“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 concurrently the Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His musical identity is defined by the quality of his performances, which are strongly centered in grand romantic opera and symphonic repertory of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Maestro Runnicles has been Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival since 2006. In his 11th season, he conducts 8 of the 14 Festival Orchestra concerts, including a new work co-commissioned by the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra by American composer Marc Neikrug.
In addition to his appointments with the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Atlanta and Scottish Symphony Orchestras, Maestro Runnicles frequently appears as a guest conductor with other ensembles. During the 2017–2018 season, he will lead programs with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the Toronto Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, as well as lead a production of Hansel and Gretel at The Metropolitan Opera.
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
In the summer of 2018, The Grand Teton Music Festival hosted its inaugural scholarship competition in honor of Music Director Donald Runnicles. The competition was open to graduating high school seniors from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana who will pursue their primary studies 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.
First prize is $20,000; second prize is $12,500; and third prize is $7,500.
The judges had the difficult task of selecting three finalists – Ben Kaufman, piano, Taylor King, saxophone, and Sophie Lyman, cello. In the end, it was Ben who shined. Ben Kaufman will receive a $20,000 scholarship towards his music studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Second place went to Taylor King who will receive a $12,500 scholarship towards his studies at Boise State University, and Sophie Lyman will receive $7,500 towards her studies at Brigham Young
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!