Ghost Light

The stage is dark, but the conversation is just beginning.

Welcome to the Utah Symphony's Ghost Light, a behind the curtain look into the world of classical music and the artists who make it. Hosted by Jeff Counts, Utah Symphony's General Manager and Vice President of Operations. New episodes are released each Tuesday.

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Season 2, Ep. 13 – Conductor Edwin Outwater talks about the new creative concert experience and the state of classical perfomance. (Released 8/14/2018)

Season 2, Ep. 12 – Season 2, Ep. 12 – The fabulous Capathia Jenkins talks about the musical legacy of Ella Fitzgerald, Broadway, and her fight to help homeless youth. (Released 8/6/2018)

Season 2, Ep. 11 – Renowned conductor Gary Thor Wedow talks about his career path to the conductor’s podium, and how new opera music speaks to our heart and mind regardless or our musical expertise. (Released 6/13/2018)

Season 2, Ep. 10 –Pianist Conrad Tao talks about finding inspiration for new compositions and the musical legacy of Leonard Bernstein. (Released 5/10/2018)

Season 2, Ep. 9 Renowned conductor Karina Canellakis talks about her transition from a violinist to a rising-star conductor and the excitement of leading major orchestras around the world. (Released 4/12/2018)

Season 2, New episodes coming soon! (Released 3/23/2018)

Season 2, Ep. 8 – Jake Heggie and Gene Sheer, acclaimed creators of the hit opera Moby-Dick, talk about Utah Opera’s amazing, new production, and the inspiration behind turning this classic novel into an award-winning opera. (Released 1/26/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 7 – World-renowned violinist Hilary Hahn talks about her acclaimed concerts for mothers and their small children, her ambitious encore project, and the thrill of a live performance. (Released 1/19/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 6 – Renowned composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher talks about his creative process in composing new works, and how music speaks to our heart and mind regardless or our expertise.(Released 12/6/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 5 –Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Mack Wilberg talks about collaborating with the Utah Symphony on the new album, Mahler Symphony No. 8.(Released 11/17/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 4 – Acclaimed Violinist William Hagen talks about performing Ravel and Saint-Saens with conductor Matthias Pintscher and the Utah Symphony.(Released 11/3/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 3 – Renowned Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja talks about her upcoming performance of Berg’s Violin Concerto with the Utah Symphony and her highly anticipated sprechstimme performance of Pierrot Lunaire.(Released 10/20/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 2 –Director Kathleen Clawson talks about the timeless elegance of Puccini’s La bohème and her current production with Utah Opera.(Released 10/9/2017)

Season 2, Ep. 1 – Maestro Thierry Fischer shares his insights into the music of Camille Saint-Saëns and talks about the Utah Symphony’s exciting recording project.(Released 9/28/2017)

Ep. 37– 40 Days of Opera - Leslie and Michelle Peterson, daughters of Utah Opera founder Glade Peterson, talk about the opera’s rich heritage of artistic excellence and the excitement of a 40th Anniversary season.(previously released)

Ep. 35 – Tad Calcara, Principal Clarinet of the Utah Symphony talks about his upcoming performance of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto and his love for big band music.(Released 7/25/17)

Ep. 34 –The founder and conductor of CineConcerts, Justin Freer, talks about his upcoming performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ in Concert with the Utah Symphony.(Released 7/18/17)

Ep. 33 –Award-winning concert pianist Kevin Cole talks about his affinity for the music of George Gershwin and shares some fascinating experiences he had with Irving Berlin and members of the Gershwin family.(Released 7/12/17)

Ep. 32 – GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist Patti Austin talks about her tribute performance for Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday at the Deer Valley® Music Festival.(Released 6/28/17)

Ep. 31 – Broadway star Lisa Vroman talks about her upcoming performance with the Utah Symphony at the Deer Valley® Music Festival. (Released 6/26/17)

Ep. 30 – The Ghost Light Podcast celebrates its 30th episode with a conversation with host Jeff Counts on his position as Vice President of Operations & General Manager of Utah Symphony. (Released 6/16/17)

Ep. 29 – Academy Award-winning composer Justin Hurwitz talks about the music he wrote for La La Land and the Utah Symphony’s upcoming films in concert performance. (Released 6/21/17)

Ep. 28 –Internationally-acclaimed violinist Simone Porter talks about her upcoming performance with the Utah Symphony, her repertoire wish list, and in finding insights in literature through music. (Released 5/26/17)

