As music director of the Vivaldi By Candlelight chamber orchestra series in Salt Lake City since 2004 I’ve had the responsibilities of programming, selecting the musicians, writing the program notes, promoting the concerts, and occasionally performing a concerto, as well as conducting this fine ensemble. This annual Baroque concert has been a fixture of the Salt Lake Concert scene for over thirty years, and is the major fund raiser for the wonderful nonprofit organization, the Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy.
It has been my pleasure to have guest conducted the Salt Lake Symphony on November 9, 2019 in a program featuring Aaron Copland’s monumental Symphony No. 3. The Utah Arts review wrote: “(Elias) captured the immense scope of this movement with decisive direction that was forceful and dramatic.”
In the summer of 2019 I had the opportunity to work with the administration of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute to inaugurate the first student Baroque string orchestra program in its fifty-year history. On July 23, I had the honor of conducting the string ensemble in music by Vivaldi and Telemann in a program concluding with Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting the Symphony No. 2 by Brahms.
My first professional conducting experience was in 1987, when I was called upon unexpectedly to conduct a fully staged run of Verdi’s La Traviata at the long-standing Innisfail Music Festival in North Queensland, Australia. In the past decade, I have had several collaborations with the National Symphony Orchestras of Peru and Ecuador and have had opportunities to conduct the University of Utah Philharmonia and the Salt Lake Symphony.
“What stood out in Elias’ conducting was a keen sense and a wonderful understanding of the music. His interpretive talents are remarkable. He knows what he wants and he conveys that to the orchestra. And the musicians delivered…Elias managed to bring excitement to this well-known work (Beethoven 5) that even the most jaded listener would find intriguing. He wasn’t afraid to bring romantic passion to his interpretation, and the result was an exhilarating performance that was intense, electrifying and boldly dynamic and vibrant.” Deseret News 4/22/08
“The concert opened with Vivaldi’s Sinfonia ‘Alla Rustica’ in G major, op. 51, no. 4. The 15-member ensemble played the short three-movement work with robust vitality under Elias’ capable direction . . The only other ensemble piece at Saturday’s concert was Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major. Elias chose brisk tempos, and it worked marvelously, with the ensemble playing with virtuosic flair.” Deseret News 12/11/06