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September 2017

Moab Music Festival celebrates a century of Leonard Bernstein: As the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth approaches in August 2018, Michael Barrett is doing what he can to keep the great American composer-conductor-pianist’s memory alive.

“It’s bittersweet for me. There’s a whole generation that has grown up in his absence,” said Barrett, who was Bernstein’s assistant and rehearsal pianist for seven years, up until the legendary maestro‘s death in 1990, and has been a musical adviser to the Bernstein family since then. “People kind of forget who he was,” Barrett said. “A kid might know ‘West Side Story,’ but there’s already a remove. It’s nice to be able to share all the music of someone who was like my musical father … with younger people and show them what’s so wonderful about it.” 

June 2017

Top Summer Events of 2017 - Don’t miss our editors’ picks for the season’s best happenings for foodies, art buffs, music lovers, and more.

April 2017

Twenty-five years ago, violinist Leslie Tomkins and her pianist/conductor husband Michael Barrett took a rare vacation to Moab. Like so many before them, they fell in love with the red rock and the magical landscape of southeastern Utah, and decided to pay homage to the breath taking surrounding by adding to it the joys of music-making. And so in 1992, they created the Moab Music Festival. 

July 2016

Attendees take a 45-minute jet boat ride down the Colorado river during this festival...Along with traditional classical fare, the programme includes jazz and Latin sounds on ranches, in private homes and at various outdoor settings, not least a towering red-rock grotto inside Canyonlands.

July 2016

THE SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL ROAD TRIP: 

Each year, hundreds of summer music festivals pull out all the stops, showcasing great works performed by stellar artists in spectacular settings. At 21CM, we want all that and something more...so we decided to put together a set of leisurely summer music festival road trips, chosen for their diversity of musical experience, geography and timeline...The Moab Music Festival is a leader in inviting the natural world to be part of the performance. 

June 2016

Sunny days, mountain air and spectacular landscapes conspire to create the perfect setting for some of the year’s best Southwestern festivals. Here are 10 not to miss.

June 2016

“The arts matter because they're central to our humanity. They help define the best parts of who we are as human beings.” -Michael Barrett, Co-Founder

Little did two New York-based musicians Michael Barrett and Leslie Tomkins know that while on a rare trip to the red rocks of Moab, Utah, they would be inspired to start a music festival. The husband-and-wife team launched the first Moab Music Festival in September 1993. Now in its 23rd year, NEA grantee Moab Music Festival continues to bring diverse programming to enrich the Moab region with music education and cultural arts. 

April 2016

A Music Lover's Guide to the National Parks

These are some pretty unbeatable venues. 

Moab Music Festival, which takes place in the town of Moab, Utah, wins the title for coolest outdoor fest around. Performances happen in red-rock grottos only reachable by boat, ranches, and canyons. The fest also offers musical hikes, in which attendees are shuttled to a secret location for a moderate hike ending with a performance in the middle of nature.

April 2016

Classical Music Meets the Colorado River: Moab Music Festival 

Moab Music Festival Co-Founder and Music Director Michael Barrett recalls the memory fondly. As he sat with his wife Leslie Tomkins in Southern Utah in 1991, they marveled over the view of red rocks, a dramatic storm and a double rainbow. “We just could not believe the beauty of this place,” Barrett said. “My wife said, ‘Let’s make the music festival here.’ And I looked at her and said, ‘That is brilliant. Of course we have to do it here.’” Highlighted by the likes of Smithsonian magazine and The New York Times, the festival enjoys a loyal following as it enters its 24th year come September. More, Pg. 108. 

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