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Your Night with the Utah Symphony

 Thanks for joining us at Abravanel Hall! We hope you are ready for an exciting and fun evening. Whether it’s your first time coming to the symphony, or you’ve been coming for years, you might have some questions about what to expect. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

What should I wear?
The simple answer is: whatever you feel comfortable in. Most of the audience is comfortable in business, or business casual attire, but at the symphony you’ll see the whole spectrum of dress, from tuxedos to jeans and sneakers. If you’re celebrating, we’d love to see you dressed up to the nines!

How should I get there? Where should I park?
Abravanel Hall is located on the corner of South Temple and West Temple. If you are riding TRAX, the Temple Square Station stops right in front of Abravanel Hall. There are multiple parking garages close to Abravanel Hall. See details here. We also have a pretty handy blog post about parking around Abravanel Hall.

When should I arrive?
Most symphony concerts start at 8 PM, but please check your tickets or our website to confirm the start time. We suggest you allow plenty of time for traffic and parking. Most of our audience likes to be in their seat by about ten minutes before the performance. That will give you some time to read the program notes and enjoy being in Abravanel Hall. If you are coming to a Masterworks concert, we encourage you to come early! At 7:00 in the concert hall we have our conductor or guest artist give a half-hour background about the evening’s program. If you don’t come at 7:00, you can still catch some local youth musicians performing in the lobby.

What if I’m late?
Most of our performances have late seating after the first piece or movement. If you do arrive late, you will wait in the lobby until a pause when the ushers can seat you. Don’t worry; there are video monitors and speakers in the lobby, so you won’t miss the concert.

Where is Will-Call/the Restrooms/Gift shop/First Tier Room/Coat Check/Refreshments?
If you are in the lobby on the main floor of Abravanel Hall, the Gift Shop, Coat Check, and Refreshment booth are all located on the south side of the lobby. The Ticket Office, Will-Call and the Restrooms are located down the west stairs. The First Tier Room is in the southwest corner of the first floor. If you need help, the ushers in the lobby can point you in the right direction.

What if I’ve never been to the symphony before?
If you’ve never been to the symphony before, you’re in for an experience you’ll never forget! You don’t need to know much about classical music to enjoy your visit. Just relax and enjoy the energy of live music.

How long will the concert be?
Most concerts are between an hour and a half to two hours long, including the intermission.

What do I need to know about the music?

Things you should know
• How many pieces there are, and how many movements there are, so that you know when to clap. (See the next question) The pieces and movements will be in your program, or you can look it up beforehand on the website.

Things you might want to know
• If you are listening to a symphony or a concerto. If you’re listening to a symphony, it will be the whole orchestra, and there are usually four movements. If you’re listening to a concerto, there will be a soloist at the front of the stage next to the conductor, and there are usually three movements. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a concerto and a symphony on the same program.
• If you like what you hear, remember the composer’s name. You can look on our website for other concerts featuring the same composer, and that can be an easy way to start to familiarize yourself with classical music.
• Background on how and why the composer wrote the piece. For this, you can read the program notes for the concert. They are on our website on the concert page, or in your program. The program notes will give you an idea of which instruments will be playing, when the piece was written, and any fun anecdotes about the composer.

When do I clap?

You’ll clap a few times throughout the night. First, we clap when the Concertmaster (head violin) comes on stage to tune the orchestra. Next, we clap when the conductor and any guest artists walk on stage. If the piece has more than one movement, we usually do not clap after each movement, but instead save it up for the end of the piece. Once the conductor turns around to face the audience, then you know it is time to clap.

At the end of a big piece, or at the end of the concert the audience might stand and cheer in addition to clapping. This is a standing ovation. Some places reserve a standing ovation for only the best artists on rare occasions, but at Abravanel Hall they happen pretty regularly. We think that it’s because a night at the symphony is such an exhilarating experience, you can’t help but stand and cheer.