Instrumental Players – Erin Svoboda
“Instrumental Players” is a blog series that aims to highlight Utah Symphony musicians as part of the Deer Valley® Music Festival and discover what they love most about Park City, the orchestra’s summer home. This piece features Utah Symphony clarinetist Erin Svoboda.
“I think the Utah Symphony is unique because of its location. I’ve never lived in a place so beautiful.”
– Erin Svoboda
When Utah Symphony clarinetist Erin Svoboda is not playing with the symphony, she can usually be found mountain biking, gardening, or spending time with her pet corgi. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Erin never imagined her future-self living in Salt Lake City, Utah. In discussing her move to Utah, she said, “I was really shocked by the mountains. I had no idea that they were so close. Of course, I grew up in Florida, where there are no mountains… there are barely even hills! [Salt Lake] is a great city and place to live. There’s an amazing balance with the city as a cultural center and [its proximity to] the outdoors. You get a lot of great things coming together in this city.”
Erin also enjoys spending time in Park City, the location of the Deer Valley® Music Festival and summer home of the Utah Symphony. One of Erin’s favorite mountain biking trails in Park City is the Flying Dog Bike Trail. Erin says of a recent ride on the trail, “It was a lot of fun. I’m a very cautious mountain biker because I don’t want to hurt myself and not be able to play anymore, so I would say I was not as much ‘flying’ as I was ‘sauntering’ down the trail. It was really beautiful, and I enjoyed the different aspects of the scenery.”
Erin feels that Utah provides unique outdoor activities, and is grateful that her job with the symphony brought her here. She says, “I’m enjoying the outdoor lifestyle, which definitely wasn’t part of my past. I feel like the outdoor activities in Utah are much more my calling than the outdoor activities I was exposed to [in Florida] as a child… I really enjoy being in the beauty of the outdoors.”
She especially appreciates the opportunity to perform in Utah’s distinctive scenery as part of the Deer Valley® Music Festival. The festival reminds Erin of the Tanglewood Music Festival, a similar outdoor summer concert series located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, which she frequently attended as a child. She loves the family-friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the Deer Valley® Music Festival, and enjoys the opportunity to play in an outdoor summer concert venue.
The festival takes place over a six-week period throughout the months of July and August and includes seventeen concerts. The schedule includes numerous pops themed concerts, which are held in the Deer Valley® Resort Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, and a midweek chamber series, which takes place at St. Mary’s Church in Park City.
“I love playing the smaller chamber pieces because it’s a little more intimate and I feel like there’s more interaction between the players. That’s fun, but it’s the more serious side of the summer concerts,” Erin says, “I’m also looking forward to the John Williams concert. He writes so well for the particular mood of the movies and he really knows [how to write for] orchestra. The parts are really fun … You usually think of all the brass melodies, but as a clarinet player it’s still a lot of fun to play.” She is most looking forward to playing Poulenc’s Sinfonietta in the chamber series concert on August 3, and selections from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the lesser-known film The Witches of Eastwick in “The Music of John Williams” concert on August 6.
Erin’s Park City Restaurant Recommendation
High West Distillery (703 Park Ave, Park City, UT 84060) – “I really like their food and I enjoy learning about the process of distilling the whiskey and trying the different types they have. The people there seem quite knowledgeable.”