For 37 years, as warm summer breezes have wafted through the Sun Valley Pavilion, concert musicians from all around the world have readied their instruments to provide state-of-the-art orchestrations for the music lovers of the valley.
The Sun Valley Music Festival is the largest privately funded, admission-free classical music festival in the United States. And, locals appreciate unique chance to experience its sparkling productions in small-town southern Idaho. Always a Best of the Valley staple, this year voters of the Idaho Mountain Express named the Sun Valley Music Festival “Best Annual Event,” “Best Free Event,” “Best Live Music Festival,” second-place for “Best Festival” and third for “Best Arts Organization.”
One of the many things that makes the Festival estival magnificent is the powerful conduction of Music Director Alasdair Neale.
“It’s just a concentrated atmosphere of joy, pride, and music making that I am, and always will be grateful for,” Neale said. “It is in every sense a dream come true. It makes me incredibly happy, incredibly fulfilled.”
Perhaps unique to the Sun Valley Music Festival is the way these world-class musicians fully integrate themselves into the Wood River Valley community.
“We stay in people’s homes, we go to people’s restaurants, and we are recognized on the streets,” Neale said. “We feel like there is a big bear hug from the Sun Valley community every time we set foot in town. It helps generate the infectious enthusiasm of a youth orchestra playing a work for the first time from what is unquestionably a world-class festival orchestra.
“There is an incredibly strong feeling of gratitude in the air, and it is what makes our music-making so happy.”
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