Sun Valley Music Festival Announces 38th Summer Season, July 24-August 18, 2022
The largest privately funded, admission-free classical music festival in the United States presents over three weeks of world-class performances this summer in an outdoor alpine setting, led by Music Director Alasdair Neale
This season highlights three of the country’s greatest living composers – Gabriela Lena Frank, Jessie Montgomery, and Kevin Puts – and features performances from renowned guest artists: pianists Daniil Trifonov and George Li, violinist Leila Josefowicz, tenor Nicholas Phan, guest conductor Andy Einhorn, and the genre-defying string trio Time For Three.
The Sun Valley Music Festival is proud to announce details of its upcoming Summer Season, July 24-August 18 at the outdoor, state-of-the-art Sun Valley Pavilion in Idaho. The season features over 14 admission-free concerts alongside a gala fundraising concert and multiple outreach and education events. Since 1985, Festival Orchestra musicians have come together from distinguished ensembles across North America to perform orchestral and chamber concerts each summer. This year’s massive orchestral repertoire is as vast as Sun Valley’s mountainous setting, ranging from Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony” and familiar works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky to 20th-century treasures by Lili Boulanger and Stravinsky to a special emphasis on music by living composers. Guest artists include pianists Daniil Trifonov and George Li, violinist Leila Josefowicz, tenor Nicholas Phan, conductor Andy Einhorn, and the genre-defying trio Time For Three.
Furthering its commitment to new music following the overwhelmingly successful world-premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Five Freedom Songs last summer, the Sun Valley Music Festival launches its 38th season with Montgomery’s Banner. Highlights of this year’s contemporary orchestral repertoire include Gabriela Lena Frank’s Three Latin American Dances for Orchestra and Kevin Puts’s Contact, a Festival co-commission.
Music Director Alasdair Neale comments, “We are delighted to present once again a series of orchestral and chamber performances of the highest caliber from an all-star orchestra and top-notch soloists, free of charge, all in a setting of breathtaking beauty. The joy of music connects our community and brings us together in the majestic surroundings of the Sun Valley Pavilion.”
The Festival launches its Summer Season with three chamber orchestra concerts, starting with a patriotic season opener on July 24 featuring Jessie Montgomery’s Banner and Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto, with pianist George Li. The spotlight shines on principal cellist Amos Yang for Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations on July 26 and the July 29 concert features tenor Nicholas Phan and works by Britten and Ravel that were inspired, respectively, by poems and fairytales. This season features many gems from the orchestral repertoire, including the opening full orchestra performance on August 2, an evening of Beethoven that starts with his grand Leonore Overture No. 3 and concludes with his cheerful “Pastoral” sixth symphony. Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will pair the Festival Orchestra with “the most astounding pianist of our age” (The Times of London), Daniil Trifonov, on August 4. Principal trumpet Andrew McCandless is featured with the orchestra for John Estacio’s Trumpet Concerto along with works by Manuel de Falla and José Pablo Moncayo on August 6. On August 8, Neale presents the lovely and too-rarely-heard first symphony by the British composer Edward Elgar.
Other 2022 artistic highlights include Avery Fisher Prize-winning violinist Leila Josefowicz’s return to Sun Valley, performing Stravinksy’s violin concerto on an evening also featuring works by Lili Boulanger and Tchaikovsky on August 9. On August 13, Time For Three joins the orchestra for Kevin Puts’s Contact, a Festival co-commission. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Three Latin American Dances for Orchestra completes the program that evening.
Following a traditional rousing rendition of the Armed Forces Medley, Broadway music director and conductor Andy Einhorn leads the August 14 Pops Night, titled The Best of Americana, featuring familiar and fun works from film, Broadway, and much-loved composers. Continue the evening and dance the night away with a lively performance on the Pavilion lawn for the Festival’s third Lawn Party.
Music Director Alasdair Neale concludes the summer on August 18 with Richard Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony“, which is seldom heard on the classical music festival circuit due to the orchestra’s massive size (including a section of 18 horns). It’s a fitting finale that celebrates the splendor and natural beauty of an alpine setting — epitomizing the Sun Valley experience.
A chamber recital on July 28 features George Li with Festival musicians performing music by Schubert and Schumann. The Festival’s resident string quartet, Edgar M. Bronfman String Quartet, plays Haydn and Brahms on August 11, and a special Hornucopia concert, featuring 16 of the finest horn players in North America, concludes the Festival’s summer chamber performances on August 16.
Education Programs – Sun Valley Music Festival Music Institute
The Festival provides year-round music education programs to students of all ages and abilities through its Music Institute, which celebrates its 25th year in 2022. This summer, students in grades 2-12 can participate in programs for most orchestral instruments, voice, and piano August 1-5, while college undergraduates and exceptional high school students studying piano, strings, and voice can participate in the Advanced Chamber Program July 25-August 6. Participants hone their musical skills and work on performance pieces with Sun Valley Music Festival musicians, conductors, and guest artists – including Daniil Trifonov, George Li, and Nicholas Phan – while also attending orchestra rehearsals and concerts. More information about education programs, including registration, which is now open, can be found on the Festival’s website.
How To Attend
The Festival is monitoring health considerations closely and is committed to bringing music to the community safely. Seating and attendance protocols will be determined closer to the start of the Summer Season, based on health guidelines in place at that time. Gala Concert details will be released mid-February. For concert dates, details, and up-to-date information on attending, visit the Festival website at svmusicfestival.org or sign up for e-news at svmusicfestival.org/subscribe to receive the latest season updates by email.