Keith Lockhart has had a busy summer. He hasn't been seen in Utah for about a month, but he's been hard at work nonetheless, conducting the Esplanade concerts with the Boston Pops and putting the finishing touches on his most recent recording.
Titled "The Latin Album," the CD is scheduled to be released next month, and if Lockhart's previous recordings with the Pops are any indication, this new one is certain to be another hot seller.
Up to now, one of Lockhart and the Pops' most successful recordings has been "The Celtic Album," which came out about two years ago. The album has both traditional Irish and Scottish music, together with classical pieces that have Celtic influences. And this weekend Lockhart brings the music from this album to Utah in a pair of concerts aptly called "Celtic Keith."
Speaking with the Deseret News by phone from Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was about to start rehearsals for an all-Copland concert, Lockhart said he enjoys doing programs that combine both popular and classical music.
"The important thing for me with 'The Celtic Album' and these concerts was that I wasn't doing anything that The Chieftains could do better," Lockhart said.
The program for next weekend's concerts is made up of Celtic classical pieces, folk music and rock. "We do a piece by Van Morrison," Lockhart said, "so there's some Celtic rock in it. We also do a few selections from 'Riverdance.' You can't get away with not doing something from it, because a lot of people associate it with Celtic music.
"And George Dyer will be our Irish tenor on the program. He'll be doing songs from the Dennis Day repertoire."
The classical side of the concert includes two movements from the "Irish Symphony" by Hamilton Hardy and "The Hebrides" overture by Mendelssohn.
"The concert works really well," Lockhart said. "And the impression you're left with is of the orchestra. The concert is focused on the orchestra.
"It's a delight for me that people come to pops concerts not to hear classical music but to hear music in a different context. One of my goals is to give people an awareness of great music, and to present them with different works. The sensibility today is right to do (crossover concerts). That was the case in Boston, and I think that it's also the case in Utah."
There will also be pre-concert entertainment provided by a group of local Irish dancers, and the concert itself will open with the Salt Lake Scots Bagpipe Band.
The concerts take place Friday, Aug. 18, in Abravanel Hall and Saturday, Aug. 19, in Deer Valley. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Friday evening show are priced from $12-$29, with student tickets available for $8. Deer Valley tickets cost $22 for general admission, $39 for reserved seating and $65 for a family pass. Students can get in for $12.
Tickets can be purchased through ArtTix by calling 801-355-ARTS or 1-888-451-ARTS, or in-person at the ArtTix outlets in Abravanel Hall and the Capitol Theatre.
They can also be ordered online at www.arttix.org. Additionally, tickets for the Deer Valley concert can be obtained at the following Park City locations: Park City Reservations, 435-649-5900; High Mountain Properties, 1-800-239-6144; or Deer Valley Signatures, 435-645-6923; 625 Main or at Silver Lake Village).