The Sun Valley Music Festival is going online this summer. Music Director Alasdair Neale is working with the musicians to create an entirely new season from scratch, to be broadcast each scheduled concert evening from the Festival’s website. This transformation will allow musicians to make music, faculty to teach, students to learn, and audiences to enjoy music all while following whatever guidelines for health and safety may be in place in July and August, as well as personal preferences.
The reimagined season comes out of an abundance of caution with regard to in-person gatherings, not only in concert seating areas but also in the homes of housing hosts, the classrooms of music students, the stages of musicians, and the gathering and reception areas of patrons. The Pavilion interior will not be used this summer. However, conditions permitting, the Big Screen and sound system on the Lawn will be activated, allowing audiences to gather outside to enjoy each concert, with appropriate physical distancing.
New repertoire, concert formats, and information on attending will be announced late June on the Festival website.
- The Gala Concert is on – and free! Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kelli O’Hara will create a special, once-in-a-lifetime concert, featuring a tribute to Earl Holding and Family, which will be broadcast from the East Coast on August 3. This year, as a gift to the community, the Festival will present the Gala free of charge to all. All tickets purchased thus far will be refunded.
- Alasdair Neale and the Festival Orchestra musicians are hard at work creating new programs for the summer. They are delving into the treasure trove of great music written for ensembles smaller than an orchestra. The programming will include solos, duets, quartets, chamber ensembles, as well as pieces for full orchestra. Storytelling and conversation with the musicians will help introduce the music.
- Many of the orchestral programs you may have been anticipating this summer will simply be moved to the 2021 season. This will include Mendelssohn’s ScottishSymphony, works by Jennifer Higdon and Missy Mazzoli, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, and others.
- This summer’s scheduled guest artists will perform in various programs. Local favorites Time for Three and pianists Orion Weiss and Daniil Trifonov are all creating special performances for Sun Valley audiences. Leila Josefowicz and the Villalobos Brothers will also make appearances. The full season program will be announced later in June.
- [email protected], the celebration of the 250thanniversary of the great composer’s birth, will feature chamber and orchestra performances, and lectures by noted Beethoven biographer Jan Swafford.
- The concert schedule will remain the same, with opening night on July 27, closing night on August 19, and concerts broadcast from the Festival website at 6:30 PM MDT on evenings scheduled to have concerts. All concerts will be broadcast and not available on demand or for download, so please mark your calendars!
- The Lawn may offer a great opportunity to continue the Sun Valley tradition of gathering together to enjoy exceptional music, while respecting guidelines for physical distancing. The Festival is investigating ways to increase audience comfort, including offering chairs, taking seating reservations, and perhaps adding a second big screen. All of this is contingent on the recommendations of government and health officials, so stay tuned for more details. Online broadcasts over the Internet will be available in any scenario.
- The Music Institute will offer its summer programs in new formats. The Advanced Chamber Program will move online, with the focus shifting from chamber music and performance to individual development and the exploration of digital auditions and performances. For younger students, Music Institute leadership continues to monitor local youth programming and government recommendations regarding summer youth programs, and will further define the parameters of this program as soon as possible.