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July 2020

Beethoven @ 250: Lecture @ the Library

Friday, July 31, 2020, 10:30 AM
The Community Library, John A. and Carole O. Moran Lecture Hall, 415 Spruce Avenue
Ketchum, ID 83340 United States
Jan Swafford

Noted Beethoven scholar Jan Swafford presents a talk about the monumental Eroica Symphony at an informal mid-morning lecture at The Community Library as part of the Festival’s Beethoven @ 250 celebration.

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Beethoven @ 250: “Eroica”

Friday, July 31, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Beethoven @ 250

Beethoven’s “Heroic” symphony rewrote the rules for the genre. It was more massive, ambitious, and innovative than any music that came before. In many ways, it represents the turning point from classical to romantic music. It’s more emotional—more heroism, despair, mourning, and triumph than audiences had ever heard—with the emotions driving the music through Beethoven’s innovative use of rhythm as an equal partner to melody. Reflecting on Eroica, Leonard Bernstein marveled at “the mysterious genius of a man who is capable of uniting all contradictions into one single, perfect entity.”

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August 2020

Trifonov Plays Brahms

Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Daniil Trifonov

Hailed by The Times as “the most astounding pianist of our age,” Daniil Trifinov was Music America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, spent the 2018-19 season as Artist-in-Residence with the Berlin Philharmonic, and joins the New York Philharmonic in that role this season. Breaking from his crazy schedule, he’ll debut in Sun Valley, performing one of the most-loved concertos ever written, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Brahms started this “burst of pure, utter, natural genius” when he was 20 and completed it at the ripe old age of 25.

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Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Alasdair Neale Conducting

This program opens with the beautiful blue cathedral, which Grammy award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon wrote in memory of her younger brother, incorporating references to their life together. Similarly, Rachmaninoff’s last major composition, the Symphonic Dances, is considered a summation of his life as a composer. In it, he samples parts of his own First Symphony, a melody from the Dies irae (Day of Wrath) from the requiem mass, and his All Night Vigil. Rachmaninoff seems to be summing things up: on the final page of the score, he wrote “I thank Thee, Lord.”

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Family Concert: The American West

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Sun Valley Pavilion

Join Associate Conductor Sameer Patel and the Festival Orchestra for an evening of music inspired by the old west. The program will include music from Aaron Copland’s Rodeo, Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite, and classic western films. Saddle up, don your cowboy hat and celebrate the western frontier, its great landscapes and traditions, and the music that's been inspired by our history and surroundings, from the big screen to the concert stage.

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Russian Masters

Sunday, August 9, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Leila Josefowicz

Violinist Leila Josefowicz is a passionate advocate of contemporary music, with several living composers having written concertos for her. In this concert, she plays Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D, a rhythmic, pulsing piece with Baroque overtones. Stravinsky basically invented his own format for this concerto, creating two “arias” in the middle to showcase gorgeous violin-playing, including a rare (for Stravinsky) bit of reflective melancholy in the second. Stravinsky’s charmingly playful Scherzo à la Russe opens the program, while Tchaikovsky’s timeless Romeo and Juliet closes it.

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Beethoven @ 250: The “Archduke” Trio

Monday, August 10, 2020, 6:30 PM
Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, 100 Saddle Rd.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
Beethoven @ 250

The last full-scale piano trio that Beethoven wrote is a masterpiece. At nearly 45-minutes long, it’s practically a symphony for the violin, cello, and piano. The mood is genial, and the third movement features an absolutely delightful theme and five variations. Beethoven allows the three instruments to share melody and accompaniment equally, weaving them together in moods ranging from joy to sorrow but always with a beautiful light shining through.

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Memories of Mendelssohn and Mazzoli

Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
French horn

Thirteen years after walking through Scotland with a friend, Felix Mendelssohn completed his “Scottish” symphony inspired by sights, sounds, and moods from his visit. Don’t expect bagpipes, though—“No national music for me!” Rather, he wrote of his inspiration: “It is in pictures, ruins, and natural surroundings that I find the most music.” If you wonder how Mendelssohn held onto those memories, look no further than this concert’s opening piece, Missy Mazzoli’s These Worlds in Us. Of the title, she writes: “we accumulate worlds of intense memory within us.”

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Mozart and La Mer

Friday, August 14, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Inside a bass clarinet

Mozart completed his clarinet concerto in 1791, just months before he died. It’s equally full of grace and gravity, with the clarinet providing unusually dark undertones, a sense of sadness hiding behind beauty. As for Debussy’s La Mer, some scholars call it “the greatest example of an orchestra impressionist work.” Debussy himself said that anyone applying the term impressionism to music was “an imbecile.” Either way, it expresses Debussy’s memory of his “old friend the sea, always innumerable and beautiful.”

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American Music with Time for Three and Aaron Copland

Saturday, August 15, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Time for Three

Following the annual Armed Forces Medley, Sun Valley favorites Time for Three return to the Pavilion stage for the first time since August 2017. The Festival has co-commissioned a concerto for them by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. Puts wrote “Hymn to the Sun,” the very first music ever played in the Pavilion. This concert also features another American composer, Aaron Copland, and his ballet suite Billy the Kid, which tells the tale of the famous outlaw.

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