Rock Goes Classical with Jenny Oaks Baker, Kurt Bestor and Utah Valley Symphony
Take Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, and you already have the makings of a first-class concert. Then add a collaboration with Emmy Award-winner Kurt Bestor and give him the baton to conduct rock music with the Utah Valley Symphony.
The result is Rock! Classical, an epic celebration of rock and roll's greatest melodies executed with an electrifying classical twist on Monday, August 21 @ 8:00pm at the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre in Orem, 699 South State (in the middle of SCERA Park).
General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children age 3-11 and seniors age 65 and older. Reserved areas with a free lawn chair may be available for an additional cost. They are available at www.scera.org, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, in person at SCERA Center for the Arts (745 South State, Orem), open 10-6 weekdays, or at the gate 90 minutes prior to performance.
Baker and Bestor have selected ageless rock classics and given them the classical music treatment.
"The music is timeless," says Baker, "with melodies that are great for families. These melodies, especially in an instrumental version, are just fun with music that is stirring, emotional and fabulous. I did a rock music album with Kurt Bestor, who did all the arrangements."
Among the selections will be Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and "Kashmire," "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns "N Roses, "Fields of Gold" by Sting," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, and "Pinball Wizard" by The Who.
"We are also performing "Everybody Hurts" by R. E.M., which I love and is one of my favorites," Baker adds. "This is music that will be around forever."
Baker and Bestor have collaborated for more than 20 years, and he has done arrangements on 13 of her albums.
"We are great friends and work really well together," she says. "He arranged my very first album, and I have been working with him since high school when I played in recording orchestras in Utah. I played for some of his first Christmas shows, and I find him to be an amazing composer, arranger, pianist and conductor. When you work with Kurt, you work with the best. He is a brilliant artist."
Although she has won many music awards, performed nationally with several symphonies and orchestras, and spent seven years as first violinist in the National Symphony Orchestra, Baker is now happy to call Utah home.
"I am really busy performing, and living in Utah really works for me," she says. "Most of my concerts are in the West, and I am able to drive to them and put my four children in the program. They have become good musicians, and this is a successful way I have combined motherhood with a music career."
Her son Matthew will perform with her in the SCERA concert as they present a new arrangement of "The Sound of Music," which will also be featured as a video within the next couple of months.
Backed by the full sound of the Utah Valley Symphony, screaming electric guitars become power from violins and French horns; the drum kit and bass are replaced with pulsating strings; and sizzling brass ramps up the energy.
"We love having Jenny Oaks Baker and Kurt Bestor on our stage," says Adam J. Robertson, SCERA's President & CEO. "When you have their combined artistry and Kurt's arrangements, we get an absolutely stellar night of music."
"I love to perform at SCERA," Baker adds. "It really does feel like the home town audience, and the crowd is invariably warm and enthusiastic."