Ep. 27–Acclaimed Director Kristine McIntyre talks about Utah Opera’s upcoming film noir production of Don Giovanni and the excitement of returning next season for the thrilling new production of Moby Dick. (Released 4/27/17)

Ep. 26 – Abigail Rethwisch, Soprano, talks about her unexpected opportunity to perform the title role in Utah Opera’s acclaimed production of Lucia di Lammermoor.(Released 4/12/17)

Ep. 25–Leslie and Michelle Peterson, daughters of Utah Opera founder Glade Peterson, talk about the opera’s rich heritage of artistic excellence and the excitement of a 40th Anniversary season.(Released 4/6/17)

Ep. 24 –Caitlyn Valovick Moore talks about performing as soloist for a world premiere NOVA Chamber Music Series performance and in her role as piccoloist/flutist for the Utah Symphony.(Released 3/24/17)

Ep. 23 – Associate Principal Trumpet Jeff Luke talks about his experiences sharing classical music around the world and in joining the Utah Symphony.(Released 3/17/17)

Ep. 22 – Utah Symphony President Paul Meecham talks about the new Films in Concert series and the thrilling performances of the 2017-18 season. (Released 3/7/17)

Ep. 21 – Maestro Thierry Fischer shares the exciting performances of the Utah Symphony’s 2017-18 season. (Released 2/16/17)

Ep. 20 – Artistic Director Christopher McBeth shares with us Utah Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season announcement. (Released 2/15/17)

Ep. 19– Clarinetist Erin Svoboda talks about joining the Utah Symphony and shares some insights into becoming a professional musician. (Released 2/7/17)

Ep. 18– Toby Tolokan vice president of artistic planning for Utah Symphony discusses the excitement and difficulty of planning an orchestra season. (Released 1/31/17)

Ep. 17 – Travis Peterson discusses his background in drum corps and how he transitioned his musical interests to become principal trumpet for the Utah Symphony. (Released 1/25/17)

Ep. 16 – Renowned Director Paul Curran discusses Utah Opera’s production of Man of La Mancha. (Released 1/18/17)

Ep. 15 – Host Jeff Counts discusses the music of Charles Ives and other upcoming projects with Jason Hardink, Artistic Director of the NOVA Chamber Music Series and Principal Keyboard of the Utah Symphony. (Released 1/9/17)

Ep. 14 - Violinist David Porter talks about his work with MOTUS and in sharing classical music with the community in unexpected ways.(released 12/12/16)

Ep. 13 - Cellist John Eckstein discusses his outreach work and upcoming service trip with several Utah Symphony musicians for BLUME Haiti.(released 12/06/16)

Ep. 12 - Andrew Larson shares an inside look at the cello section of the Utah Symphony.(released 11/29/16)

Ep. 11 - Filmmaker Carol Dalrymple discusses collaborating with the Utah Symphony for her award-winning documentary National Parks Symphony: The Mighty Five. (released 11/22/16)

Ep. 10 - GRAMMY Award-winning sound engineer Dirk Sobotka gives us an inside look at the complexities of recording an orchestra. (released 11/16/16)

Ep. 9 - Elizabeth Beilman shares her journey as an orchestral violist (released 11/07/16)

Ep. 8 - Sarah Coit discusses the life of an opera singer (released 10/31/16)


Ep. 7 - Associate Conductor Rei Hotoda discusses Utah Symphony's education outreach. (Released 10/24/16)

Ep. 6 - Madeline Adkins discusses joining the Utah Symphony as the new Concertmaster. (Released 10/10/16)

Ep. 5 - Christopher McBeth discusses the process of planning an opera season (Released 10/3/16)

Ep. 4 - Paul Meecham discussed the state of orchestral music in America (Released 9/26/16)

Ep. 3 - Michael Pape discusses auditioning for a major orchestra and being an orchestral percussionist (Released 9/19/16)

Ep. 2 - Mary Anne Huntsman discusses getting kids involved with classical music (Released 9/12/16)

Ep. 1 - Thierry Fischer discusses planning an orchestra's season (Released 9/5/16)

What is a ghost light?

If you were to walk on the stage in Abravanel Hall or Capitol Theater when the venue was closed and no one was there, you wouldn't be alone in the dark. A ghost light is a single bulb that is left on and placed on the stage after each performance. There are different explanations for ghost lights, which is a tradition in most venues. Some believe it keeps ghosts away from the stage. Others think it appeases the ghosts and keeps them happy. The pragmatic see it as an important safety measure to keep people from falling over things that have been left on stage (or off the stage itself!).