City Weekly – Better Listening by Design

Utah Symphony’s Unwound casual concert series makes its debut.

“It’s not that people don’t like classical music,” Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel told The Guardian in 2010. “It’s that they don’t have the chance to understand and to experience it.” This quote encapsulates the challenge that one of the world’s most revered art forms faces as it tries to reach a broader audience. Here at home, the Utah Symphony tries to rectify the situation on Saturday, March 23, when its Unwound casual concert series debuts.

With a shorter run time, pre- and post-concert interactions and amplified visual elements, the program’s first installment, featuring Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and an abridged version of Andrew Norman’s composition Play, presents a new opportunity for the Utah Symphony. “The idea is to deconstruct the taboos of the classical music concert-going experience,” Jeff Counts, Utah Symphony general manager and Unwound host, says. “The trappings of the concert are what we’re trying to dismantle and rebuild in a new way.”

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