Alasdair Neale with Guest Speakers

Special Live, Online Event Will Bring Upbeat with Alasdair to Your Living Room

The Festival will present a live, online-only, Upbeat with Alasdair this month, featuring remote interviews with Festival Musicians, Q&As, and performances.

Click here for a special message from Alasdair Neale on the event.

For the first time ever, the Sun Valley Music Festival will broadcast an online-exclusive production, airing live Tuesday, May 12 at 6:30 PM (MT) on the Festival website ( The program, co-presented with The Community Library, will be an iteration of the popular Upbeat with Alasdair series, but with a twist. Music Director Alasdair Neale will host from his home in San Francisco, joined by Associate Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and Principal Oboe Erik Behr from their home in Rochester, New York. It will be an immersive experience, with familiar interview-style observations on musical subjects paired with stories, a short musical performance, and opportunities to engage with the presenters. Be sure to attend the day of the broadcast, as this online event will only be available at 6:30 PM (MT), May 12.

“I’m so excited to welcome as my guests for a special online Upbeat with Alasdair my dear friends and colleagues Juliana Athayde and her husband Erik Behr, respectively Assistant Concertmaster and Principal Oboe of the Festival Orchestra. We’ll share some stories and favorite memories of Sun Valley and enjoy a musical treat or two along the way. It’ll be lots of fun!”

— Music Director Alasdair Neale

While many past Upbeat with Alasdair presentations have provided insight into upcoming programming, this special event — with the integration of technology — will allow the Festival to take the audience “behind the scenes” in a new and exciting way. Even more intimate, with what will certainly prove to be delightful repartee between these longtime friends and collaborators, this inaugural broadcast will open with an interview between host Neale and his guests. Following, Athayde and Behr will perform together. And the program will finish with a question and answer session with audience participation.

The husband and wife duo joining Maestro Neale are familiar faces to Festival concertgoers. Athayde and Behr have been Festival orchestra members since 2008 and 2009, and both perform with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra outside of Sun Valley summers. Violinist Athayde made her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 16 and was named Concertmaster in Rochester at 24 — the youngest to hold the title since their orchestra’s inception. She has performed with some of classical music’s most recognizable musicians and organizations, including work in her early teens with Alasdair Neale at the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Acclaimed widely for his distinguished musicianship, Behr serves as Principal Oboe in his home orchestra — a title he has held at many major orchestras prior to his appointment in Rochester.

The Festival remains dedicated to ensuring all can attend this event. Access is free. No special software or technology is needed, other than a device with speakers or earphones that can access the internet, such as a computer, cell phone, or tablet. And no sign-up or password is required. Simply go to the Festival’s website at and click “Watch online broadcast” from the home page. Note, the broadcast will start at 6:30 PM (MT) but you may go to the broadcast as early as 6:15 PM to test your connection and audio. If you are having technical issues, you may contact the Festival office at (208) 622-5607 to have a staff member help get you connected.

Please contact the Festival office for information on attending this broadcast at [email protected] or (208) 622-5607. And for the latest news and information on the Sun Valley Music Festival, visit the Festival website at or sign up for e-news at