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August 2018

Far-Flung Pianos: Distant Steinways Tell Diverse Stories

Piano Care on a Rugged Trail: At the Moab Music Festival, located at the gateway to Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands national parks, three chamber music concerts are held each summer in a red-rock grotto on the banks of the Colorado River. Before each performance, a Steinway Model B is transported to the secret location by jet boat. Operations Director Dave Montgomery says that the move starts before dawn, when a team of six to nine workers load the tightly-wrapped instrument onto the boat from a launch site forty-five minutes upstream. 

August 2018

The Moab Music Festival is a Feast for the Senses

I turn down a dirt road off Highway 128, the serpentine Scenic Byway along the Colorado River that ends in Moab, Utah. Eroded red sandstone cliffs jut out of the landscape; a rock formation known as the Priest and Nuns looms on the right. It’s the kind of road I’ve traveled for years here on my way to mountain-biking trails. Fifteen minutes later, I’m standing on a shaded patio, sipping a glass of rosé and chatting with virtuoso jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, the evening’s performer, and Jamie Bernstein (daughter of Leonard)...

July 2018

No mountain-town summer is complete without live music. While concert series abound in Park City, you need to venture just a short distance to partake in Utah’s summer festival scene. Here are a few nearby music festivals to add to your summertime calendar. 

July 2012

Moab Music Festival was chosen by Sunset Magazine as one of the “Top Summer Events” of the West: “Chamber, jazz, and folk bands all sound pitch-perfect tucked into the grottoes of Utah’s rust-colored desert.”

July 2012

As the Moab Music Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary, co-founders Michael Barrett  and  Leslie Tompkins talk with Moab Sun News’ Kristin Millis about starting the festival and how they "...had no idea we’d make it through the first year...[But] we launched. People came and were enthusiastic. Every year it gets better."

July 2012

“Summer Stages, Part 2”
"Location, location, location..." On the eve of the Moab Music Festival's 20th anniversary season, Arizona Lifestyle notes that the festival "[celebrates] old and new chamber music, jazz and traditional music from around the globe in breathtaking red rock venues..."

September 2011

As Moab Music Festival looked ahead to its 20th Anniversary “…— a remarkable accomplishment for the festival, which has thrived and even prospered,” David Burger (The Salt Lake Tribune) notes “…this year the festival features 21 separate events and concerts, a far cry from the five events offered during its first year.” He also wrote about the number 19, and its special significance for the festival’s 19th season: “1) Festival co-founder Michael Barrett on his first visit to Moab came from driving from northern Utah on Highway 191…2) As he drove through Moab, Barrett’s car's odometer registered 191,919 miles…3) To top it all off, both Barrett and Johann Sebastian Bach have 19 letters in their full names…”

September 2011

“Utah's Living Room”
During the Moab Music Festival’s 2011 season, David Burger (The Salt Lake Tribune) observed, “The label of chamber music comes from the notion that smaller classical music ensembles would be able to fit inside of a chamber, or small room.” He then asked, “But what happens when you take the room out of the equation?” His reply: “…Three [outdoor] Grotto Concerts serve as signature events of the festival that celebrates the mystical tandem of music and landscape: each is elevated by the other…the Grotto — a stunning natural amphitheater — has been referred to as ‘nature's concert hall’…” But after hearing several concerts in this natural setting, Burger realized “But then it strikes you. You are in a room, Utah's living room. And it's perfect.”

August 2011

When David Amram served as resident composer at the 2011 Moab Music Festival, Celia R. Baker of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote: “‘Music in concert with the landscape’ is the mantra of the Moab Music Festival, but also describes the life journey of this year's composer-in-residence at the equally diverse Moab Music Festival…the almost indescribable David Amram…Amram is a polyglot of so many styles and influences that he can't be pigeonholed — musically or otherwise…He's a one-man musical melting pot…For those reasons and more, Amram is a good fit for the Moab Music Festival…”

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