Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony became recognized as a leading American ensemble largely through the efforts of Maurice Abravanel, Music Director from 1947 to 1979. During his tenure, the orchestra undertook four international tours, released numerous recordings and developed an extensive music education program. A pioneering cycle of Mahler Symphonies conducted by Abravanel was recorded between 1963 and 1974 and included the first commercial stereo recordings of the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. These recordings also marked the first complete Mahler cycle recorded by an American orchestra. This new release furthers the tradition of outstanding Mahler from the Utah Symphony, with more albums planned for 2016 release in a Utah Symphony series from Reference Recordings.