Salt Lake Symphony is committed to keeping Utah music alive by working with local soloists and composers.
Floridian Henry Wolking—composer, trombonist, conductor, teacher, and author—spent his college years at the University of Florida in the horn line for a soul band, touring the “juke joints” of the black backwaters of northern Florida. He completed a Master of Music degree, studying composition with Martin Mailman, at the University of North Texas in 1971. At the age of 24, he began his teaching career as head of the jazz area at the University of Utah. He won second prize in the International Trombone Composition Contest in 1973, the beginning of his successful, consistently productive career as a serious composer. Since then his works have been performed and recorded by many orchestras, including London, Utah, New Mexico, Baltimore, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Nashville, Fairbanks, North Carolina, and Cincinnati Symphonies; the Louisville Orchestra and the BBC Jazz Orchestra; and the Boise and Warsaw Philharmonic.
Ralph Matson was appointed Utah Symphony Concertmaster in 1985. He began his violin studies in Detroit with Emily Mutter Austin. Mr. Matson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and a master's degree from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers were Joseph Silverstein and Steven Staryk. He was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, and prior to his Utah Symphony appointment, was Assistant Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cellist John Eckstein joined the Utah Symphony in June, 1990. Previously Associate Principal Cello of the New Orleans Symphony and Principal Cello of the Omaha Symphony, he enjoys a varied musical life of orchestral, chamber, and solo playing, in addition to his teaching duties at the University of Utah.
"Masterfully evocative....to call their performance inspired is an
understatement." - Lucid Culture
For a talented group of Iranian poets and composers enjoying fame, the Iranian revolution of 1979 extinguished hopes, dreams and careers. Since a serendipitous introduction in 2003, Monika Jalili has worked tirelessly to revive the touching works of these Iranian artists, some of whom are no longer with us, and most of whom have lived the past 30 years unable to express themselves as they once could. It is their songs that Monika sings with passion, appreciation, and love.
Raised from infancy with classical training, driven by rock and roll, enlightened by jazz, and infused with the ethnic diversity of his upbringing in the San Francisco bay area, Mike Fjerstad enjoys being a man of many hats.
Shane Shanahan performs regularly with Yo-Yo Ma as an original member of the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble. Shane’s arrangements and compositions are featured on several of the group’s recordings for Sony Classical. He has also performed and/or recorded with Bobby McFerrin, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Deep Purple, and Chaka Khan, among others. Shane has played in the Broadway productions of Caroline, Or Change, The Color Purple, Shrek, and Spider-Man, as well as Sam Medes’ 2010 Bridge Project.
Dr. Michael Huff was called “a triple threat” by none other than his former boss at Utah State University, Dr. Craig Jessop, owing to his versatility as a conductor, pianist, teacher, arranger, and show producer, and his uncommon comfort with nearly all genres of music – choir, band, orchestra, classical, jazz, and all forms of popular music. His career has followed an unusual arc that can be measured in decades – as Music Director at Lagoon and at theatres throughout Utah during the ‘80’s; in the ‘90’s as an event producer-sales-marketing-director producing college bowl game halftime shows and major festival events all over America; as a freelance conductor-player-producer-arranger and part-time professor at the University of Utah with stops at Westminster College and Weber State University in the ‘00’s; as a full-time professor at Utah State University from 2010 until 2013; and now helping to lead the Music Education-serving non-profit, Legacy Music Alliance (www.legacymusicalliance.org).
About Utah Voices Utah Voices was created by a handful of dedicated, hard-working people who truly love to sing. It is the culmination of the dreams and united vision of individuals who are passionate about making music. We desire to provide a unique and fulfilling musical opportunity to those who sing with us as well as those for whom we perform. We will strive to ensure that Utah Voices has a lasting position in our community and in the wonderful world of choral singing. In the beautiful words of the talented composer Gerald Finzi, "...as surely as birds must sing, so long as words exist and man is capable of feeling, there will be song."