Sunday, April 21, 2019
Sun Valley Summer Symphony Aims for Outer Space This Summer
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Virtuosic French cellist Gautier Capucon will make his debut in Sun Valley for a week-long residency during which he will perform on Aug. 1 and 5.
 
Thursday, January 17, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will take symphony fans to the moon and back with an out-of-this-world piece celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

It’ll offer an evening of George Gershwin favorites, including “Rhapsody in Blue,” played by Louisvillle Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams.

It’ll feature Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring French horn player William VerMeulen, who is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

 
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Superstar violinist Ray Chen, the only violinist to win both the Yehudi Menuhin and Queen Elizabeth competitions, will open the season on July 29.
 

And it’ll serve up the pieces that made local School of Music students and the children of symphony musicians fall in love with classical music.

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will celebrate its 35th season and Music Director Alasdair Neale’s 25th season when it rolls out a lineup of admission-free concerts July 29-Aug. 22.

The season will feature some heavy hitters, including Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 2—the “Resurrection Symphony”--featuring the American Festival Chorus. And it will feature guest artists from across the globe, including French virtuoso cellist Gautier Capucon and Ray Chen, who inspires young musicians with his comedic stereotype-smashing social media posts.

  • Capucon, who plays a 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello and a 1746 Joseph Contreras cello, will team up with pianist Jen-Yves Thibaudet, a familiar performer with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, for a week-long residency.

    They’ll perform works by Brahms and Shostakovich on Aug. 1. Then Thibaudet will play Gershwin’s piano concerto on Aug. 4 with the orchestra, while Capucon performs Saint-Saen’s cello concerto on Aug. 5.

    “Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capucon are really good friends with a great sense of humor. They wanted to find ways to play together and so they have done that in a couple instances and they are having a ball,” said Derek Dean, the executive director of the symphony. “The pieces they will be playing are not sonatas where the piano plays the melody and the other comes in with ooom pah pahs. They’re more in the Baroque style where they have equal back and forth.”

  • Mason Bates, who wrote the opera “The Revolution of Steve Jobs,” will return to the symphony after five years to perform his “Passage.” The piece was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of John F. Kennedy’s centennial in 2017. It will feature mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and excerpts of JFK’s moonshot speech, in which he said, “We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

    It also features the poetic voice of Walt Whitman, in which he looks to the heavens and says, “O sun and moon—passage to you.”

    Bates will perform electronic music on his laptop with the orchestra.

    “I really like it,” said Dean. “It’s contemporary but very accessible. Nathan is a popular composer whose pieces get performed a lot. He was also named Musical America’s 2018 Composer of the Year.”

    Bates will also perform his water-inspired symphony “Liquid Interface” and “Devil’s Radio,” a piece commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for its 30th anniversary.

  • Teddy Abrams, music director for Louisville Orchestra, will perform a program of Gershwin that he is planning to take on tour. He’s also a great pianist so we asked if he would do “Rhapsody in Blue” with Alasdair conducting the orchestra,” said Abrams.
  • This year’s Family Concert on August 10 is a billed as a “Kids’ Choice: 5 Minutes that Made Me Love Classical Music.”

It was inspired by a New York Times article published Sept. 6, 2018, in which composers and musicians were asked to name the five minutes that made them fall in love with classical music.

“We really haven’t figured out what it will look like yet,” said Dean. “We do know, however, that it will feature Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ and ‘Carmen.”

The symphony season will kick off with four concerts exploring the role of the chamber orchestra in detail. It will include 20th century works by Ravel, Stravinsky and Prokofiev inspired by their baroque and classical forebears.

All concerts begin at 6:30 and all are free. All will be held in the Sun Valley Pavilion with the exception of the Aug. 8 Chamber Concert and the Aug. 19 Musicians’ Choice Chamber Concert, both of which will be held at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.

The lineup:

MONDAY, JULY 29—MOZART AND BACH VIOLIN MASTERPIECES

Taiwanese-Austrian Violinist Ray Chen and Juliana Athayde will perform Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins. Chen will perform Mozart’s Concert No. 5 in A Major for Violin, also known as “Turkish.”

TUESDAY, JULY 30--THE 20TH CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Alasdair Neale and Sameer Patel will conduct Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” Stravinsky’s “Concerto in E-flat Major for Chamber Orchestra (Dumbarton Oaks),” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 (Classical).

THURSDAY, AUG. 1--THIBAUDET AND CAPUCON IN RECITAL

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, hailed as one of the best pianists in the world, and French Cellist Gautier Capucon will perform Brahms’ Sonata No. 1 in E Minor for Cello and Piano and Shostakovich’s Sonata in D Minor for Cello and Piano.

FRIDAY, AUG. 2-- AN EVENING WITH RICHARD STRAUSS

French horn player William VerMeulen, who is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, will perform Strauss’ Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major for Horn. The symphony will also perform Strauss’ Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

SUNDAY, AUG. 4--THIBAUDET PLAYS GERSHWIN

The symphony will perform Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide” and Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome.” Thibaudet will join them in performing Gershwin’s “Concerto in F Major for Piano.”

MONDAY, AUG. 5--A FRENCH EVENING WITH GAUTIER CAPUCON

The symphony will perform Ravel/Neale’s  Minuet from Sontaine for Piano and Ravel’s “La Valse.”

Cellist Capucon will join them on Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1 in A Minor for Cello.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 7-- BEETHOVEN’S 7th

Alasdair Neale will conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, while Sameer Patel will conduct Beethoven’s Overture to “Egmont.”

THURSDAY, AUG. 8, at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood--BEETHOVEN AND SHOSTAKOVICH QUARTETS

The Edgar M. Bronfman String Quartet featuring violinists Jeremy Constant and Polina Sedukh, viola player Adam Smyla and cellist Amos Yang will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet “Grosse Fuge” and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor.

SATURDAY, AUG. 10--FAMILY CONCERT: KIDS’ CHOICE--5 MINUTES THAT MADE ME LOVE CLASSICAL MUSIC

TUESDAY, AUG. 13--PROKOFIEV’S 5th SYMPHONY

Alasdair Neale will conduct Clyne’s “Masquerade” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14--MASON BATES AND MOZART

The symphony will perform Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major for Violin and Viola. And Mason Bates, composer-in residence, will perform “Liquid Interface.”

SATURDAY, AUG. 17--POPS NIGHT: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE GERSHWIN

Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams will conduct the Armed Forces Medley and Gershwin songs featuring vocalist Morgan James. Abrams will also perform “Rhapsody in Blue” on piano.

SUNDAY, AUG. 18. MUSIC INSPIRED BY OUTER SPACE

The symphony will perform Mason Bates “Devil’s Radio” and “Passage,” featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. It also will play excerpts from Holst’s “The Planets.”

MONDAY, AUG. 19—MUSICIANS’ CHOICE CHAMBER MUSIC at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood

THURSDAY, AUG. 22—MAHLER’S 2nd Symphony

This mighty “Resurrection Symphony,” considered one of the 10 greatest symphonies ever written, will feature 300 musicians and singers on stage, including Soprano Julie Adams, Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke and the American Festival Chorus.

 

 

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