The Festival’s 40th Season opens with a fanfare written by the composer Timothy Higgins especially for this occasion! Then soprano Meechot Marrero returns to Sun Valley to sing a few of her favorite arias–fans may remember her passionate performance in the Festival’s gala concert, Carmina Burana, in 2022. The concert closes with Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. Prokofiev himself gave it the nickname, as he intended to write a symphony in the classical style, while “absorbing things from what was new in music.” It’s a delightful, sunny piece, and one of the most-performed works of the 20th century.
The Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, most famous for his tangos, composed The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires in the late 1960s. Festival Assistant Concertmaster Juliana Athayde will take the lead on these four lovely pieces that quote and improvise on Vivaldi’s masterpiece. Following, Associate Conductor Stephanie Childress returns to the podium to lead Mozart’s “Linz” symphony. On the way from Vienna to Salzburg, Austria, Mozart stopped to visit a friend in Linz, only to learn that said friend had committed him to performing a symphony there in four days. The only problem was that he didn’t have a symphony with him. So, being Mozart, he wrote one. It’s brilliant, of course!
It’s not often one gets to hear the world premiere of a new concerto, so mark your calendars for this concert helping celebrate the Music Festival’s 40th Anniversary! Back in 2021, the Festival commissioned “trailblazing” (Los Angeles Times) and Grammy-nominated composer Andy Akiho to write a cello concerto for Jeffrey Zeigler, the former cellist of the famed Kronos Quartet. Following the concerto, the celebration will continue with Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, composed in 1749 to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession.