A story published about Muhly in The New Yorker in 2013 states: "There is no evidence that his pace will slow, and Muhly has so far managed to vacillate in a healthy fashion between composing for large-scale institutions like the Met and small-scale affairs among peers."
"I am so delighted to have been asked to write a piece of orchestral music to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Utah Symphony," said the Manhattan-based Muhly. "I've spent time in Utah and have an enormous affinity for the intensities of the landscape. I'm looking forward to joining the orchestra on their Mighty 5 Tour to see other corners of the state and to spend time with the musicians in advance of our work together."
Said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera President and CEO Melia Tourangeau: "Nico Muhly is an incredibly well-regarded and respected composer with innovative thoughts and perspectives on music. His enthusiasm for this project has been contagious and we are thrilled that he has agreed to fit this into his busy schedule. Our vision is to create a work that not only celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Utah Symphony, but also extols the beautiful landscape of the state and therefore showcases Utah as well as the orchestra on the national and international stage."
This August 2014, the Utah Symphony will embark upon an ambitious tour of southern Utah, and perform four free classical music concerts with the full orchestra against a backdrop of the state's national parks, known collectively as the Mighty 5.
Tourangeau recalls discussions surrounding a "visual element to the commission that would capture the beauty of Utah with the musical creation."
Muhly and interactive video installation designer Joshua Higgason will join the orchestra on this national parks tour, allowing for research and inspiration of hearing the orchestra perform in the red rock country for which southern Utah is known. The video installation will accompany Muhly's piece as an important visual element illustrating the symbiotic relationship between sound and landscape in the creation of the commission.
"I always say that the arts are a calling card for the quality of life in any given community, and this project is a perfect example of showcasing the Utah Symphony and the fantastic state that supports it," said Tourangeau.
Added Maestro Fischer: "I am also extremely pleased that Nico Muhly will be joining the orchestra on the Mighty 5 Tour to southern Utah, where he will undoubtedly draw musical inspiration from and feel the deep connection to the landscape that resonates within our organization and the communities that we serve."
This will be the fifth commission and world premiere presented under the direction of Maestro Fischer, who has made commissioning new works by contemporary composers a core of his artistic vision. Other composers whose works have been commissioned and premiered by the Utah Symphony include Michael Jarrell, Simon Holt, Augusta Read Thomas, and Andrew Norman.
The Utah Symphony will continue the Deer Valley Music Festival with The Music of U2 at Deer Valley's Snow Park Amphitheater on Saturday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature symphonic arrangements of the seminal Irish rock band. Tickets range from $32 to $85 and are available by visiting www.artix.org or www.deervalleymusicfestival.org .