By Peter Schlesinger
August 08, 2014

Time to book last-minute flights to Salt Lake City: The renowned Utah Symphony is running free open-air concerts against the backdrop of five of the state's—and country's—most treasured national parks.

Music Director Thierry Fischer will lead the orchestra’s Mighty Five Tour, which runs August 11 through 17, and includes performances by Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion National Parks.

While taking in the views, attendees will hear movements from Shostakovich, Bizet, an Dvorak symphonies. Soprano Celena Shafer, the orchestra’s artist-in-residence for next year’s season, will be on hand as well, performing selections from Puccini’s La Boheme and Gerswhin’s Porgy and Bess.

Tagging along during the Mighty Five tour will be composer Nico Muhly, who hopes to “draw musical inspiration from and feel the deep connection to the landscape,” says Fischer.

The concert series comes as both the Utah Symphony and the National Park System prepare for significant anniversaries—75th for the symphony and the Centennial for the NPS—in 2016. On schedule for the Symphony’s celebration that year? Brand new pieces by Muhly, motivated by his experiences on this current tour.

For details, visit the Utah Symphony’s website.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.