Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Ray Chen to Kick Off 2019 Sun Valley Music Festival
Ray Chen, a Taiwanese-Australian violinist, was invited to play solo with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra at age 8. He also performed at the opening celebration of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Courtesy photo.
Sunday, July 28, 2019


He wears Armani proudly—they are, after all, his sponsor. He made Forbe’s 2018 list of the 30 most influential Asians under 30. He inspires young musicians with his comedic stereotype-smashing social media posts.

And on Monday, July 29, virtuoso violinist Ray Chen will open the 35th season of the Sun Valley Music Festival, formerly known as the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

Chen will perform Mozart’s Concert No. 5 in A Major “Turkish” on his 1715 Joachim Stradivarius. And he will join longtime Symphony violinist Juliana Athayde as they perform Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins.

Mozart, who wrote his concerto as a teenager, was an accomplished violinist and probably had himself in mind as the soloist when he wrote the concerto, noted the Symphony’s Music Director Alasdair Neale.

Monday’s concert, which will feature a 45-minute Pre-Concert Chat by Associate Conductor Sameer Patel, will be followed by three other smaller concerts before the full orchestra takes the stage. All four concerts--all free--explore the role of the chamber orchestra in detail.

  • Tuesday, July 30—The 20th Century Chamber Orchestra will feature Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks,” Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony” and Ravel’s suite for small orchestra titled “Le Tombeau de Couperin.”

    Peter Henderson, the Festival’s keyboard player will offer a half-hour chat about the three pieces at 5:45 p.m. at the Paver Bar.

  • Thursday, Aug. 1—Two virtuosic French artists—Jean-Yves Thibaudet and cellist Gautier Capucon--will join hands to perform Brahm’s Cello Sonata No. 1 and Shostakovich’s Sonata in D Minor. Check out Capucon’s instruments—a 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello and a 1746 Joseph Contreras cello.

    “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.”

    Associate Conductor Sameer Patel will conduct a Pre-concert Chat at 5:45 p.m.

  • Friday, Aug. 2—Principal Horn William Ver Meulen, who is celebrating 25 years with the Sun Valley symphony, as is Music Director Alasdair Neale, will take the lead in Richard Strauss’s fiendishly difficult Horn Concerto No. 1. He’ll be joined by Alasdair Neale and the Festival chamber orchestra.

The symphony will also perform Strauss’s “Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.”

Associate Conductor Sameer Patel will provide a Pre-Concert Chat at 5:45 p.m.

The full orchestra will take the stage on Aug. 4 and will perform through Aug. 22.



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