Arts & Culture

Sun Valley Music Festival Winter Series

The Sun Valley Music Festival Winter Series has become a must-see winter event in the Wood River Valley. You’ll find a reinvented classical music experience through the use of eclectic musical selections, unconventional seating, unique staging, atmospheric lighting, and an ever-shifting soundscape. 

Sun Valley Music Festival 

The Sun Valley Music Festival and its previous identity as the Sun Valley Symphony, has been around for 36 years and is the largest privately supported, free-admission orchestra in the United States. Led by Music Director Alasdaire Neale, over 100 world-class musicians from North America’s most distinguished orchestras help comprise the Festival Orchestra which performs both in the summer season concerts in July and August and for the February Winter Season. Beyond these concerts, the Sun Valley Music Festival also offers education programs and an annual gala. 

Winter Concerts

This is the second year for the annual Winter Season concert series, held in February. This year’s series will take place over three nights of concerts from February 27-29 at The Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum. Each free concert begins at 6:30pm and features three acts of around 30 minutes each as well as two 20-minute intermissions.

The Sun Valley Music Festival relies on its reputation for astounding classical music experiences to draw in its audiences as the music and repertoire for the three-night series (programming is the same each evening) is only revealed that night at the concert. This is yet another aspect to add to the unconventionality of these performances. 

Drummers playing at the Sun Valley Music Festival Winter Series Concert
photo: Nils Ribi // Sun Valley Music Festival Winter Series

The Festival orchestra will be led, as always, by Alasdaire Neale but this year’s performances will be conducted, curated, and produced by Edwin Outwater. Outwater is currently the Music Director Laureate of Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and he routinely works with orchestras and institutions throughout the world, creating unique concert experiences. 

Like the Sun Valley Music Festival’s summer concert series, attendance to the winter series is free but requires reservations for the limited seating available. Reservations are limited to two for one concert only per household. Once seats are sold out, a waitlist is available and rush seats will be released beginning at 6pm at the Argyros entrance on concert nights.

 Beer, wine and light snacks are available during performances at an in-theater bar.


In addition to annual concerts, part of Sun Valley Music Festival’s mission is to introduce students of the Wood River Valley to classical music through its year-round and summer Music Institute programs. Tuition-free instruction for string, piano and voice lessons of all levels is provided. 

As part of the Winter Season concert series, Festival musicians and guest artist will spend time with students working on individual and group coaching, demonstrations, technique classes, conversations, and performances. 

We hope to see you at this years’ Sun Valley Music Festival Winter Series.

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