SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Youth Symphony begins a year-long salute to Russian music when it opens the 2012 season on Jan. 14 with Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol" and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.2.

The concert, titled "An Evening in Russia at the Tabernacle," is free to the public and will be at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square at 7:30 p.m.

On Jan. 8 in Libby Gardner Hall on the University of Utah campus, the Utah Youth Philharmonic will also pay tribute to Russian composers with Glinka's "Overture to Ruslan & Lyudmila," Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1. The concert is free to the public.

Utah Youth Symphony music director and conductor Barbara Scowcroft said the decision to highlight Russian composers "lends itself to unifying the two orchestras in a shared theme, shared goals and great music. Both orchestras can feel that they are contributing to presenting two seldom-heard Tchaikovsky symphonies."

Utah's youth orchestra, now in its 53rd year, includes about 85 musicians of high school age. Because of the large numbers of musicians who auditioned for the Youth Symphony in 2008, a second orchestral group was created — the Utah Youth Philharmonic.

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