This summer the Utah Symphony will perform free concerts in state and national parks around the state.
The symphony’s August 29-September 2 tour will include stops at Zion National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and a stop in the town of Bluff, which is close to three national monuments: Hovenweep, Natural Bridges and Bears Ears.
It also includes chamber music performance stops in Cedar Breaks National Monument and Goblin Valley State Park.
It’s similar to a tour of Utah’s national parks the symphony took in 2014, says CEO and President Paul Meecham.
“The difference this time is that we’re not going to exclusively perform in the national parks, the ‘Mighty Five,’” says Meecham, “but we are also going to be performing in some of the other national monuments and state parks.”
Meecham noted that it’s important to Music Director Thierry Fischer to bring the symphony to communities across the state.
The symphony’s Vice President of Artistic Programming Toby Tolokan says the program is full of nature-inspired pieces, with an emphasis on the night sky.
“Three pieces specifically to open the second half, where we start with Night on Bald Mountain, which a lot of people will know from the early Fantasia program. It’s actually a pretty scary opening piece, but it does represent that kind of darkest park of night,” says Tolokan. “And then we go to a couple of piece that might be connected to a little bit of moonlight, which is the 'Clair de lune' of Debussy and 'Song to the Moon' of ‘Rusalka,'” the Dvorak opera.
The program also includes music by Native American composer Brent Michael Davids.
The symphony has partnered with the University of Utah’s Consortium for Dark Skies and the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative to host “star parties” following the outdoor concerts.
The concerts are free but require tickets, which are available through the Utah Symphony ticket office beginning May 31.