2016 Season Brings Record Crowds to SV Summer Symphony

9,000 at Blockbuster Film Scores

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — The 2016 season brought some of the largest crowds and most ambitious performances in history to the 32-year-old Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the largest privately funded admission-free symphony in the United States.

“Blockbuster Film Scores” attracted a record crowd estimated at 9,000. The opening night production of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” complete with puppets and dancers from South Africa, brought a near-record audience of 7,000. The previous record attendance had been 7,500 for “Pixar in Motion” in 2014.

Approximately 50,000 people attend the concerts each summer.

“The Firebird” put the Sun Valley Summer Symphony into the national spotlight. The symphony joined with four major orchestras in commissioning the multidisciplinary interpretation of Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet. The production here was the only admission-free one in the country.

Time for Three, in the second year of a three-year partnership with the symphony, presented the world premiere of “Free Souls,” commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony as part of a three-year partnership with the trio.

Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, the longest work in the standard repertoire at 92 minutes, required 167 musicians, including mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, a 30-member women’s chorus and a 30-member youth chorus. It is the longest work ever presented by the symphony, and required more musicians than any concert since the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed the opening year of the Pavilion.

The Pavilion was sold out for the Gala benefit featuring Broadway, film and television sensation Kristin Chenoweth. The Gala raises funds to support the symphony’s free concert season, the Summer Music Workshops and the School of Music classes conducted in partnership with the Blaine County School District.

About Sun Valley Summer Symphony
The Sun Valley Summer Symphony, now in its 32nd season, is the largest privately funded free-admission orchestra in America. More than 100 world-class musicians from North America’s most distinguished orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Houston Symphony, convene for July and August concerts in the mountain resort of Sun Valley, Idaho. Internationally renowned guest artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Thomas Hampson, James Ehnes, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Audra McDonald, Garrick Ohlsson, Midori, Yuja Wang and Deborah Voigt have performed in the spectacular Sun Valley Pavilion, set in front of Bald Mountain and built from travertine hand-selected in Italy for the venue. In keeping with its mission, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony is involved in the community, sponsoring the year-round School of Music for students ages 9 to 18, Summer Music Workshops and adult education programs. Additional information is available online at svsummersymphony.org.

Jo Murray
208.726.5869 or

September 1, 2016