“Moab’s two-weekend celebration offers a sophisticated exhibition of musical talent. Although I don’t know Tchaikovsky from Brahms, the beauty of this festival is that I don’t have to. It’s about what you feel when the music starts, not about what you know. The combination of music – whether it’s chamber music or jazz ensemble – set against the canyonlands background is, in a word, stirring….as a first-timer, I can’t help feeling as if I’ve discovered the keys to some magic kingdom. As dusk sets in, poignant melodies become the soundtrack to a world-class sunset.” --Denver Magazine 5280
The Moab Music Festival was founded in 1992 by New York based musicians Michael Barrett, pianist/conductor and violist Leslie Tomkins. Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary year of “music in concert with the landscape”, the award- winning Moab Music Festival is noted for its distinctive programming, superb performances and intimate concert experiences of chamber music, traditional, jazz, Latin and music of living composers. The 19 concerts of the 2017 season are held in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues around Moab, with the Festival’s signature events, the Grotto Concerts taking place in a pristine wilderness grotto 30 miles down the Colorado River, reached by jet boat. Two multi-night Musical Raft Trips, through Westwater and Cataract Canyons, respectively, take place immediately before and after the Festival. The Moab Music Festival, from its inception, has been committed to music education and cultural enrichment in the Moab area. For 25 years, the Festival has provided annual music assemblies for all Grand County Public School students, providing exposer to a wide variety of visiting musicians during the Festival. Educational experiences for interested music lovers of all ages are also provided at other times of the year through an ensemble-in residence program. In early 2017, the Festival provided a combined 19 hours of free strings workshops for both students and teachers in Grand County through a special partnership with the University of Utah’s School of Music. The Festival is governed by a Board of Trustees and managed by a small professional staff, supported by enthusiastic community volunteers, housing donors, and local businesses.