As things stand, the Sun Valley Music Festival remains hopeful that it will be able to hold its 36th annual summer concert series as initially planned—or as close as possible—between July 27 and Aug. 19.

The festival offers more events throughout the year, however, and some of those have been impacted by isolation rules.

In light of current shelter-in-place orders, the Sun Valley Music Festival will broadcast its next edition of the popular Upbeat With Alasdair series online. The video talk will be livestreamed on Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Usually, the talk series is held at The Community Library, in the lecture hall. With the library still closed to the public, that was clearly not an option, but rather than canceling outright, event organizers found a digital alternative.

Sun Valley Music Festival Music Director Alasdair Neale will host via livestream from his home in San Francisco. He will join Associate Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and principal oboe Erik Behr from their home in Rochester, N.Y.

Viewers will be treated to a familiar Upbeat format: Neale will interview his guests, they will offer insights into the world of music, do a short performance and take questions from the audience.

“I’m so excited to welcome as my guests for a special online Upbeat With Alasdair my dear friends and colleagues Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr,” Neale said. “We’ll share some stories and favorite memories of Sun Valley and enjoy a musical treat or two along the way. It’ll be lots of fun.”

The Upbeat series was designed to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the inner workings of the summer symphony, but this new edition will take the most intimate point of view yet, considering its locations in the actual homes of orchestra leaders.

Every year, the local music nonprofit holds dozens of concerts and events, of which annually only one ever charges admission—the fundraising Gala concert in the summer.

In keeping with that pattern, this Upbeat With Alasdair will be entirely free to enjoy, with no subscription, special software or equipment required beyond a device with Internet access.

Anyone can take part by visiting and clicking the “Watch online broadcast” button, which will be available on the homepage. The broadcast will begin at 6:30 p.m., but visitors may join as early as 6:15 p.m. to test audio and visual connectivity. Festival staff will also be available to assist with any technical difficulties by phone at 208-622-5607.

For information on this event and future Sun Valley Music Festival undertakings, visit the above webpage, call the above number or email

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