3 idyllic US music festivals to attend this summer

28 April 2022
By Guest Writer
We take a closer look at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival and Sun Valley Music Festival

Summer is swiftly approaching, and with it comes the opportunity to take a road trip and enjoy music outdoors. The US is home to many summer festivals with robust offerings, but three in particular stand out for their idyllic settings and the spotlight they shine on the piano this season. The best news? With some planning, one could even make a journey out of it and attend all three for a summer to remember.


Bravo! Vail Music Festival

23 June - 4 August / Based in Colorado

Spearheaded by Artistic Director and consummate pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, Bravo! Vail in Vail, Colorado offers the exceptional opportunity to hear 60 concerts featuring four of the world’s greatest orchestras over the course of six weeks. Keyboard lovers – take note of a special performance on 25 June, when McDermott performs works by Bach and premieres a new work by composer Chris Rogerson in honour of her 10th anniversary season. Other notable piano soloists featured this season include Haochen Zhang, Conrad Tao, Hélène Grimaud, Kirill Gerstein and Seong-Jin Cho.

The festival boasts vibrant educational opportunities, including a Summer Intensive for advanced violin and piano students to complement its after-school programme during the academic year (Music Makers Haciendo Música).

The Festival also welcomes two emerging professional pianists each year for its Fellows Programme. This year’s fellows are Avery Gagliano and Zhu Wang, who will perform in community concerts throughout the summer.




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Grand Teton Music Festival

3 July – 27 August / Based in Wyoming

GTMF’s Festival Orchestra series at Walk Festival Hall in stunning Jackson Hole, Wyoming kicks off with a Beethoven Piano Extravaganza – featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing all five concerti over two evenings.

This start to the season, and a later appearance from Ingrid Fliter with the Festival Orchestra, signals a huge year for piano at GTMF as they have announced their new Sunday matinee piano recital series featuring virtuosic pianists Joyce Yang, Inon Barnatan, and the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist. The Gold Medalist’s performance at GTMF will be one of their first following the internationally renowned competition. 



Sun Valley Music Festival

24 July – 18 August / Based in Idaho

Sun Valley Music Festival is the largest admission-free festival in the U.S. and fulfills its mission of “instilling a lifelong love of classical music” by offering concerts and tuition-free music education programmes. Located in Idaho’s breathtaking Sun Valley region, this Festival seamlessly integrates its performance and educational activities. All performances take place in the Sun Valley Pavilion, which has a sprawling green lawn and welcomes festive picnics for the whole family.

World-class pianists Daniil Trifonov and George Li join Principal Piano Peter Henderson and the rest of the Festival Orchestra to present chamber recitals and a concerto this season. Select soloists also take part in the Festival’s educational programmes by presenting masterclasses, coaching students, and more.



Main image: The Festival Orchestra led by Donald Runnicles at Walk Festival Hall, Grand Teton Music Festival

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