Providing exhilarating musical experiences in Jackson Hole.
The Grand Teton Music Festival has celebrated the awe-inspiring community of Jackson Hole with exhilarating music since 1962. At the core of this celebration is our seven-week classical music Festival held each summer. Prestigious soloists and musicians from renowned orchestras flock to stunning Jackson Hole for our Festival to renew their artistic inspiration and share their talents and passion with the local community. Since 2006 internationally acclaimed Maestro Donald Runnicles has led our Festival as the Music Director, and helped our orchestra reach new heights.
The Grand Teton Music Festival’s mission to provide exhilarating musical experiences does not stop when the summer ends. As a part of our commitment to continually share our passion and knowledge of music, the Grand Teton Music Festival provides a variety of events and community programs throughout the winter. Met Opera broadcasts and education and outreach programs, including Tune Up, drive our winter programming and complete our yearlong effort to provide enriching music to our community.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
GTMF’s flagship music education program augments the standard music curriculum in Jackson Hole 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. This year, nearly 400 students received supplementary instruction through Tune-Up and GTMF.
Before each Friday and Saturday Festival Orchestra concert, Festival Musicians and local music historians 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.
This intense three-day clinic, which coincides with the Winter Festival, unites the eighth-grade orchestra students of Jackson Hole and Star Valley Middle Schools. The clinic, led by Festival Musician and Music Director of the Utah Youth Symphony Barbara Scowcroft, concludes with a concert to showcase the students’ newly refined skills and talents.
GTMF provides scholarships to students who have developed a lifelong appreciation and practice of music. Though students need not pursue music as a career in college, they must study the performing arts within high school and demonstrate an interest in continuing their love of music. This year, GTMF selected Nicole Collins and Jesse Foster of Jackson Hole High School as recipients. They each received $1,000 to apply toward their higher education.
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.
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
Bob Whitmire, Secretary
Jon W. Rotenstreich
Barbara Manfrey Vogelstein
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!