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The two passions of David Park — classical music and fine wine — came together during the musician's recent trip to France.

Park, the assistant concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, performed for more than 300 people at Chateau Branaire-Ducru, which dates back to the 17th Century and is considered one of France's most revered Bordeaux wines. He also stayed at the chateau.

For the performance, Park played a Stradivarius 1718 'Firebird' loaned by Peter Prier, founder of Utah's Violin Making School of America. It's one of the rarest violins in the world, according to Park, who also brought along a highly-prized Tourte bow.

Accompanied by pianist Fran├žoise Larra from the Bordeaux Opera, Park performed Brahms, Mozart and Ravel in the first part of his concert. He followed with Kreisler, Sarasate, and Massenet. The concert was one of six in a series of musical performances. Park — who also is an adjunct professor of violin at the University of Utah — was the only American to perform.

Traveling to this famed wine-growing region was "a dream come true," said Park, who collects rare wines and seeks out top-rated restaurants whenever he travels.

"I love France and in some ways I'm really a Francophile," he said. "So it was such a privilege to go to Bordeaux, the capital of fine wine, and perform there. The combination of events made it very special."

It also was an emotional experience for Park, who, according to a local blog ( shed "tears of happiness" during the performance. "The happiness of playing in a region, a setting and before a public that are all so special," he said at the time.

During the whirlwind trip, Park also enjoyed a dinner and a private tour at the famed Chateau Brane-Cantenac. He enjoyed a tasting of a few recent vintages, including the 2009 that was still in barrels and "considered one of the greatest vintages of all time," Park said.

He also toured the venerable Chateau Margaux, where the owners presented him with two bottles of their wine to take home.

Park wanted to catch up on his sleep during a layover in the New York airport, but couldn't rest knowing both the rare "Strat" and the wines were in his carry-on bags. "I treated them like babies," he said.

The bottles have been added to Park's personal collection, which now numbers several hundred and includes other treasured bottles from around the world, including a 1996 LaFite Rothschild, also from France.

"I'm definitely a fanatic," he said. "But I felt like the owners (of the chateaus) appreciated my enthusiasm for their land and its wines."