Deer Valley Music Festival offers more than just classical music |

Deer Valley Music Festival offers more than just classical music

Scott Iwasaki
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will bring a little bluegrass and folk to the Utah Symphony's Deer Valley Music Festival on July 19. (Photo courtesy of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera)

For the past decade, the Utah Symphony has presented the Deer Valley Music Festival, but the relationship between the orchestra and Park City reaches back more than three decades.

"In actuality, the Utah Symphony has been performing up at Park City for more than 35 years, but we established the Deer Valley Music Festival 10 years ago," said Carey Cusimano, vice president of community development for the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival. "Since then it has grown over the years. In fact, More than 38,000 people attended concerts last year. It’s been wonderful."

The Deer Valley Music Festival will kick off on Saturday, June 29, with the 1812 Overture.

Discounted Design-A-Series packages and group tickets for all festival concerts are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Abravanel Hall Ticket Office by calling (801) 533-NOTE (6683).

A single-ticket local sale for Summit County residents will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. at the Park City Visitors Center at Kimball Junction. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 25. At that time, ticket-buyers can also purchase online at and through ArtTix outlets by calling (801) 355-ARTS

The trick to successful festival programming is taking surveys, Cusimano said.

"We do that to find out what our audiences are interested in," she said. "We found there is a lot of interest in folk and country and rock with the symphony. So, each year, we test the water with a little bit of each of those things."

This year, some of the pop concerts featuring Steve Martin’s bluegrass group The Steep Canyon Rangers and the folk duo The Indigo Girls on July 19 and 20, respectively, and the Music of the Rolling Stones on August 10.

The lineup also features Bravo Broadway’s "Wicked Divas" on July 12 and the jazz of Arturo Sandoval on July 13, the jazz of Arturo Sandoval on July 13 and actor tenor Mandy Patinkin on Aug. 3.

"It’s one thing to hear acoustic shows like the Indigo Girls or Steve Martin on their own, but to have an orchestra (play) along with them adds to the experience," Cusimano said. "Steve will be playing his banjo and Edie Brickell will be there as well, plus I also hear his schtick is quite funny, which is no surprise to all of us."

Another highlight of the series is "Bond and Beyond," a 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond films that will be perform on Aug. 2.

Tony Award-winning vocalist Debbie Gravitte will be the featured singer during that concert, Cusimano said.

"Even my neices and nephews are excited about going to that show and they’re 10 years old," she laughed. "It didn’t even cross my mind that that demographic would be interested in going to that concert, but they are going to the movies and are going to the show."

In addition to the pops performances, the Deer Valley Music Festival features a string of chamber concerts that are performed at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Temple Har Shalom.

"When you attend these concerts, it feels as if you are in a cathedral in Europe," Cusimano said. "The acoustics in these venues is spectacular. And it’s during these shows where we can showcase the musicans’ talents."

While the chamber performances are more "serious" when it comes to the repertoire, the programming is mixed as well.

"We will bring in the Muir Quartet as part of the festival and we also present our own chamber orchestras with Vladimir Kulenovic conducting," Cusimano explained.

One of the chamber highlights is the Skyros and Battery String Quartets at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Aug. 1.

The two quartets are participating in the symphony’s Emerging Quartets and Composers Program, which was established in 1989 with the Muir Quartet.

"The Muir String Quartet works with the young quartet musicians, and composer Joan Tower works with two new composers during that period," Cusimano said. "It is a three-week seminar at Deer Valley.

"This year, the composers are Haruhito Miyagi and Devin Maxwell, who are from Utah. And the concert will feature word-premier pieces from both," she said.

Cusimano said the Deer Valley Music Festival is the ultimate gift to Park City from the Utah Symphony.

"I’ve lived in Park City for 17 years and to be a part of one of the area’s main summer attractions means a lot to me," she said. "It’s been a fun way to be involved in the community."

The line up for the 2013 Deer Valley Music Festival is as follows:


  • 29 — 1812 Overture! , Snow Park Amphitheater


  • 5 — 10th Anniversary Gala with Tad Calcara and New Deal Swing, the Montage
  • 6 — Take Me Home – The Music of John Denver , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 12 — Bravo Broadway, Wicked Divas , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 13 — Arturo Sandoval with the Utah Symphony , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 17 — Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 , St. Mary’s Catholic Church
  • 19 — Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers with the Utah Symphony , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 20 — Indigo Girls with the Utah Symphony , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 23 — Muir String Quartet, St. Mary’s Catholic Church
  • 24 — Chamber Ensemble, Temple Har Shalom
  • 31 — Mozart’s "Prague" Symphony , St. Mary’s Catholic Church


  • 1 — Skyros & Battery String Quartets, St. Mary’s Catholic Church
  • 2 — Bond and Beyond , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 3 — Mandy Patinkin with the Utah Symphony , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 7 — An Evening of Beethoven , St. Mary’s Catholic Church
  • 9 — Utah Opera in the Open Air , Snow Park Amphitheater
  • 10 — The Music of the Rolling Stones , Snow Park Amphitheater

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