2019 Summer Concert Series

July 29-August 22, 2019
Extraordinary Free Orchestra and Chamber Concerts

MOZART AND BACH VIOLIN MASTERPIECES
Monday, July 29, 2019, 6:30 PM

MOZART AND BACH VIOLIN MASTERPIECES

Virtuoso violinist Ray Chen won the Yehudi Menuhin and Queen Elizabeth competitions (the only violinist to win both), wears Armani (his sponsor), and made Forbes’s 2018 list of the 30 most influential Asians under 30. Our opening night includes Chen soloing in Mozart’s delightful and inventive 5th Violin Concerto and joining Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Juliana Athayde to weave together a beautiful stream of independent and overlapping melodies in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.

THE 20th CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 6:30 PM

THE 20th CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Three 20th century composers riff on the styles exemplified by Bach and Mozart in the previous program. Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” evokes Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, while Prokofiev channeled Mozart and Haydn in structuring his lovely “Classical Symphony.” Finally, Ravel orchestrated his suite for small orchestra titled Le Tombeau de Couperin in a baroque style, delivering a surprisingly light-hearted memorial for friends lost in World War I.

THIBAUDET AND CAPUÇON IN RECITAL
Thursday, August 1, 2019, 6:30 PM

THIBAUDET AND CAPUÇON IN RECITAL

Virtuosic French artists present a stunning recital (without orchestra). Pianist and Sun Valley favorite Jean-Yves Thibaudet returns with one of the world’s leading cellists, Gautier Capuçon, for a week-long residency. Their program continues the thread of works inspired by earlier composers with Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 1, which pays homage to Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, and Shostakovich’s Sonata in D Minor, a beautiful piece written in 1934 but structured in classical form.

AN EVENING WITH RICHARD STRAUSS
Friday, August 2, 2019, 6:30 PM

AN EVENING WITH RICHARD STRAUSS

Alasdair Neale and Principal Horn William VerMeulen both celebrate 25 years with the Symphony this season, and this program pairs them up on Strauss’s fiendishly difficult Horn Concerto. Strauss wrote it for his father, who was Germany’s leading horn virtuoso. However, upon seeing the score, Strauss senior pragmatically decided to cede the glory to another player. Providing comic relief to the program, Strauss’s Le Gourgeois Gentilhomme offers a humorous satire on social climbing.

THIBAUDET PLAYS GERSHWIN
Sunday, August 4, 2019, 6:30 PM

THIBAUDET PLAYS GERSHWIN

Jean-Yves Thibaudet brings to life George Gershwin’s follow-on to Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin packs this concerto full of jazz, blues, Charleston dance rhythms, and ragtime. Bernstein’s glittering Candide Overture opens the program, and Respighi brings it home with the thundering closing of Pines of Rome. If the ground doesn’t tremble under the marching of Rome’s triumphant legions, we’re not doing it right!

A FRENCH EVENING WITH GAUTIER CAPUÇON
Monday, August 5, 2019, 6:30 PM

A FRENCH EVENING WITH GAUTIER CAPUÇON

Music Director Alasdair Neale serves up a French sandwich with a hearty slab of Saint-Saëns nestled between slices of Ravel. First, we hear Neale’s orchestration of Ravel’s lovely and cheerful Minuet from his Sonatine for Piano. Then Capuçon, “the prototype of the romantic musician” (Washington Post), tackles Saint-Saëns’s brilliant Cello Concerto. Finally, we hear Ravel’s choreographic poem La Valse, which starts out cheerful like the Sonatine, but then turns malevolent, corrupting its graceful themes. Take that, lovely little minuet…

BEETHOVEN’S 7TH
Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 6:30 PM

BEETHOVEN’S 7TH

Richard Wagner tells you what you need to know about Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7: “All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human sphere-dance.” The Egmont Overture foreshadows the evening’s theme of triumph over oppression.

BEETHOVEN AND SHOSTAKOVICH QUARTETS
Thursday, August 8, 2019, 6:30 PM

BEETHOVEN AND SHOSTAKOVICH QUARTETS

The Edgar M. Bronfman String Quartet concludes its exploration of Beethoven’s late quartets with his Grosse Fuge, a monumental piece that began as the final movement of an earlier quartet but was so imposing that his publisher convinced him to publish it alone. It’s paired with Shostakovich’s 14th Quartet, wherein Shostakovich gave the lead role to the cello.

FAMILY CONCERT:  KIDS’ CHOICE – 5 Minutes That Made Me Love Classical Music
Saturday, August 10, 2019, 6:30 PM

FAMILY CONCERT: KIDS’ CHOICE – 5 Minutes That Made Me Love Classical Music

Inspired by a popular New York Times article, “5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music,” we asked our musicians, their children, and our students for ideas on what pieces made them fall in love with classical music. Their answers will create this program.

PROKOFIEV’S 5TH SYMPHONY
Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 6:30 PM

PROKOFIEV’S 5TH SYMPHONY

In 2014, the BBC Proms commissioned Anna Clyne to write an “exuberant” piece. She delivered Masquerade, which makes a perfect prequel for Prokofiev, who said he wanted his 5th Symphony to “sing the praises of the free and happy man – his strength, his generosity and the purity of his soul.” His optimistic symphony cheered its Russian audience at its premiere in 1944, and is one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century.

MASON BATES AND MOZART
Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 6:30 PM

MASON BATES AND MOZART

Mason Bates, Musical America’s 2018 Composer of the Year, returns for a week-long residency. In Liquid Interface, he uses the orchestra, recorded sounds, and electronics to evoke the soothing and menacing aspects of water in its various forms. Concertmaster Jeremy Constant and Principal Violist Adam Smyla open the program with Mozart’s Concerto for Viola and Violin. Mozart loved the viola as much as the violin, and this work showcases the range of the two instruments.

POPS NIGHT: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE GERSHWIN
Saturday, August 17, 2019, 6:30 PM

POPS NIGHT: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE GERSHWIN

Former Sun Valley Summer Symphony Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams returns to lead an all-Gershwin program. Singer, songwriter, actress, Broadway, and YouTube star Morgan James sings your favorite Gershwin songs, while Abrams himself takes to the keyboard for Rhapsody in Blue.

MUSIC INSPIRED BY OUTER SPACE
Sunday, August 18, 2019, 6:30 PM

MUSIC INSPIRED BY OUTER SPACE

Mason Bates brings back Devil’s Radio, an orchestral piece commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for its 30th Anniversary in 2014. This year, we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with Passage, a piece Bates wrote for mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke that incorporates excerpts from John F. Kennedy’s “moonshot” speech. Finally, we fly beyond the moon to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in Holst’s character study of our solar system, The Planets.

MUSICIANS’ CHOICE CHAMBER MUSIC
Monday, August 19, 2019, 6:30 PM

MUSICIANS’ CHOICE CHAMBER MUSIC

Musicians of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony curate and perform a program of pieces they love.

MAHLER’S 2ND SYMPHONY
Thursday, August 22, 2019, 6:30 PM

MAHLER’S 2ND SYMPHONY

Life, death, and rebirth. Mahler’s modest ambition to express the totality of the human condition journeys through love, hope, nostalgia, humor, despair, a face-melting shriek of death, and finally a glorious resurrection. Does it succeed? Alasdair Neale recalls his first hearing at age 13: “It rocked my world – I had never imagined music could have that level of visceral, emotional impact.”