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Abravanel Hall Celebrates 25 Years

Abravanel Hall Celebrates 25 Years

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Carole Mikita ReportingSalt Lake County is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Maurice Abravanel Hall and the Salt Lake Arts Center.

They were built to withstand the test of time and they have. That's the word from those who operate this Center for the Arts. Anne Ewers, the CEO of the Symphony and Opera said today that for a state this size, to have these arts facilities for so long, speaks of forethought and inspiration.

25 years ago, the vision for an arts complex in downtown Salt Lake City came to fruition. It took millions of dollars, a bond election, the world's acoustics expert and the state's finest architect to create symphony hall and the arts center. There were a handful who made it happen, starting with 'the Maestro’.

The founder of the Utah Symphony and its music director for 32 years, the hall was renamed for Maurice Abravanel in 1993.

Maestro Maurice Abravanel, 1993: “Legend is fine because that means they paint your portrait and hang in the lobby. I don’t want to be an institution.”

Carolyn Abravanel, Widow of Maestro Maurice Abravanel: "People say that this is the house that Maurice built. He said, 'No, this is the house that his musicians built'."

He may have been the inspiration for the hall but Maurice Abravanel never conducted in it. So it was his beloved musicians and conductors who followed him, who have made the music here.

It was musicians of the future, members of Wasatch Junior High School's orchestra, who paid tribute to those who pulled the community together. Former Governor Cal Rampton is credited with the foresight and leadership.

Calvin Rampton, Former Governor: “As a modern building there is only one in the world that equals this, and that’s the Sydney Opera House.”

Businessman Jack Gallivan found funding and led the key committee.

Jack Gallivan, Chairman Planning and Construction Committee: "I am most grateful to be here today. This was one of the great privileges of my life."

And O.C. Tanner whose love of great music and great projects inspired many.

Rt. Rev.Carolyn Tanner Irish, daughter of O.C. Tanner: "I hope that future generations will see that the work that all of this community have done together was well worth it and continue to bring great joy to our whole city and county and state."

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