Carole Mikita ReportingKeith Lockhart begins his seventh season at the helm of the Utah Symphony. Since the merger with the Utah Opera two years ago, both organizations are financially healthier, but he believes it will always remain a struggle to keep an orchestra this size funded.
Keith Lockhart: “To keep a world-class organization like this in town, if we sold out every single concert, and that's certainly our goal, we would still be paying half of what it costs to do what we do here."
What this orchestra is doing this season is something it hasn't for years, making recordings and going on a European tour.
Keith Lockhart: "Going back out on a world stage for the first time in 20 years, that's a very long time. It's important for your standing among great American orchestras. It's important for the way your own community views you."
The Utah Symphony has long been the state's largest arts organization. Lockhart says under his direction, he would like to say "we're number one" here but also internationally ranked. He envisions reaching that status with dedication and passion that leaves a lasting impression.
The Utah Symphony and Opera will also be part of the celebrations next week, marking the 25th anniversary of Abravanel Hall.