The Utah Symphony will celebrate its 80th birthday on Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. (Mountain Time), with a free livestream on Facebook and YouTube. As previously announced, in response to recommended Utah state COVID-19 health and safety precautions, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera cancelled the remainder of the orchestra performances in the 2019-20 season, including an 80th-anniversary gala concert with violinist Joshua Bell, as well as the summer Deer Valley Music Festival. The virtual 80th-birthday event will be hosted by the Jeff Counts, the Utah Symphony’s Ghost Light podcast co-anchor, and will feature interviews with Music Director Thierry Fischer and guest violinist Augustin Hadelich. The orchestra is inviting patrons to join the event starting at 7:30 p.m. for a “virtual lobby fest” to show off their best birthday-bash clothes and chat with members of the Utah Symphony. In 1935, what would later become Utah State Symphony Orchestra was created as a Works Progress Administration Orchestra under Roosevelt’s New Deal, offering five concerts with 52 part-time musicians. The Utah State Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in Salt Lake City on May 8, 1940. The orchestra’s name was officially changed to the Utah Symphony in 1946.