NEWS... read all about us

September 2017

Moab Music Festival celebrates a century of Leonard Bernstein: As the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth approaches in August 2018, Michael Barrett is doing what he can to keep the great American composer-conductor-pianist’s memory alive.

“It’s bittersweet for me. There’s a whole generation that has grown up in his absence,” said Barrett, who was Bernstein’s assistant and rehearsal pianist for seven years, up until the legendary maestro‘s death in 1990, and has been a musical adviser to the Bernstein family since then. “People kind of forget who he was,” Barrett said. “A kid might know ‘West Side Story,’ but there’s already a remove. It’s nice to be able to share all the music of someone who was like my musical father … with younger people and show them what’s so wonderful about it.” 

June 2017

Top Summer Events of 2017 - Don’t miss our editors’ picks for the season’s best happenings for foodies, art buffs, music lovers, and more.

April 2017

Twenty-five years ago, violinist Leslie Tomkins and her pianist/conductor husband Michael Barrett took a rare vacation to Moab. Like so many before them, they fell in love with the red rock and the magical landscape of southeastern Utah, and decided to pay homage to the breath taking surrounding by adding to it the joys of music-making. And so in 1992, they created the Moab Music Festival. 

August 2009

"Red Rocks Come Alive"
Robert Coleman of The Evening Sun gives an insightful overview of the Moab Music with comments from co-director Michael Barrett, composer Kenji Bunch, violinist Ayano Ninomiya, and Jamie Bernstein, daughter of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and regular festival concertgoer. Bernstein describes the famed "Grotto" concerts - "Getting there is a windy, gorgeous ride, snaking between canyon walls that rear up on either side, their formations morphing endlessly with every bend of the river - and that deep blue Utah desert sky overhead. Thrilling!"

August 2009

“Grotto concert kicks off Moab Music Festival”
The Moab Music Festival launches its 17th season Sept. 3 with one of its iconic grotto concerts along the Colorado River.

August 2009

The Moab Music Festival showcases southern Utah's spectacular canyonlands in ways mountain biking never could. Julie Dugdale writes, “Although I don't know Tchaikovsky from Brahms, the beauty of this festival is that I don't have to. It's about what you feel when the music starts, not about what you know. The combination of music—whether its chamber music or a jazz ensemble—set against the canyonlands background is, in a word, stirring.”

August 2008

As the Moab Music Festival's 16th season approached, USA Today exclaimed " If climbing, hiking, river-rafting, mountain-biking and the scenery in Arches National Park aren't enough to draw you to Moab, here's another reason to visit: three weekends of music - [at] The Moab Music Festival..."

August 2008

Writing for Smithsonian Magazine, Jamie Bernstein (daughter of American legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, and frequent guest performer) provides a glimpse into the magic of the Moab Music Festival. “With its stunning red rocks, the area around Moab is an adventurer's paradise…But when the summer heat tapers off around Labor Day, the region becomes an extraordinary concert hall for world-class musicians…Music lovers hear anew some of world's best classical music as it resonates off the rocks or finds acoustical purity in the dead silence of the remote settings.” Visit Smithsonian Magazine to read Bernstein’s big picture of this most unique venue.

September 2004

In Nature's Own Concert Hall, Sound Is Forever
It is a rare music festival that requires patrons to sign a risk waiver as they purchase tickets, writes Mindy Sink in the NY Times, but that is one of the peculiarities of the Moab Music Festival, which takes the idea of outdoor concerts to the extreme by ferrying musicians, guests and instruments - including a Steinway grand piano - 15 miles along the Colorado River for a late afternoon performance in a towering red-rock grotto. The festival neatly combines culture with the area's reputation for adventure travel. It's the rare natural acoustics of the grotto that attracts musicians from all over.”