In the heart of Salt Lake City, is the Utah Symphony, which is one of the major orchestras in America and is recognized internationally for its recording legacy and performances. Since being founded in 1940, the symphony has become an integral part of the rich culture of Utah. With many different domestic and international tours, educational programs, and award-winning records, it has grown into a hub for arts and music. Each year 85 full-time professional musicians preform over 175 concerts, and a variety of classic music arrangements are chosen each year, which allows visitors to have a unique experience each time they visit the Utah Symphony.
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The history behind the Utah Symphony stretches back to 1892, a few years before Utah even became a state. The Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra was created and only played one concert before they separated, however the love of classical music stayed strong and throughout the beginning of the 20th Century the orchestra was reformed, and throughout the 1930s a group of musicians called the Utah State Sinfonietta toured extensively throughout the state. Yet, in 1940 the symphony was officially founded and Fred E. Smith was named president. The first concert was so successful that the ensemble grew to 52 musicians, under the music director of Maurice Abravanel, he turned the group into a full-time orchestra, which attained a national reputation. Throughout the next few decades the Utah Symphony continued to tour, record and grow, by 1980 they attained a 52 week schedule of performances, which included alternative venues such as ski resorts and national parks throughout the state. During the period in which Maurice Abravanel oversaw the symphony, education was strongly encouraged through the arts. The music education programs supported by the Orchestra became well knows and during tours in Utah educational concerts were given. The symphony is currently still dedicated to providing knowledge to the public about music, and this can be see in their work with the Utah Opera Education Department.
The UOED is a fundamental aspect of the Utah Symphony, which is in charge of overseeing and creating music outreach opportunities for the public. For each category of students, teachers, children, and adults there are specific programs that are aimed towards gagging the attention of all audiences while providing a learning environment. There are opera and symphony assembly programs that are geared towards students and teachers. They have the opportunity to participate in classes, projects, and workshops that involve the specifics of performances. Internships are offered to both high school and college students who are fascinated by careers in the arts. The program includes the different options of administration, education, development, marketing, organization operations, stage management, the design studio, or in the costume shop. For younger students they are able to participate in the Children’s Opera Showcase, which is a celebration of opera projects created by Utah elementary school students. With the direction of teachers, and composers from the opera, students write and compose their own productions in workshops. By becoming involved in the arts, they foster new skills while they collaborate to write a story, text, and music that generates emotions and expression in each scene. For all members of the public, prior to every classical opera and symphony show, guests are welcome to attend a lecture about the evening’s events, which covers musical highlights, historical context, and a behind the scenes perspective. For more information about the symphony, visitors are able to sit in during four Masterworks rehearsals by the orchestra, and to go on a behind- the-scenes tour at the Capitol Theatre, Abravanel Hall, and the Utah Opera Production Studios. Through all aspects of visual arts such as music, dance, drama, and people are all ages are invited to share in the knowledge of the symphony and opera at the Utah Symphony.
The Utah Symphony is interested in bringing classic music to audiences that are underexposed to the world of the orchestra. Through the event of MOTUS After Dark, the symphony travels to different alternative locations to schedule concerts in more intimate and less strict venues. Instead of the formal environment of a concert hall, holding classical concerts at less traditional settings allows performers to connect better to the audience, and allows guests to feel more relaxed while enjoying the sounds from the instruments. All of the different aspects from the Utah Symphony from their concerts, educational programs, and events foster appreciation of the arts through the world of classical music.
123 I Temple, West South, UT 84101, Phone: 801-533-6683