Kurt Bestor’s Timpanogos to Highlight Salt Lake Symphony and Utah Voices Concert in May

SALT LAKE CITY—Timpanogos: A Prayer for Mountain Grace, a tone poem by Emmy Award-winning composer Kurt Bestor with libretto by award-winning author Terry Tempest Williams, will be the highlight of Salt Lake Symphony’s next concert, “American Roots,” featuring the acclaimed chorus, Utah Voices and the group’s Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Michael Huff. The concert will be Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah. All tickets are $10 and general admission. Ages eight and up are recommended. Tickets are available online at www.utahvoices.org, by calling 801-531-7501 and also at the door.

The concert’s repertoire aptly reflects the theme selected by Salt Lake Symphony Music Director, Dr. Robert Baldwin, who will direct performances of Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland and Choral Fantasia on Deep River, by Calvin Taylor. This will be the second collaborative concert for Salt Lake Symphony and Utah Voices. Beyond his work as Utah Voices’ artistic director, Dr. Huff is the Director of Special Programs at Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts and a Visiting Professor with the Department of Music.

A five-movement piece, commissioned and performed by Utah Symphony Chorus, Timpanogos premiered at Abravanel Hall ten years ago, and the May 21 concert will be only its second public performance. The music and libretto suggest everything from the mountain’s origins as an ancient glacier to its backdrop to a busy, suburban lifestyle today. Copland’s Appalachian Spring is a ballet score commissioned by the late renowned choreographer and dancer Martha Graham. It is the spring celebration of American pioneers in the 1800s after building a new Pennsylvania farmhouse. Graham danced the lead role at its premiere in 1944.

As part of the celebration of 50 years of African American presence and contribution to the University of Kentucky, Calvin Taylor was commissioned to write Choral Fantasia on Deep River. The work premiered at the university in 1999 under the direction of Dr. Robert Baldwin, now music director for the Salt Lake Symphony and Director of Orchestral Activities and Interim Director of the School of Music at the University of Utah. Both Kurt Bestor and Calvin Taylor hope to attend the performance. For more information visit www.utahvoices.org.