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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. 

Nestled along the Colorado River and wedged between the Arches and Canyonlands national parks, the town of Moab mostly draws visitors in search of extremes. Mountain bikers test their mettle on the bone-jarring Slickrock Trail; off-road 4x4s with outlandishly big tires crawl up petrified sand dunes; flocks of Cessnas drop skydivers over the baking-hot desert. Yet for two weeks a year, this adrenaline-fueled town makes room for a small crowd of classical-music lovers and out-of-town musicians who come here for a series of concerts that explore more subtle extremes of intimacy with nature—and silence.

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