A “Guest” Visit from Donald Runnicles at Grand Teton Music Festival – Memeteria by Thomas May

Gemma New was originally scheduled to make her Grand Teton Music Festival debut conducting this week’s full orchestral program. But when she had to cancel at the last minute, GTMF’s music director Sir Donald Runnicles stepped in to save the day, adding two more concerts to those for which he is already responsible during this 60th-anniversary season.

…The warm bond Runnicles enjoys with the Festival musicians was gloriously evident, moving to behold and experience. He led the orchestra in an account of the Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes — with such a fierce intensity that the entire opera seemed distilled into this purely instrumental music of transition and commentary.

…The loving attention to every detail in Elgar’s score clearly pulled the Walk Festival Hall audience breathlessly in, reaffirming confidence — sorely needed confidence after the long deprivation — in music’s power to transform. 

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