Utah Symphony to premiere Nico Muhly work

US composer Nico Muhly will travel with the Utah Symphony on its August tour to research a new work inspired by southern Utah’s national parks.

The work, which will be performed during the 2015-16 season, will also feature a video installation by interactive media designer Joshua Higgason.

Muhly’s piece will be the fifth commission and world premiere under music director Thierry Fischer, and forms part of the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

Utah Symphony’s August tour will see the orchestra perform free outdoor concerts amidst the canyons of southern Utah’s national parks, which are collectively known as The Mighty 5. Higgason will record video footage to accompany Muhly’s piece during the tour.

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Fischer said: ‘We are honoured that Nico Muhly will be composing a new musical work to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Utah Symphony. Maurice Abravanel started an amazing tradition of pursuing adventurous programming by introducing new music and composers to Utah’s audiences, and I am excited that this dynamic and creative young composer will be continuing this great legacy.’

Thierry Fischer © Scott Jarvie
Thierry Fischer © Scott Jarvie

‘I am also extremely pleased that Nico Muhly will be joining the orchestra on The Mighty 5 Tour to southern Utah, where he will undoubtedly draw musical inspiration from and feel the deep connection to the landscape that resonates within our organisation and the communities that we serve.’

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Muhly has composed a variety of work for several leading orchestras and companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic.

He said: ‘I’ve spent time in Utah and have an enormous affinity for the intensities of the landscape. I’m looking forward to joining the orchestra on their Mighty 5 tour to see other corners of the state and to spend time with the musicians in advance of our work together.’

The Mighty 5 Tour will take place from 11-17 August.