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July 30, 2014

Classical Music Goes Back to Nature

By Amiee White Beazley | Culture

Classical Music Goes Back to Nature
Utah Symphony

Utah is a trove of natural wonders and wild landscapes, from the Wasatch Mountains in the north to the red-sand deserts in the south. The state is also home to five national parks—Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion—collectively known as The Mighty 5.

From August 11 to 17, the natural wonders will host another state treasure, the Utah Symphony, which will present a series of free open-air, classical-music concerts during its first-ever tour. Led by music director Thierry Fischer, the Utah Symphony’s performances anticipate the organization’s 75th anniversary and highlight the centennial celebration of the National Park System, both of which take place in 2016.

Visitors are encouraged to tour the parks by day and enjoy the free classical concerts by night (the shows begin at 8 P.M.). Against the natural backdrop of southern Utah’s sandstone arches, spires and canyons, the 75-piece orchestra will perform pieces including movements from Dvorák’s New World Symphony and Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as vocal selections featuring Utah native and soprano soloist Celena Shafer, performing Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. Additional free concerts and events inside the parks include chamber music at visitor centers and outdoor amphitheaters, active excursions with orchestra members and music education opportunities. utahsymphony.org/mighty5.