Before you know it, the hills around Sun Valley will once again be alive with the sounds of music. The highly anticipated Sun Valley Summer Symphony season returns to the Sun Valley Pavilion (located adjacent to the Sun Valley Lodge) and the lawn beyond on July 24. For three wonderful summertime weeks, the finest musicians in the country will offer free concerts. It is one of the most highly anticipated cultural and social highlights of the year.
Guests and locals alike anticipate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony...
Listen carefully and you will hear the telltale signs of the season – the slight creak of wicker picnic baskets settling with gourmet treats and a fine bottle of wine; the hiss of steam as hot iron meets linen; the sticky sound of rosin on a violin bow. If you haven’t already guessed, the season is Symphony Season, that glorious time of the year that began to unfurl its many delights last week at the Sun Valley Pavilion.
The Sun Valley Summer Symphony is the place to be on a gorgeous August evening. Whether you enjoy the free world-class concerts from inside the Pavilion or on the lawn, the experience will be unforgettable
The Sun Valley Summer Symphony brings together the finest musicians anywhere and invites patrons, free of charge, to find a seat under the Pavilion sail or on the vast lawn for a dose of cultural enjoyment. This is the largest privately funded free symphony in America and 2015 marks its 31st magical summer in the Wood River Valley.
On Monday evening, the Symphony grounds were the place to see and be seen (what a scene!) and the place to enjoy a world premiere from the wildly popular Time for Three. On what was arguably the most beautiful night of the summer to date, Time for Three joined the Symphony Orchestra, captivating the hundreds and hundreds of enthusiasts and aficionados beneath the Pavilion and spreading way out onto the lawn. The genre-bending trio (they call themselves a classical garage band) performed Elevation: Paradise, commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and co-composed by Time for Three and Kenji Bunch. Inspired by Sun Valley, Elevation: Paradise captured the area’s sublime beauty, evoking the spectacular surroundings wit: Shoshone Prayer, Big Wood Reel, Baldy, Vinyl 611, East Fork Bossa, Vaudeville Cabaret on Jet Fuel and Greenhorn Fiesta. The group’s high energy, unexpected elements and skill left the huge audience mesmerized.
The Sun Valley Summer Symphony brings together the finest musicians in the nation lead by talented Maestro Alasdair Neale
In case you missed them, Time for Three is offering a jam session (again, free) on August 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Community School Campus quad in Sun Valley, and on August 6 at 5:15 p.m. at the back of the Sun Valley Pavilion.
Setting the stage for evening was Maestro Alasdair Neale who has led the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 1995. Under his magic baton, the orchestra has grown to more than 100 players that present free concerts to more than 50,000 people annually. Maestro Neale’s orchestra includes distinguished and accomplished musicians from throughout North America including the San Francisco Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the Toronto Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.
Throughout the years, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony has attracted internationally acclaimed guest artists and ensembles including Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Jon Kimura Parker, Bernadette Peters, Frederica von Stade, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yuja Wang and many others. On August 2, the incomparable Audra McDonald graced the Pavilion stage during the annual Summer Symphony Gala. Other musicians, dancers, conductors and narrators will also perform this season in the role of guest artist.
Enjoying a picnic on the lawn is part of the Symphony experience. Here, Sun Valley City Councilman Peter Hendricks and wife Olympian Lisa-Marie Allen toast the evening with their family
In keeping with its mission, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony offers a variety of education programs for music students of all ages including the School of Music and the Summer Music Workshops. Upbeat With Alasdair talks are offered each winter and spring and during Symphony Season, each concert is preceded by a Concert Preview to help to educate music lovers of all ages.
If you are in Sun Valley during August, be sure to include a Summer Symphony performance in your schedule. Call ahead to the Short Line Deli in the Sun Valley Village and have them create a gourmet picnic for you, including wine if you so desire. Then find a spot on the lawn, close your eyes and prepare to be transported. There is something about live classical music in the mountains that you simply can’t replicate -- a wonderful one-of-a-kind way to enjoy the best of Sun Valley.
Let the Short Line Deli create the perfect picnic hamper for your group. There are many options to choose from and all can be customized. Call ahead, pick it up in the Sun Valley Village and enjoy!
Ten amazing concerts remain, running now through Wednesday, August 19. For a full schedule and program information, please click HERE. Low back chairs and picnics are welcome on the lawn. There is also a kids’ music tent at every evening orchestra concert so bring the whole family. For all the protocol of concert going, please click HERE. Concerts are projected on the Jumbo Screen on the lawn, so there isn’t a bad seat in, or out of, the house.
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