It was an audacious idea. In 1977 Sunriver residents Doug and Polly Kahle wanted to start a classical music festival in a summer resort using professional musicians from around America, and they would perform in a vintage 1940’s Officers’ Club.
Four decades later, the Sunriver Music Festival not only survives, but it is thriving as it announces its fortieth Season, August 11-23, with a full slate of classical concerts, pops concert, solo piano concert, master classes, music workshops, family concert, open rehearsals and parties.
“What was an unproven festival idea has now become a year-long celebration of professional music in Central Oregon,” explains Executive Director Pam Beezley. “In fact, unofficially we kicked off our season with several events this winter and we are now conducting our very first two-day Piano Showcase in Bend at the Tower Theatre, March 24-25.”
While the original festival only performed in Sunriver, this summer you can enjoy performances in Sunriver and Bend.
Artistic Director and Conductor George Hanson returns for his sixth season to lead the Sunriver Music Festival Orchestra. As a symphony and opera conductor, pianist, recording artist, television host, educator, community leader, fundraiser and passionate spokesman for the arts, Hanson is helping shape the changing role of the modern music director. Musicians from prestigious orchestras throughout the U.S. are currently being handpicked by Maestro Hanson for the summer season.
Four classical concerts, a pops concert, a solo piano concert and a family concert highlight this year’s offering. Renowned pianist Sean Chen returns for three performances. The Central Oregon Mastersingers will also perform the beautiful Mozart Requiem. Young Artists Scholarship winner Courtney Huffman, soprano, will perform with the Mastersingers, joined by mezzo-soprano Hannah Penn, tenor David Gustafson and baritone Zachary Lenox.
4OTH ANNIVERSARY – 2017 SUMMER FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
CLASSICAL CONCERT I – Saturday, August 12, 7:30pm Tower Theatre. Featuring concertmaster Steven Moeckel in Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C Major (from the Sunriver Music Festival’s first concert 40 years ago!) and the world premiere of Parting Grace by Kip Winger.
CLASSICAL CONCERT II – Wednesday, August 16, 7:30pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. Featuring the Central Oregon Mastersingers, plus four vocal soloists, plus pianist Sean Chen in the epic Beethoven Choral Fantasy and the Mozart Requiem as we celebrate and honor the retirement of Mastersingers Director Clyde Thompson.
POPS CONCERT – Friday, August 18, 7:30pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. An American Songbook anniversary adventure with the Central Oregon Mastersingers, four outstanding vocal soloists, and, of course, the whole
CLASSICAL CONCERT III – Sunday, August 20, 7:30pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. Bach’s Triple Concerto(featuring flute, violin, and harpsichord.) Also Dvorak’s Serenade for Winds in D Minor, Op. 44 and Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C Major.
PIANO RECITAL – Monday, August 21, 7:30pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. A special solo concert with returning piano soloist Sean Chen. Chen will also teach four exceptional young students in a piano masterclass, date TBA.
FAMILY CONCERT – Tuesday, August 22, 4pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. This educational and entertaining concert presents orchestral music in a fun and informal setting.
CLASSICAL CONCERT IV – Wednesday, August 23, 7:30pm Sunriver Resort Great Hall. Featuring pianist Sean Chen in Grieg’s dazzling piano concerto. This program continues the Sunriver Music Festival’s Schumann Cycle with his Symphony No. 3 and opens with Ligeti’s Concert Romanesc.