Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Symphony to play Broadway benefit

‘Some Enchanted Evening’ to kick off 2009 season

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will celebrate its 25th season this year, the second at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Photo by Willy Cook

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer, its second season at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

The world-class free symphony kicks off its 2009 season with a benefit concert Sunday, Aug. 2, followed by its first free public concert on Monday, Aug. 3. The Monday performance is a tribute to Sun Valley Summer Symphony founder and Conductor Laureate Carl Eberl, with a performance of his Concerto for Viola and Orchestra.

Free concerts continue on Wednesday, Aug. 5, with pianist Horacio Gutiérrez, who will perform Brahms' Concerto for Piano No. 1 in D minor. Erich Kunzel returns to Sun Valley for his eighth season conducting the Pops Concert on Saturday, Aug. 8. Kunzel's valiant battle with cancer has not interrupted his concert engagements. His program this year features soprano vocalist Deborah Voigt, who will sing works by Wagner and Verdi on Friday, Aug. 14. Rising star Vadim Gluzman performs Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Violin on Sunday, Aug. 16.

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony brings back the Family Concert on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 11:45 a.m. as the core offering of Family Music Festival Day. Voigt will narrate Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" in a concert designed for children and their families.

The season finale on Tuesday, Aug. 18, will celebrate the 25th anniversary with Beethoven's revered Symphony No. 9. The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will join forces with the Utah Symphony Chorus for this special concert. Vocal soloists for this performance are Elza Van den Heever, soprano, Lara Nie, alto, Sean Pannikar, tenor and Alfred Walker, bass.

"The pre-opening night gala (Sunday) will be a celebration for what is about to come," said Executive Director Jennifer Teisinger. "It is the final fundraiser before the season. It is a Rodgers and Hammerstein celebration with Ted Sperling, a Broadway producer and director who put the show together and selected the repertoire."

Tony Award-winning performers Victoria Clark and Paulo Szot will sing classics from "South Pacific," "Oklahoma," "Carousel," "The King and I," "Sound of Music" and more.

Szot made his Broadway debut in the recent revival of "South Pacific" and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2008. This romantic Brazilian baritone's portrayal of Emile de Becque also earned him awards from Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World.

Clark received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as a Drama League honor, for her luminous portrayal of the protective but domineering mother Margaret Johnson in the critically acclaimed Craig Lucas-Ad Guettel musical "The Light in the Piazza" in 2005. Clark made her Broadway debut in 1985 in "Sunday in the Park With George," and has been a Broadway regular ever since. She is a much sought-after vocalist and actress on Broadway as well as in television and in film. She has also enjoyed an illustrious career as a director, receiving numerous honors and fellowships for her work.

Sperling, this year's benefit guest conductor, is the music director and conductor of the current Tony-winning revival of "South Pacific." He has been involved in countless Broadway productions. He won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk awards (with Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin) for his orchestrations of "The Light in the Piazza," for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director, conductor and pianist include "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "The Full Monty," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

As soprano Audra McDonald's music director since 1999, Sperling has conducted the New York Philharmonic in a live TV broadcast for New Year's Eve, as well as performances of "La Voix Humaine" at the Houston Grand Opera. He has also conducted for Voigt, Patti LuPone and Victoria Clark.

Tickets are $500 each for premier seating, $375 each for select seating and $250 for general seating. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are included. The pre-concert reception is at 4 p.m. and the concert is at 6 p.m. To reserve seats, call 622-5607 or visit

For more Sun Valley Summer Symphony season highlights and information, see next Wednesday's C Section.

Upcoming concerts

Wednesday, July 29

Edgar Bronfman Chamber Music Series

· Rachmaninoff, Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G Minor and Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Opus 73.

Friday, July 31

· Schubert, String Quartet No. 14 in D Major, D. 810, "Death and the Maiden" and Paul Moravec "Mood Swings."

Sunday, Aug. 2

Sun Valley Summer Symphony 2009 Season

· Benefit concert, "Some Enchanted Evening" with guest conductor Ted Sperling and starring Victoria Clark and Paulo Szot.

Monday, Aug. 3

· Orchestra Festival with Adam Smyla playing viola.

Corigliano, "Promenade" Overture, Traditional/Williams "The Star Spangled Banner," Eberl First Movement from Concerto for Viola and Ravel "Boléro."

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