Strike Up the Symphony

No question, Sun Valley Summer Symphony season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year and it has arrived! Though the official opening night of the Symphony’s 30th anniversary season is August 4, wonderful music has come already to the Sun Valley Pavilion.

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

As part of the In Focus series, the magnetic and slightly irreverent and raucous trio Time for Three took to the stage Tuesday night. Despite a brief afternoon rain, the Pavilion was packed and anticipation was high. Time for Three returned to Sun Valley this week after a memorable performance last summer and both audience and musicians were thrilled they were back.

“We’ve been looking forward to this since we walked off the stage last summer,” laughed violinist Nicholas Kendall, and with a sweeping hand motion continued, “We appreciate this community that so appreciates all this.”

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

The relationship between the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and Time for Three solidified last summer when one member of the trio hiked Bald Mountain with beloved Symphony conductor Alasdair Neale. This budding relationship spawned Project Tf3 that will ensure the amazing threesome return to Sun Valley again and again.

On Tuesday night, the two violin players, Nick Kendall and Zach De Pue and double bass player Ranaan Meyer let their music that defies easy categorization speak for itself. As Kendall explained, “Tf3 is not classical: it’s not not classical. It’s an experience steeped in the tradition of classical music.”

The experience under the Pavilion sail was one of inclusion and one that grabbed the audience by the shirt collar and brought them along for the ride. With members of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Time for Three performed a rollicking 90 minute concert that covered everything from Bach to Brahms and made some detours into very modern music.

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

Special guest singer and songwriter Joshua Radin took to the stage for three songs with Time for Three. The addition of two guitars and his soulful voice offered a complete departure from what many people would expect of a classical performance.

Two more concerts complete the In Focus series whose theme this year is “Made in America.” On Thursday, July 31, the program goes minimalist with a night entitled “Minimally Speaking” and features works from Reich, Glass, Tompkins and Adams. On Friday, August 1, the series concludes with “The Pioneers” and the audience will be treated to works from Ives, Barber, Carter and Copland. Both concerts begin at 6 p.m.

Starting August 4 at 6:30 p.m., the amazing full Sun Valley Summer Symphony will sit poised ready to delight with a full range of work during the season that concludes August 19. Please click HERE for a full schedule.

It's Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

It’s Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

Whether you are a fan of classical music or think you are or aren’t, don’t miss the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Programs are designed to excite a wide range of tastes and the experience itself is truly one-of-a-kind. Be sure to come early and sit beneath the sail one night for the best sound and gather a picnic and friends another night for an evening on the lawn that offers a totally different concert-going experience. It’s all good! Actually, it’s all pretty great!

Come celebrate 30 years of amazing music in an amazing place with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. It’s free and it’s fabulous.


Puppies, Sopranos & Picnics


Baby Sun prowls the pavilion lawn for puppies to pet at opening night of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony season this Monday.

Monday brought my favorite evening of a Sun Valley summer, the opening night of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. The glamorous soprano Deborah Voigt  lent her spectacular skills to an evening of Wagner, Wolf and Strauss.

Nestled snugly in a sliver of shade between the Pavilion lawn, where the serious symphony goers lounged, and the free-for-all behind us where children frolicked, the Sun family joined good friends for an evening of pizza, wine and sensational music.

Baby Sun is a year older, and a lot faster than she was at her first symphony visit, so my ability to completely enjoy the sounds wafting from the awesome orchestra were slightly hampered by her extreme excitement. What was capturing her attention, you ask? Dogs. Baby Sun’s first word was dog, and every time she spies a furry four-legged friend she squeals and rushes off to pet it. As any regular symphony attendee will know, dogs are almost a required accessory on the symphony pavilion lawn, and we were surrounded. There was a gorgeous golden retriever on one side, who patiently let Rose clamber all over her, and, yes, an actual puppy on the other side, whose owners seemingly brought him along to be “socialized.” As they were trailed by a band of children wherever they ventured, I think they succeeded.

Besides the secondary entertainment, Baby Sun did enter into the spirit of the evening, stopping mid-puppy-pat to clap whenever the crowd did, and even attempting to match Ms. Voigt’s thrilling arias with her own high-pitched squeals (I’m not seeing an operatic career in my daughter’s future). And therein lies one of the many things that makes the symphony so special, it caters to all. Nowhere else in the world can you enjoy world-class music for free, while relaxing on a lawn with a picnic and good friends, as your 4 year-old safely plays soccer a few feet away. It’s a unique Sun Valley experience.

For more from the first night of the season, the Symphony posted a slide-show on their Facebook page. And be sure to head there tonight at 6:30 p.m. for the second performance, featuring William VerMeulen on the horn. For a taste of the evening’s offerings, here are conductor Alasdair Neale’s video notes on the upcoming performance:

Video not displaying? Click here .

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun