Beethoven and Grammy Award-winning Pianist to Star at Sun Valley Music Festival


Amos Yang performed some moves on his cello that looked like finger acrobatics as he performed a Tchaikovsky piece despite having injured a finger playing basketball.

And violinist Alexandra Preucil, who is featured in Steve Dondero’s stop-action photography on the cover of this year’s symphony program, performed two magnificent half-hour concerts at J. McLaughlin dress shop, showing the full range of her violin from Bach to tango to a rock ‘n roll piece that had to be seen to be believed.

Such were some of the highlights of the first week of the 2022 Sun Valley Music Festival’s summer season.

This coming week’s free performances kick off with Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony tonight and include Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Brahms.

The free concerts begin at 6:30 pm at the Sun Valley Pavilion and on the lawn of the Pavilion. There are also a number of afternoon concerts featuring Music Institute Summer students Wednesday through Saturday.

The lineup:

  • Tonight—Tuesday, Aug. 2—Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony, plus his “Leonore Overture.”

    The Leonore Overture was written for Beethoven’s only opera and named after the heroine who disguises herself as a prison guard to rescue her husband from a Spanish dungeon.

    Sun Valley audiences are very familiar with the “Pastoral” Symphony, a favorite because of birdsongs, country dances, and, yes, a thunderstorm interrupting a cheerful walk in the countryside. Beethoven, it turns out, loved summers in the country where he’d take long walks—nature gave him solace as his deafness grew.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 3, 4 pm Soloist recital in Sun Valley Community School Theater.
  • Thursday, Aug. 4—Pianist Daniil Trifonov will perform Brahms’ Concert No. 2 with the Festival Orchestra. It starts with a single horn, grows stormy and turns majestic.

    Trifonov, a Russia-born pianist, won a Grammy for his album “Transcendental.” He studied in America at the Cleveland Institute of Music and has played with orchestras around the globe, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    4 pm—Small Ensemble Recital in Sun Valley Community School Theater.

  • Friday, Aug. 5—Music Institute Summer Student concert featuring advanced Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra and Sun Valley Youth Orchestra. Don’t discount this concert just because the kids are playing—they’re good, their music selection usually contains a few surprises and they can be very entertaining.

    The intermediate and beginning students and ensembles, including the Philharmonia Orchestra and woodwind and brass ensembles, will perform at 3 pm in the Pavilion.

  • Saturday, Aug. 6—The Festival Orchestra will perform Falia’s “The Three-Cornered Hat,” Estacio’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra and Moncayo’s “Huapango.”

11 am Advanced Chamber Group featuring string and piano students at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

3 pm—Opera Workshop Scenes at Sun Valley Community School Theater.

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