15 Bytes – The Utah Symphony Opens their Season with an Intercontinental Soiree for Strings
A year ago, I would have never anticipated a season opener like this for the Utah Symphony. Instead of bustling through downtown Salt Lake City amid dinner parties, transit traffic and other event crowds, I strolled with a friend across a rather desolate South Temple toward a sparsely populated Abravenal Hall. Where many events these days are either digitized or still yellow-taped, the Symphony has taken some innovative measures to reopen in a shifted, reduced capacity to account for public safety concerns.
As far as safety goes, this concert offered one of the most controlled and optimized procedures I’ve witnessed in these strange six months. A strict mask mandate, a seating arrangement that looked like scattered jigsaw puzzle pieces and a shortened concert with no intermission promoted both safe distancing and avoided crowd congestion and unwanted co-mingling. These rigid safety precautions helped ease my (and likely many others’) anxieties, leaving a clear head to focus on the music. The night presented an artistically interesting problem/solution, as well, given that the orchestra had been cut to their string section to account for social distancing on stage.