his lifetime. The oratorio about the Old Testament prophet Elijah is based on a German libretto by Julius Schubring translated by William Bartholomew for its premiere to an English audience at the Birmingham (England) Music Festival in 1846. Writing to his brother, Mendelssohn said of this oratorio, “No work of mine ever went so admirably the first time of execution, or was received with such enthusiasm, by both the musicians and the audience.” Since its premiere, Elijah has enjoyed a level of popularity among English audiences exceeded only by Handel’s Messiah. This is the second time Elijah has been featured in the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Series, with the prior performance in 1987 conducted by Jerold Ottley, music director of The Tabernacle Choir.
Tickets Are Required but Free to the Public
Tickets are required but are free to the public and are limited to those eight years of age and older. Due to limited seating in the Tabernacle, patrons may request only two tickets for a given performance. Tickets are no longer available for this event.
Tabernacle doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the concerts. Due to construction on Temple Square, please review the current access on the map here. Special note: Saturday evening, February 18, is also the evening of the NBA All-Star Game at nearby Vivant Arena. Traffic will be especially heavy so patrons are encouraged to allow sufficient time to arrive at the concert that evening.
The O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Series began in 1983 following discussions between Obert C. Tanner and his friend and neighbor Gordon B. Hinckley, who was then an Apostle and later President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Obert and his wife, Grace, endowed a trust as a gift to the community that would present these two Utah musical icons, the Utah Symphony and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, on an ongoing basis. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always generously hosted the concert on Temple Square and this year’s performances will be the 19th installment in this very successful series.