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Sun Valley Pavilion

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300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States

July 2020

Beethoven @ 250: “Emperor” Concerto

Monday, July 27, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Orion Weiss

One of the most sought-after musicians of his generation, pianist Orion Weiss tackles one of the greatest concertos ever written. Filled with joy, beauty, and heartbreaking tenderness, this is not the stomping and thrashing-about of Beethoven’s caricature. From the opening movement’s rising “fountains” of piano to the ever-so-soft transition from second to final movement, the romance of this piece distinguishes it from classical predecessors. The program opens with the Prometheus Overture, a delightful piece which ushered in Beethoven’s most prolific period.

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Beethoven @ 250: Symphony No. 2 and Violin Romances

Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Beethoven @ 250

In his second symphony, Beethoven begins opening up the tightly bound symphonic form he inherited from Haydn and Mozart. He begins with a languid, 33-measure introduction, creates lyrical and funny passages, inserts the first scherzo ever to appear in a symphony, and writes two of the longest codas yet heard in the first and fourth movements. It’s a light-hearted and easy-going work. Beethoven’s two violin romances open the program, charming pieces that helped establish his bona fides as an orchestral composer.

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Beethoven @ 250: Orion Weiss in Recital

Thursday, July 30, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Orion Weiss

This program opens with one of Beethoven’s first published works, his spirited piano trio in G major. A sign of the 24-year old composer’s ambition, it’s one of the first trios ever written with four movements. After that, the mood darkens as Weiss tackles Beethoven’s turbulent and tragic Appassionata. Legend has it Beethoven conceived the raging finale while howling into the wind on a rainy walk through the countryside, returning quickly to his studio to compose the most powerful music written for solo piano up until that point.

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Beethoven @ 250: “Eroica”

Friday, July 31, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Beethoven @ 250

Beethoven’s “Heroic” symphony rewrote the rules for the genre. It was more massive, ambitious, and innovative than any music that came before. In many ways, it represents the turning point from classical to romantic music. It’s more emotional—more heroism, despair, mourning, and triumph than audiences had ever heard—with the emotions driving the music through Beethoven’s innovative use of rhythm as an equal partner to melody. Reflecting on Eroica, Leonard Bernstein marveled at “the mysterious genius of a man who is capable of uniting all contradictions into one single, perfect entity.”

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August 2020

Trifonov Plays Brahms

Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Daniil Trifonov

Hailed by The Times as “the most astounding pianist of our age,” Daniil Trifinov was Music America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, spent the 2018-19 season as Artist-in-Residence with the Berlin Philharmonic, and joins the New York Philharmonic in that role this season. Breaking from his crazy schedule, he’ll debut in Sun Valley, performing one of the most-loved concertos ever written, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Brahms started this “burst of pure, utter, natural genius” when he was 20 and completed it at the ripe old age of 25.

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Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Alasdair Neale Conducting

This program opens with the beautiful blue cathedral, which Jennifer Higdon wrote in memory of her younger brother, incorporating references to their life together. Similarly, Rachmaninoff’s last major composition, the Symphonic Dances, is considered a summation of his life as a composer. In it, he samples parts of his own First Symphony, a melody from the Dies irae (Day of Wrath) from the requiem mass, and his All Night Vigil. Rachmaninoff seems to be summing things up: on the final page of the score, he wrote “I thank Thee, Lord.”

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Family Concert: The American West

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Sun Valley Pavilion

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.

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Russian Masters

Sunday, August 9, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Leila Josefowicz

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.

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Memories of Mendelssohn and Mazzoli

Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
French horn

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, Mizzy Mazzoli’s These Worlds in Us. Of the title, she writes: “we accumulate worlds of intense memory within us.”

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Mozart and La Mer

Friday, August 14, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Inside a bass clarinet

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.”

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American Music with Time for Three and Aaron Copland

Saturday, August 15, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Time for Three

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.

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Pops: the Villalobos Brothers

Sunday, August 16, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Villalobos Brothers

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.

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Lawn Party – ¡Fiesta de baile!

Sunday, August 16, 2020, 7:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Villalobos Brothers performing

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.

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Festival Brass

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Bell of a French Horn

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.

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Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 6:30 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Rd
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353 United States
Alasdair Neale conducting

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).

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