Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, led by music director Sir Donald Runnicles. (credit: Robert F. Kusel)

Grand Teton Music Festival launches 2023 Summer season, Atlanta musicians take part in orchestra

EarRelevant Staff | 30 JUN 2023

Jackson Hole, WY— The Grand Teton Music Festival officially launches its 62nd summer season tonight, June 30, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Atlanta has a number of its top professional symphonic musicians participating: 19 of them in all playing in the Festival Orchestra, drawn from members of the Atlanta Symphony and Atlanta Opera Orchestras. All in all, this year’s Festival Orchestra includes musicians drawn from a total of 75 orchestras and 55 institutions of higher learning. The 2023 Festival runs from June 30 through August 19.

Sir Donald Runnicles has been the Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival since 2005 and just completed his final season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony, a post he held since 2001. He has been the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (DOB) since 2009.

Likewise, GTMF Resident Conductor Jerry Hou has just concluded his three-year tenure as Resident Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as of the end of the 2022-23 season.

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The Festival Orchestra concerts at Walk Festival Hall are the cornerstone of the Grand Teton Music Festival season, with its eight-week Festival Orchestra Series concerts scheduled on Friday evenings at 7pm and Saturdays at 6pm. Here’s a complete rundown of those concerts:

Grand Teton Music Festival, 2023 Orchestral Concert Series:

  • Fri/Jun 30 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Jul 1 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Beethoven, Bruch & Mendelssohn
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor; James Ehnes, violin.
    BEETHOVEN: Egmont Overture
    BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1
    MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”
  • Fri/Jul 7 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Jul 8 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Mozart & Shostakovich
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor; Sue Heineman, bassoon.
    MOZART: Symphony No. 25
    MOZART: Bassoon Concerto
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5
  • Fri/Jul 14 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Jul 15 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: All-American Celebration
    Jader Bignamini, conductor; Alisa Weilerstein, cello.
    Carlos SIMON: Fate Now Conquers
    BARBER: Cello Concerto
    BERNSTEIN: West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
    GERSHWIN: Porgy & Bess: A Symphonic Picture
  • Fri/Jul 21 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Jul 22 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Summer Nights & Schumann
    Christian Reif, conductor; Julia Bullock, soprano
    BERLIOZ: Les nuits d’été
    SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1
  • Fri/Jul 28@ 7:00pm & sat/Jul 29 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: A Hero’s Life
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor
    WEBERN: Im Sommerwind
    HAYDN: Symphony No. 101
    STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben
  • Fri/Aug 4 @ 7:00pm& Sat/Aug 5 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Ravel & Prokofiev
    Stéphane Denève, conductor; Marc-André Hamelin, piano.
    Jennifer HIGDON: blue cathedral
    RAVEL: Concerto for the Left Hand
    PROKOFIEV: Suite from Romeo and Juliet
  • Fri/Aug 11 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Aug 12 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Brahms & A World Premiere
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor; Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano; Yefim Bronfman, piano.
    WEBER: Der Freischütz Overture
    Kareem ROUSTOM: The Clustered Vine: Songs of Love, Loss and Remembrance (world premiere)
    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Fri/Aug 18 @ 7:00pm & Sat/Aug 19 @ 6:00pm
    Festival Orchestra: Madame Butterfly in Concert
    Giacomo PUCCINI: Madama Butterfly
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor; David Lefkowich, stage director. Cast: Ana María Martínez (Cio-Cio-San), Megan Marino (Suzuki), Valentyn Dytiuk (Pinkerton), Thomas Lehman (Sharpless), Rodell Rosel (Goro), William Guanbo Su (Bonze), Sara Duchovnay (Kate), Members of the Grand Teton Music Festival Chorus, Barlow Bradford, director.Creative: Rachael Blackwell, lighting designer; Gina Hays, stage manager; Alex Olegnowicz, projection designer. Featuring the artwork of: Kathy Fujii-Oka & Chiura Obata. Props and Costumes courtesy of Utah Opera

In addition to the series above, the Festival Orchestra will perform a pair of free outdoor concerts for the Fourth of July Holiday, both at Center for the Arts Park: Family Concert: Home of the Brave on Monday, July 3 at 6pm, conducted by Conner Gray Covington, and Patriotic Pops on Tuesday, July 4 at 7pm, led by Sir Donald Runnicles and featuring vocalists Nikki Renée Daniels and Jeff Kready.

Other GTMF series include:

  • Chamber Music Series — Wednesdays at 7pm
  • Gateway Series — Thursdays at 8pm
  • Matinee Piano Recitals — Sundays at 3pm
  • Open Rehearsals — Fridays at 10am

In addition, the Festival will host its Scholarship Competition Finals on July 17, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America on July 24, Audra McDonald: One Night Only on August 6, free Musical Adventures educational programs on Monday and Tuesday mornings, and a series of free On the Road Concerts with various dates and locations throughout the summer.

A full season calendar is available at


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