Utah Symphony | Utah Opera takes note of Art Pianos for All
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera artists will perform three concerts at the Art Pianos for All public art installations next week. The first will be 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at the Kimball Junction Transit Center. The second will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch, and the last one will be at noon on Tuesday, June 26, at Coalville City Hall.
Mark Maziarz established Art Pianos for All with co-founder Alison Kuhlow in 2012, and felt the public-art installation, which features artistcaly refinished pianos placed in public areas, was a success when he saw people who felt compelled to sit and play.
Over the years, Maziarz noticed different types of players.
“We get 3- and 4-year-old kids who come and bang on the keys, and we get people who are out with friends who happen upon the pianos and will just sit and play,” he said. “Then we also get seasonal workers who are pianists in their own countries who will play the same piano once a week or a few days a week to keep their fingers warm.”
Art Pianos for All will reach a new level next week when Utah Symphony | Utah Opera artists take their turns to perform with the instruments for three pop-up community concerts.
The first will be at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at the Kimball Junction Transit Center. The second will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch, and the last one will be at noon on Tuesday, June 26, at Coalville City Hall.
The series kicks off many different performances that will take place in and around the community. (See accompanying story).
The concerts, which are part of different community events that will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Deer Valley Music Festival, are the result of a partnership with the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the Park City Summit County Arts Council and the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board, according to Renee Huang, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera director of communications.
“Because of that long history, we wanted to focus on the community and give a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Park City and Summit County for being our home away from home,” Huang said.
The June 20 and 21 concerts will feature pianist Robert Bosworth and bass-baritone singer Jesus Murillo, who are Utah Opera resident artists.
“The Resident Artist Program showcases five up-and-coming artists — a soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass baritone and pianist — who work with us for two years,” Huang said. “They serve as the access point for students in our education programs that gives kids their first taste of opera and travel around the state to perform.”
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Bosworth and Murillo were excited for the opportunity to perform two of the Arts Pianos for All concerts, she said.
The June 26 performance will feature Utah Symphony violinist Lynn Rosen and concert pianist Jed Moss, former keyboardist for Air Supply.
“Lynn has been with the orchestra for a couple of decades,” Huang said. “She had something she prepared for another performance, and asked her friend Jed to perform with her.”
Jocelyn Scudder, Park City Summit County Arts Council community manager and Summit County Public Art Advisory Board administrator, said people who attend the Transit Center concert should not park in the bus lanes, but park in the lot located south of the building.
“Also, those who are coming to the Coalville concert are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch,” she said.
The pop-up concerts, which were made possible by a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, is a great way to showcase Utah Symphony | Utah Opera artists and Art Pianos for All, according to Scudder.
“This will energize the program and bring the instruments to life,” she said. “I think these performances will be unique opportunities because they are free. Going to an opera or a symphony can be intimidating. They can be expensive and some people may not think they would understand them.”
While Maziarz is excited for the concerts, he confessed at being nervous when the idea was proposed to him.
“These are the highest-level pianists in the state, and perhaps the country, who would play on old, redecorated pianos that were given to us for free,” he said. “But Jocelyn and Renee put me at ease, because they weren’t worried about it. And the pianos they wanted to use are in pretty good shape and I just got them tuned this week.”
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