“I attest to having fallen completely under the spell of the sights and sounds of the Grand Teton Music Festival and of this natural paradise. I return to Jackson and am restored and renewed.”
Maestro Donald Runnicles
Donald Runnicles is Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (DOB), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In 2019 Maestro Runnicles also took up post as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s first ever Principal Guest Conductor. Additionally, he holds the title of Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, having served as Chief Conductor from 2009–16.
Highlights of the 2019–20 season include return engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony; a premiere of Das Rheingoldwith the Deutsche Oper as part of an ambitious new Ring Cycle stretching into 2021; and a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dreamwhich continues Maestro Runnicles’ Britten cycle at the DOB. He also brings the DOB company to the Edinburgh Festival this summer in a performance of Manon Lescaut.
Maestro Runnicles enjoys close and enduring relationships with many of the most significant opera companies and symphony orchestras. His previous posts include Music Director of the San Francisco Opera (1992–2008), Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (2001–07), and General Music Director of the Theater Freiburg and Orchestra (1989–93).
Maestro Runnicles’ extensive and award-winning discography includes complete recordings of Wagner’sTristan und Isolde, Britten’s Billy Budd, Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel,Janáček’sJenůfa, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and most recently, Aribert Reimann’s new opera L’invisible, released in May 2018.
Donald Runnicles was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was appointed OBE in 2004, and holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Our Board of Directors help ensure a bright future for the Grand Teton Music Festival.
We are thankful to the many Festival patrons and community leaders who serve as board members dedicated to our mission.
President & CEO
Andrew Palmer Todd
Peter A. Benoliel
Lynne V. Cheney
Al Hilde, Jr.
Earl Sams Lightner
W. Richard Scarlett, III
Sen. Alan K. Simpson
William D. Weiss
Board of Directors
Allan Tessler Chair
Christine Hartley, Vice Chair
Ralph Haberfeld, Treasurer
John Costello, Secretary
Jon W. Rotenstreich
Barbara Manfrey Vogelstein
Walk Festival Hall
The Grand Teton Music Festival’s all-wooden performance facility, Walk Festival Hall, is acclaimed by listeners and performers alike for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. Walk Hall is located in the heart of Teton Village at the base of the Jackson Hole Ski Resort, a short drive from the town of Jackson. When you take a seat in Walk Hall, just a few feet away from our orchestra, be prepared to be fully enveloped by music. Like much in Jackson Hole, our hall is unpretentious, but delivers the clear sightlines and warm acoustics that provide a wholly intimate musical experience. Walk Festival Hall is available to rent year-round for concerts, conferences, film festivals and wedding receptions. For more information and hall availability please contact Facilities & Housing at 307.732.9954.
The Grand Teton Music Festival was founded in 1962 as a part of a movement to actively develop cultural activities in Jackson Hole. The Festival was initially produced by the Jackson Hole Fine Arts Festival, and with the appointment of Ling Tung as music director in 1968, the Festival began growing into the organization we know and cherish today. Ling conducted concerts in a canvas tent at the base of Rendezvous Mountain in Teton Village. Envisioning the Festival as a summer retreat for the country’s top classical musicians, Ling and his spouse, Margot Walk, worked tirelessly with the Jackson community to open Walk Festival Hall in 1974. Through the years, the Grand Teton Music Festival has grown into one of the nation’s finest orchestral organizations, a tradition that continues to this day with our current Music Director, Maestro Donald Runnicles.
The Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition
The Grand Teton Music Festival is pleased to announce the second Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition. The scholarship competition is open to high school seniors from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana who plan to pursue degrees in music (classical, jazz, or other) at an accredited four-year college with a music program recognized by the National Association of Schools of Music, or a conservatory with a widely recognized national profile such as The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, or the New England Conservatory.
As part of the application process, students are required to submit an audition video. Semi-finalists will be invited to perform in a daylong celebration of music at Walk Festival Hall in Jackson Hole on Saturday, June 8, 2019, where they will compete for the scholarship prize money in front of GTMF’s panel of renowned judges and a live audience.
First prize is $20,000; second prize is $12,500; and third prize is $7,500.
Our mission of providing exhilarating musical experiences goes beyond presenting concerts at Walk Festival Hall. At GTMF, we are committed to sharing our passion and knowledge of music with the community.
Before each Festival Orchestra concert, Festival Musicians present educational introductions to the evening’s performance. Learn before you listen, with lectures beginning at 7PM on Fridays and 5PM on Saturdays in the Barbara Furrer Goodman Memorial Garden near Walk Festival Hall’s north entrance.
StringFest unites regional orchestra students for an intensive three-day clinic led by Festival Musician and Music Director of the Utah Youth Symphony Barbara Scowcroft. The educational event concludes with a concert to showcase the students’ newly refined skills and talents.
GTMF’s flagship music education program augments the standard music curriculum in local band and orchestra classrooms. Tune-Up teachers are practicing musicians with expertise in a wide variety of instruments. They provide individualized instruction, private lessons, and facilitate rehearsals.
Open the Hall
Each spring, GTMF opens the doors of Walk Festival Hall to the Jackson Hole Middle and High School’s band, orchestra, and choir students, providing an opportunity for these students to perform on stage in an acoustically acclaimed concert hall.
Jackson Hole is one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the U.S., nestled at the base of the Teton Mountain range just next to Grand Teton National Park and the southern gate to Yellowstone National Park. The town of Jackson is known as the “Last of the Old West.” The surreal natural beauty of the area is the perfect setting to experience outdoor adventure, distinctly western culture, and the Grand Teton Music Festival’s world-class orchestra. The Wall Street Journal commented that our Festival is “One of the best places in the country to hear classical music in the summer.”
Did you know?
That “Jackson” and “Jackson Hole” are used interchangeably to refer to our area of the world? Jackson is the official name of the main town in Teton County. Jackson Hole refers to the entire valley we are situated within, which is surrounded by mountains. The Grand Teton Music Festival takes its name from the highest peak in the Teton mountain range, the “Grand.”
Yellowstone National Park is an hour from Walk Festival Hall. The gorgeous scenery around Jackson is also home to an array of wildlife including herds of antelope, bison, elk, and deer. We also have moose, grizzly bears, black bears, gray wolves, and mountain lions, as well as rare birds such as trumpeter swans, bald eagles, blue herons, and osprey. Keep your eyes and ears open when you are here!