At the Utah Symphony, Celena Shafer and Zachary Nelson in Act III from Berg’s Wozzeck. Photo by Seth Ian Mower.

In Saturday’s (1/4) Utah Arts Review, Catherine Reese Newton writes, “David Robertson opened his three-year stint in the newly created post of Utah Symphony creative partner with an evening of the three B’s: Bruckner, Berg, and Beethoven…. Supertitles shared commentary on the human condition by the likes of Immanuel Kant and Michel de Montaigne … What followed was one of the most adventurous Utah Symphony programs since former music director Thierry Fischer’s Olivier Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles … Beethoven Symphony No. 9, no doubt, was responsible for filling the seats in Abravanel Hall. But Robertson’s interpretation was nearly as surprising as his choice to pair Beethoven with Alban Berg…. With a bare minimum of lighting effects and no explanation beyond the opening titles that recapped the real-life case that inspired playwright Georg Büchner and later Berg, the chorus opened with Bruckner’s motet Christus factus est…. This intimate devotional work—sensitively sung by the unaccompanied chorus—was a revelation. As the motet came to a close, [soprano Celena] Shafer walked in from the back of the stage, picked up a Bible, and prepared to sing the role of the ill-fated Marie [in Wozzeck], marking a seamless transition to Berg’s lurid tale of insanity and intimate-partner violence…. The Utah Symphony really shone here.”