The Sun Valley Music Festival—named one of the best classical music festivals in North America by the BBC Music Magazine this year—will return next month at the Sun Valley Pavilion with a lineup juxtaposing beloved classics with a contemporary repertoire.

This season, aptly themed “A Season to Celebrate,” will offer 14 free outdoor concerts between opening night on July 26 and August 19.

Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Minor at the festival’s Gala Concert on August 4, and acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein will team up with the Festival Orchestra on August 12 for Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor.

Other classics include Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with Ukrainian-born violinist Vadim Gluzman, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring” and a season finale featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

Contemporary works by notable female composers will also take the spotlight this year, including the world premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s “Five Freedom Songs” with soprano Julia Bullock and Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral” orchestral concerto.

A celebratory concert on Aug. 2 will honor frontline workers, paying tribute to “the heroes in healthcare, education, transportation, food service, social work and emergency services who worked so hard to improve our lives these last two years,” according to the Festival.

All summer performances, including chamber concerts and recitals, will take place at the Sun Valley Pavilion and can be enjoyed from within the open-air Pavilion or from a lawn chair.

Concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.; a complete concert schedule can be found at svmusicfestival.org/events.

“Seating and attendance protocols will be determined closer to the start of the Summer Season, based on health guidelines in place when the performances begin,” the Festival stated.

The Sun Valley Festival Orchestra is composed of over 100 top-tier musicians from some of the most distinguished orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Houston Symphony.

In year’s past, internationally renowned guests such as cellist Gautier Capuçon, pianist Emanuel Ax and singer Kristin Chenoweth have headlined the Festival.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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