Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Symphony plans a season to remember

Schedule features extraordinary musicians and works

Express Staff Writer

Horacio Guiterrez is on piano performing with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. The Sun Valley Summer Symphony season will begin on Monday, Aug. 2, at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Photo by David N. Seelig

If the sold-out Garth Brooks concert on Sunday, Aug. 1, is not enough to inspire lasting memories of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's 2010 season, don't worry—that's just the beginning. The symphony will officially kick off its 26th season of free concerts with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman on Monday, Aug. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sun Valley Pavilion.

The Opening Night Concert on Monday, Aug. 2, is expected to have the highest attendance in Sun Valley Pavilion history, so the Sun Valley Summer Symphony will have a 14-by-25-foot LED screen on the pavilion lawn to optimize viewing.

"The [symphony] board is committed to presenting world-class music with renowned guest artists like Itzhak Perlman," said Sun Valley Summer Symphony Board President Martha Reed. "We are so proud to enhance the lawn seating with the screen for opening night."

Summer Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale will conduct the orchestra as Perlman plays violin. The evening will include Tchaikovsky's "Capriccio Italien, Opus 45" and Bruch's "Concerto No. 1 in G minor for Violin, Opus 26."

Perlman is the reigning virtuoso of the violin. He enjoys a superstar status rarely afforded classical musicians. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, Perlman is revered by audiences across the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to joy he expresses in making music. Perlman was propelled into the international arena with an appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show" in 1958. He has since performed in every milieu, from the world's great orchestras, for presidents and queens, to "Sesame Street" and major movie soundtracks.

Perlman has long collaborated with pianist Emanuel Ax, who will perform Brahms' "Piano Concerto No. 2" with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony on Saturday, Aug. 7. Their most recent collaboration was in May for a "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcast recital that included superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma in performances of Schumann and Chopin in recognition of the anniversaries of their births.

Other notes of interest this summer include "concert previews," which will offer audience members the opportunity to get inside the music and learn more about the concert that will be performed that evening. Previews will take place at The Community School Theatre in Sun Valley on Wednesday, Aug. 4, Thursday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 7. San Francisco Symphony Musical Advisor Peter Grunberg will lead the discussions.

In addition, a "Meet the Composer" event on Friday, Aug. 13, at The Community School Theatre will be led by Nathaniel Stookey, composer of "The Composer is Dead," to be performed on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m. at the annual Sun Valley Summer Symphony Family Concert.

Before the Summer Symphony takes the stage on Sunday, Aug. 1, for its benefit concert with country star Garth Brooks, the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Music Series will take place tonight, July 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the pavilion with Shai Wosner on piano and Stephen Tramontozzi on double bass. The concert will feature Shostakovich's "String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Opus 108" and Schubert's "Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, The Trout." On Friday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m., the last chamber music concert of the season will include Mozart's "String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat Major, K. 458, The Hunt" and Tchaikovsky's "String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat Minor, Opus 30."

Complete Sun Valley Summer Symphony program information and concert dates can be found at For details, call 622-5607.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

Summer Symphony: Advice and rules

Concerts are in the Sun Valley Pavilion. Admission is free, except for select fundraising events. Concert-goers are encouraged to arrive early for the best parking and seat selection. Concert parking is in the pavilion lot (formerly called the Horseman's Center), across Dollar Road from the pavilion.  For evening orchestra concerts, patrons can also park in the Dollar Mountain Lodge lot and take a shuttle to and from the pavilion. The Dollar Mountain Lodge shuttle begins service at 5 p.m. Limited handicapped parking is available in the ice rink parking lot off Dollar Road.  Handicapped parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4 p.m. People should consider using the main-entrance drop-off if a group includes a non-handicapped driver who is able to park and walk from the pavilion lot.

Open seating in the Sun Valley Pavilion is available from the East Entrance (West Lake Road) only for each of the nine evening orchestra concerts. Ushers will direct audience members to line up for seating inside the pavilion. The pavilion opens at 5:30 p.m. People can bring beverages but glass and large coolers are not permitted inside the pavilion. Outside food and beverages are welcome on the lawn. Catered picnics are discouraged. Audience members are asked to refrain from placing low-back chairs and blankets on the lawn before 4 p.m.

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