The Idaho-based summer festival will take place online this year, from 27 July to 19 August

Sun Valley Music Festival

Sun Valley Music Festival

This year’s Sun Valley Music Festival, usually based in the resort city of Sun Valley in Blaine County, Idaho, USA, is to take place online, from 27 July to 19 August.

The lineup will still include performances - as originally planned -  by guest artists Leila Josefowicz, Daniil Trifonov, Orion Weiss, and ensembles Time for Three and The Villalobos Brothers, as well as a Beethoven @ 250 series, to include guest speaker and Beethoven scholar Jan Swafford.

From their home cities, Festival Orchestra musicians will play in solo, duet, chamber, and full orchestra configurations, starting on the festival’s opening night, Monday 27 July at 6:30 p.m. MT.

Music Director Alasdair Neale said: ‘While we will all miss the social gatherings of the summer, this transformation gives us the chance to produce all-new programs from our musicians in their homes and hometowns. We’re looking forward to delving into a great treasure trove of music one doesn’t usually hear at an orchestra concert. We’ll have the opportunity to get to know the musicians in a more relaxed and intimate environment. And, most of all, we will be able to further strengthen the bonds that already tie us together so wonderfully.’

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Regarding the Festival’s annual Gala concert—a key fundraising initiative—Executive Director Derek Dean said: ‘For many years, the annual Gala concert has been the only event for which the Sun Valley Music Festival charges admission. This year, as a gift back to the community, the Festival is pleased to offer the concert for free to everyone. The guest artists are truly excited to put together a unique program for Sun Valley audiences, including the tribute to Earl Holding and Family. It’s going to be a very special evening.’

The Gala concert will feature guest artists Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian Stokes Mitchell, and will be webcast on Monday 3 August 3 at 6:30 p.m. MT. This summer’s programming will also profile the Festival Orchestra musicians as individuals, with behind-the-scenes footage allowing audiences to learn more about them.

These digital events may also be projected for viewers on the Lawn of the Sun Valley Pavilion, for audiences in Sun Valley to enjoy each concert outdoors with appropriate social distancing.

The Festival also offers tuition-free educational programming to the local community every year through its Music Institute, and this summer, the Institute will transform its curricula to better suit remote learning. The Advanced Chamber Programme for aspiring college undergraduate and high school musicians will shift its focus from group performance to individual development and the integration of digital auditions and performances to prepare them for the future.

For students grades 2–12, this summer’s curriculum will include instrument fundamentals, music games, music theory, composition, and world music, with instruction available to those of all ability levels.

The Sun Valley Music Festival was founded by Carl and Julianne Eberl in 1985 with the aim of inspiring the Sun Valley, Idaho community and instill a lifelong love of classical music through admission-free concerts and educational programming. The Festival Orchestra comprises more than 100 musicians, making it the largest, privately funded orchestra devoted exclusively to free performances.

Previous guest artists at the Festival have included Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Gautier Capuçon, Midori, Frederica von Stade, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. 

The complete programme for this year is to be announced in late June. For more information, visit