2020 Summer Season
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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.Find out more »
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.Find out more »
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.Find out more »
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.”Find out more »
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.”Find out more »
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.Find out more »
The Villalobos Brothers join the Festival Orchestra for an evening of
Latin-inspired music. One of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles, this group of singers, songwriters, and composers (comprised of three violinists and a guitarist) have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and at the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations. Their rich compositions honor Mexican folk music, fusing it with intricate harmonies of jazz and classical stylings. Following the concert, they’ll move to the lawn to lay down some backtracks and lead a dance party to Afro-Colombian beats.
Dance the night away with one of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles—the Pavilion lawn becomes a "fiesta de baile" with the Villalobos Brothers.Find out more »
Join the Festival’s acclaimed brass sections (horns, trumpets, trombones, and tuba) for an evening of spectacular music featuring arrangements of well-known pieces and perhaps an original composition. Following the popular success of the “Hornucopia” and “Brasstacular” concerts in recent years, the musicians decided to join forces across all brass instruments to put together this special program. The concert will be held in the Pavilion, in order to accommodate the expected crowd.Find out more »
The season closes with Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece written around a set of autobiographical episodes. In his words, “I conceive an artist, gifted with a lively imagination, who sees for the first time a woman who realizes the ideal of beauty and fascination that his heart has so long invoked, and falls madly in love with her.” It doesn’t go well. It didn’t in real life either. But the world got the Symphonie Fantastique, the most remarkable first symphony ever written by anyone (well, until maybe Mahler).Find out more »
“It’s where we all gather: it’s the center of town life
With picnic basket, folding chairs, blanket, and our two kids in tow, we find ‘our spot’ on the lawn and settle in for what we know will be a wonderful evening of music, fine dining, and chatting with friends old and new. As the glorious music wafts over us and the mountains start to change color in the background, we enjoy a wonderful family night out. And it’s free!"
Located on the lawn next to the Paver Bar, these 30-minute chats offer insightful, entertaining introductions to the concerts 45 minutes before every performance at the Pavilion, except the Gala. Join in person or stream on your phone from the Festival website.
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Kids’ Music Tent
Held in the canopy at the back of the Pavilion lawn during summer performances, children ages 4-8 can explore music with local music educator Lisa Pettit through hands-on projects and activities for FREE while you attend the concerts. It’s free—of course—but reservations are required.
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The Festival Store is open every concert day during the Summer Concert Series from 1:00 PM through 1/2 hour after the performance. It is closed during the concert. The Store is your source for information, Festival swag and CDs, picnic supplies, and lost and found.
For more information, visit Festival Store
“Everything comes together here to create truly moving musical experiences—whether you're a devoted classical music fan, or just out for a great evening.
The elevation, mountains, trees, endless sky—combined with the most welcoming of communities—inspires me and all our musicians to bring the ideas and passions of composers from across the centuries to life."