Sun Valley Music Festival Announces New Associate Conductor

Stephanie Childress, who currently serves as Associate Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, joins the Sun Valley Music Festival.  

The Sun Valley Music Festival is pleased to announce that Stephanie Childress has been appointed as its new Associate Conductor. Childress is a rising star in the classical music world and has appeared with major orchestras throughout Europe and the United States.She currently serves as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Associate Conductor and as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She’ll make her Sun Valley Music Festival debut this summer, conducting works during the August 4, 10, 14, and 17 concerts. Additionally, she will be working with students at the Festival’s Music Institute and hosting Pre-Concert Chats before select summer performances at the Pavilion.  

Music Director Alasdair Neale comments,

“I’m delighted to introduce Stephanie Childress as our new Associate Conductor. Stephanie is a prodigiously gifted musician and an immensely thoughtful artist with an impressively wide range of interests. I eagerly look forward to our collaboration and know that she will be given the warmest of Sun Valley welcomes.”

Since winning 2nd prize at the inaugural La Maestra International Competition in 2020, Childress has conducted major opera companies and orchestras worldwide, including the Paris Mozart Orchestra, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and New World Symphony Orchestra. She has served as St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Associate Conductor since 2021 and has fulfilled similar roles with Opera de Paris, English National Opera, and at Glyndebourne Festival. Her 2023/24 season highlights include conducting Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Glyndebourne, his Abduction from the Seraglio with the Hamburg State Opera, and Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves with the Detroit Opera. She also makes a return appearance with the North Carolina Symphony and will debut with the orchestras of Cleveland, Detroit, and Ottawa.  

Childress will take to the Sun Valley Pavilion stage for the first time during the Festival’s 39th annual Summer Season, this July 30-Aug. 24, conducting Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes on Aug. 4, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony on Aug. 10, Sibelius’s Finlandia on Aug. 14, and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty on Aug. 17. She’ll also host Pre-Concert Chats, held 45 minutes before most Festival concerts at the Pavilion. The chats, which are held at the paver bar on the Pavilion lawn, are a great way to learn more about the music and gain each host’s unique take on works to be performed before the concert begins. Childress will also work with students at the Festival’s Music Institute and will conduct the Advanced Chamber Orchestra during the education concerts at the Pavilion on Aug. 11. 

 All summer Festival concerts are admission-free, except for the Aug. 8 fundraising Gala Concert, and take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Pavilion (300 Dollar Rd., Sun Valley, Idaho). While some seats in the Pavilion may be reserved in advance by donors at certain giving levels, great seats are always available to the public in both the Pavilion and on the lawn. For concert dates, details, and up-to-date information on attending, visit the Festival website at or sign up for e-news at to receive the latest season updates by email.