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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. 

August 2012

Music @ Moab – Sneak Peek
Here’s a glimpse of just one of the beautiful “concert halls” where you can hear great music performed when you’re at the Moab Music Festival.  Arizona Lifestyle. Page 118

July 2012

Moab Music Festival was chosen by Sunset Magazine as one of the “Top Summer Events” of the West: “Chamber, jazz, and folk bands all sound pitch-perfect tucked into the grottoes of Utah’s rust-colored desert.”

July 2012

As the Moab Music Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary, co-founders Michael Barrett  and  Leslie Tompkins talk with Moab Sun News’ Kristin Millis about starting the festival and how they "...had no idea we’d make it through the first year...[But] we launched. People came and were enthusiastic. Every year it gets better."

July 2012

“Summer Stages, Part 2”
"Location, location, location..." On the eve of the Moab Music Festival's 20th anniversary season, Arizona Lifestyle notes that the festival "[celebrates] old and new chamber music, jazz and traditional music from around the globe in breathtaking red rock venues..."

September 2011

As Moab Music Festival looked ahead to its 20th Anniversary “…— a remarkable accomplishment for the festival, which has thrived and even prospered,” David Burger (The Salt Lake Tribune) notes “…this year the festival features 21 separate events and concerts, a far cry from the five events offered during its first year.” He also wrote about the number 19, and its special significance for the festival’s 19th season: “1) Festival co-founder Michael Barrett on his first visit to Moab came from driving from northern Utah on Highway 191…2) As he drove through Moab, Barrett’s car's odometer registered 191,919 miles…3) To top it all off, both Barrett and Johann Sebastian Bach have 19 letters in their full names…”

September 2011

“Utah's Living Room”
During the Moab Music Festival’s 2011 season, David Burger (The Salt Lake Tribune) observed, “The label of chamber music comes from the notion that smaller classical music ensembles would be able to fit inside of a chamber, or small room.” He then asked, “But what happens when you take the room out of the equation?” His reply: “…Three [outdoor] Grotto Concerts serve as signature events of the festival that celebrates the mystical tandem of music and landscape: each is elevated by the other…the Grotto — a stunning natural amphitheater — has been referred to as ‘nature's concert hall’…” But after hearing several concerts in this natural setting, Burger realized “But then it strikes you. You are in a room, Utah's living room. And it's perfect.”

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