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Crystal clear: Here's how they clean the chandeliers at Abravanel Hall

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jul 09, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Every person who has watched a performance at Abravanel Hall, the home of the Utah Symphony since it was built in 1979, has sat under the shimmering chandeliers that light up the venue.

“Each chandelier has 24,486 individual crystals,” said Marissa Olson, an on-call technical director for Salt Lake County Arts and Culture. “So in between all six, we have 146,916 crystals. I counted them all last year, so I know.”

As you walk into the music hall, they can’t be missed.

“The chandeliers are one of the most noticeable features inside the house, and people notice the glisten and the shine on them,” Olson added.

But like all things in the world of culture and artistic endeavors, they require regular fine-tuning and attention to detail.

Every summer, the six chandeliers made of Austrian and Czechoslovakian crystals and prisms are lowered down to the seating level for cleaning. One chandelier takes five to six hours to clean.

Olson uses a damp cloth and glass cleaner to carefully wipe each strand of crystals and prisms.

This delicate cleaning process, however, starts high above the music hall.

Drew Bielinski, the technical director for Abravanel Hall, took FOX 13 News to the attic of the music venue where the motors for each chandelier are located.

“The public never gets to this stuff,” Bielinski said as he checked the motor of one of the chandeliers. “So it's fun to have the insider knowledge of how things work about the building.”

After Olson completes the cleaning of the final chandelier, Bielinski turns a key that starts the motor to bring the chandelier back up to the ceiling.

Bielinski then locks and secures the chandelier into place. Then it's time to turn on the LED-lit chandeliers. This process is repeated for each chandelier.

While audience members may not notice a difference to the chandeliers from their seats, Olson says its a process that’s important to the venue’s success.

“That’s the level of care we put into our venues, and a lot of care went into designing this venue, so we want to make sure to pay homage to that and take as good care of it as we can," she said.