Cello Festival of Southern Utah 2023


Join us for the Cello Festival of Southern Utah 2023 concerts!  Audience can attend these three performances either in-person or remotely through YouTube Live.  You can have access to the concert links through our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cellofestival.s.utah  The year of 2023 marks  the 8th anniversary of our festival.  The concerts will also feature music by cellist-composer Dr. Stephen Mitton.  This year’s featured clinicians and artists include Prof. Horacio Contreras (University of North Texas) and Dr. Theodore Buchholz (University of Arizona).  Prof. Contreras will give a cello recital on Sept 15 at 730pm, presenting music by J. S. Bach, Esteban Benzecry, Reinaldo Moya, Paul Desenne and Leo Brouwer.  The Matinee Chamber Concert on Sept 16 at 2pm will showcase local and visiting artists as well as first-prize winners of the festival’s new event –  Brimhall Cello Competition.  Dr. Buchholz will be the soloist in the Final Cello Ensemble Concert on Sept 16 at 730pm, performing a concerto arranged for solo cello and cello ensemble.  All three performances are held in the Eccles Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, and are open and free to the public.

Horacio Contreras Cello Recital

Friday, September 15, 7:30pm (MT), Eccles Concert Hall


Recercada primera                                                      Diego Ortiz (1510-c.1570)

Ricercar primo                                                  Domenico Gabrielli (1659-1690)

Suite in C Major BWV 1009                                                 J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Bourrée I and II

Preludio – Fantasia                                                Gaspar Cassado (1897-1966)

La Naissance du Soleil Aymara                                                    Benzecry (b. 1970)

Firpo vs. Dempsey

The Perfect Vibrato                                                        Reinaldo Moya (b. 1984)

Birimbao-Jaguar                                                      Paul Desenne (1959-2023)

In addition, please join Prof. Horacio Contreras  on September 16 (Saturday) at 11-11:50am for his open lecture “Latin American Cello Music and its Composers,” and 5:00-5:50pm in Eccles Concert Hall for his cello masterclass.  Both events are open to the public.


ASTA Cello Lecture Series

Prof. Horacio Contreras will give a presentation on Sept 16 (Sat) at 11-11:50am in Eccles Concert Hall

(Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UpXvT89S0o&ab_channel=UtahTechUniversityMusicDepartment)

“Latin American Cello Music and its Composers”

The lecture will develop around the presenter’s experience with cello music composed by Latin American composers. It will include the presentation of a few relevant composers and works, as well as aspects of style, connections between music and identity, and ideas about how to research the music from Latin America.

*This lecture is sponsored by the Utah American String Teachers Association

Matinee Chamber Concert

Saturday, September 16, 2:00pm (MT), Eccles Concert Hall


Cello Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 46                                                                  Louise Farrenc (1804-1875)

I. Allegro moderato

~~Susan Lamb Cook, cello   Christian Bohnenstengel, piano


Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8                                                                               Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

I. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato

~~Cameron Smith, cello


Livin’ on a Prayer                                                                                             Bon Jovi (arr. Allison Gillies)

Dragostea Din Tei (The Numa Numa Song)                                    Dan Balan, art. Sarah Cellobat Chaffee

~~Cellomania USA: Nina Hansen, Sam Hodnett, Ethan Johnson, McKayla Jacobson, Emily White, Desi Price & Isaiah Arnold


Sicilienne                                                                                 Maria Theresia von Paradis (arr. by 2 Cellos)

Viva La Vida                                                                                                             Coldplay (arr. 2 Cellos)

~~Amichevoli: Brittany Gardner, Aliya Gardner, Tyler Powell, Kenton Brady, Ariel Haubner, Peter Lloyd, Henry Derr & Andrew Hanson


Brimhall Cello Competition 2023 First-Prize Winner (Junior Category)


Brimhall Cello Competition 2023 First-Prize Winner (Senior Category)


Cello Ensemble Concert

Saturday, September 16, 7:30pm (MT) in Eccles Concert Hall

Livestream available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iErg4Oxn92o&ab_channel=UtahTechUniversityMusicDepartment


Cellophants                                          Stephen Katz


Bow River Fiddling                             Joanne Martin


Clock Tower Bells                             Carey Cheney

~~Ensemble Bravo (directed by Peter Romney, Erica Hardy & Emily Balderrama)


Uncharted Waters (world première)                                                                 Stephen Mitton (b. 1991)

Brazilwood (world première – cello choir version)


St. Anthony Chorale                                                                                         attr. Joseph Haydn

~~ACelloRondo (directed by Dr. Stephen Mitton and Edwin Candland)

          ~~~ short break ~~~

Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1                                                                          Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

II. Preludio (Modinha)

  III. Fugue (Conversa)


*Cello Concerto No.2 in D major, Hob.VIIb:2                                             Joseph Haydn (arr. Ka-Wai Yu)

I. Allegro moderato

*Dr. Theodore Buchholz, cello solo

~~Festival Soloists (directed by Ka-Wai Yu)



Festival workshop participants are assigned to three different cello ensembles based on their level and playing experience: Festival Soloists (advanced-level), ACelloRondo (intermediate-level) & Ensemble Bravo (beginners)