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Symphony Season reaches crescendo at Deer Valley

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record Staff
The Georgia Quartet will perform twice this week
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This summer’s Deer Valley Music Festival has been an enormous success for the event’s organizers.

"The festival has gone better than any of us expected," said Jeff Bram, the director of the Utah Symphony Artistic Planning. "It has gone so well in terms of attendance and buzz in Park City and the Salt Lake Valley as well. It’s been incredibly well played by the orchestra. It’s starting to feel like a month-long celebration of music. I think that’s a real triumph."

The good news for classical music lovers: it’s not over.

This is the last week of the festival. There will be a performance every day through Saturday, starting tonight with the Georgia Guitar Quartet playing Rodrigo Concerto for Guitars at 8 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church on S.R. 224. The Quartet will continue with a wider array of music tomorrow at Saint Mary’s again.

"People should go to see Georgia because they are one of these groups in America that is redefining chamber music in America," said Spencer Clark, a representative of the symphony. "They’re going to come in and perform everything from Bach and a lot of compositions of their own. It’s a lot of interaction and an entirely different experience with these guitar players who are really virtuosos."

The audience will also get a sneak peak of the new assistant conductor, David Cho.

"We have the Georgia Guitar Quartet. They are a fantastic young tour group, they’re hip they’re fun, they’re young and very exciting," Bram said. "They will play music from hundreds of years ago until yesterday. It’s going to be a fun concert."

The festival will finish with a classical concert by 17-year-old prodigy Christina Naughton, who will perform Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky on the piano along with the Utah Symphony at Deer Valley, Aug. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Naughton began her piano studies at age four and made her orchestral debut with the Madison Symphony at the age of nine. Naughton was awarded the 2002 Chicago Steinway most promising pianist competition. In 2005 she was the only American finalist and was awarded the bronze medal at the Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Competition in Salt Lake.

"It’s a nice Utah connection to have her back after placing so well a year ago in the Bachauer finals," Bram said. "Last summer she was one of the finalists. We were very impressed with her."

Bram said Naughton will play the first orchestral piece Rachmaninoff wrote.

"It’s a romantic wonderful use of the full orchestra and it’s an incredible showpiece for the piano," Bram said.

The festival will finish with the Utah Symphony performing the 1812 Overture at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The number is known for the live cannon fire that is part of the music. The finale will feature the Mountain Men of the Wasatch in charge of the cannons during the piece.

"It’s hard to get cannon fire in time with music," said Rebecca Vineyard, of the symphony’s marketing team. "It has to have someone who knows how to read the score and still be able to anticipate the beat a little bit so they time it with the music. It’s a regular person who’s pushing button for cannon fire and ringing chimes."

To end the festival with the 1821 Overture has become a tradition.

"The biggest event is Saturday night. It is the greatest summer tradition in Deer Valley," Clark said. "We’ve had it for years and years preceding festival. We have all the cannons out and it’s always the most exciting concert. It’s a good way to go out with bang."

This is not only the last week of the festival, but the performances will mark the end of the summer season for the symphony.

"The orchestra is nearing the end of the summer season, its sort of a transition for us," Bram said. "There’s a real sort of end-of-the-season gala for us and I feel the audience will feel it as well. There’s a sense of last show sort of feeling. It’s an exciting week. I don’t know how they can avoid this week; it’s an opportunity to see the orchestra at its best.

"You know, there’s nothing like listening to this incredibly important music in a setting like Deer Valley."

The Georgia Guitar Quartet will perform Rodrigo Concerto today at Saint Mary’s on S.R. 224 at 8 p.m. They will also perform Aug. 17 at Saint Mary’s at 8 p.m. The Utah Symphony and Christina Naughton

will perform Rach 1/Tchaik 5 at Deer Valley Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and the Utah Symphony will perform the 1812 Overture Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. to end the Deer Valley Music Festival. For more information, call (800) 864-9298.


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