One of the $98 million Mesa Arts Center’s flagship concert events in its debut season, a first Valley performance by the prestigious London Philharmonic Orchestra and principal conductor Kurt Mazur, has been canceled.
MAC administrators, citing "travel and logistical issues," made the announcement Monday afternoon.
The orchestra organization "realized it had a travel difficulty that couldn’t be solved," said Randy Vogel, assistant director of theaters and operations at the MAC, who said he was first made aware of the potential problem in August.
"It had to do with their musician’s union and the amount of time and travel and what they thought they could do."
In place of the London Philharmonic, the MAC has scheduled a March 18 performance by the Utah Symphony Orchestra, led by Keith Lockhart — a conductor best known for his work with the Boston Pops Orchestra — who took over musical direction of the Utah Symphony in 1998.
Lockhart will lead an evening of Russian selections, culminating in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. Mazur was to have led the London Philharmonic through a program including Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
"We felt like it would be a really good alternative," Vogel said.
Tickets for the Utah Symphony event have dropped only slightly from the London Philharmonic price range. Tickets were $35 to $105 for the London Philharmonic date, while they are $25 to $90 for the Utah Symphony.
Tickets for the Utah Symphony, with Lockhart at the conductor’s stand, typically top out in the $50 range in its home state.
Vogel defended the higher ticket price for the Mesa Arts Center date —
"Touring orchestras have to charge more," he said — while a marketing director with the Utah Symphony refused comment except to say MAC administrators set prices. The marketing director also would not give prices for comparable dates at other arts centers.
Those holding tickets for the original London Philharmonic Orchestra date will be contacted by mail, with options for exchanging tickets for the Utah Symphony date, getting a refund or obtaining credit for future MAC shows.
Tickets for the Utah Symphony date are on sale at the Mesa Arts Center box office at 1 E. Main St., by calling (480) 644-6500 or online at