11-11 Festival del Sole

Set among lush rolling foothills and breathtaking vineyard landscapes, Napa Valley Festival del Sole brings together the best in music, dance, fine wine and cuisine, and unique lifestyle programs for a 10-day experience the New York Times calls a “feast for the senses.”

Festival del Sole takes place every summer in California’s beautiful Napa Valley. The Festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life.

For more information visit http://www.festivaldelsole.com/

Highlights of the 2011 Season

Highlights of this year’s festival include the return of festival favorite Sarah Chang; a dance gala starring principal dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre; an expanded vocal series with sopranos Nino Machaidze, Aleksandra Kurzak and Marnie Breckenridge, baritone Guido Loconsolo and tenor Francesco Demuro; a David Foster & Friends charity concert featuring Charice, Babyface, Ruben Studdard and the Canadian Tenors; and the premiere of a multidisciplinary program dedicated to the world of Shakespeare.

Among the artists appearing this season are pianists Joyce Yang and Tara Kamangar, the Emerson String Quartet, classical guitarist Angel Romero, cellist Nina Kotova, baroque group “Les Violettes”, and the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) under the direction of guest conductors Stéphane Denève and Omer Wellber.


Rossini: Overture La Gazza Landra
Mendelssohn: Double Concerto
Lieberson: Neruda Songs: Sonnet Vii and Sonnet XCii
Puccini: Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut
Haydn: Cello Concerto
Getty: La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Bolling: Irlandaise and Veloce from Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

You can listen to the entire program here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Carlos Almeida, Percussion – Percussionist Carlos Almeida, originally from South America, grew up listening to and performing Brazilian music. Once settling in Silicon Valley, he toured the U.S and Canada with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, winning a DCI championship. He established himself as a percussion instructor arranging music and teaching high schools in Santa Cruz and Cupertino. More

Joshua Bell, Violin – Joshua Bell has captured the public’s attention like no other classical violinist of his time. His 2009-2010 season kicked off with the September world-wide Sony Classical release of At Home with Friends featuring Chris Botti, Sting, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Regina Spektor and others. Photo by Marc Hom More

Kymry Esainko, Piano – Pianist Kymry Esainko is known for his wide-ranging musical versatility.  Principal pianist for the Santa Rosa Symphony since 2002, he has worked with esteemed conductors such as Jeffrey Kahane, John Adams, Joana Carneiro, and Bruno Ferrandis.  His work as a vocal and choral accompanist has taken him to concert halls around the world including the KKL in Luzern, Switzerland, the Basilique Sainte-Clothilde in Paris, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.  .More

Nina Kotova, Cello – Since her Western debut in Prague with the Prague Radio Orchestra in 1986 after winning the Prague International Competition, Nina Kotova has appeared with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and often tours the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.  She has collaborated with Joshua Bell,  Sarah Chang,  Helene Grimaud,  Sir James Galway, Antonio Pappano, Vladimir Jurowski,  Lang Lang,  Nikolaj Znaider, Stéphane Denève, Vladmir Fedoseyev and Nicola Luisotti. More

Carlo Montanaro, Conductor – Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro began his musical career as a violinist with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 1991. He graduated from the Cherubini conservatory of Florence, Italy, and was then discovered by Zubin Mehta.  He has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Muti, Giulini, Prêtre, Ozawa, and Maazel before turning to conducting himself.More

Kelly O’Connor, Mezzo-Soprano – Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy® Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor quickly has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. Ms. O’Connor has received unanimous international critical acclaim for her numerous performances as Federico García Lorca in Ainadamar.  More

Alondra de la Parra, Conductor – Conductor Alondra de la Parra has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances, making her one of the most compelling conductors of her generation. “de la Parra’s conducting style must be seen to be believed,” raved the San Antonio News Express. “Her electric, precise and energetic fluidity generated arches of breathtaking, glowing expression. The driving Beethoven rhythms pulled the audience to its feet at the end. If people still wore hats, they would have been tossed toward the theater’s night-sky ceiling.” More

Maxim Rubstov, Flute –Maxim Rubtsov was appointed Principal Flute of the Russian National Orchestra in 2003. Born in 1977 in Bryansk, Russia, he began his studies in music and choreography there and later transferred to Moscow’s Gnesin Institute of Music. He graduated with an advanced degree in music from the Moscow Conservatory. Rubtsov joined the flute section of the RNO in 1999 and was appointed Associate Principal the following year, at the time the youngest ever to hold this position in the history of the orchestra. More

Russian National Orchestra – The Russian National Orchestra was founded by the conductor and pianist Mikhail Pletnev in 1990, following sweeping changes in the former USSR. Under his artistic leadership, the orchestra soon achieved international renown and established its hallmarks of innovation and excellence. In 2008, a panel of international critics named the Russian National Orchestra as one of the world’s top orchestras.  More

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano – Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet continues to enthrall audiences worldwide with his profound and poetic artistry, enlightened interpretations and thrilling performances. Hailed as “one of the best pianists in the world,” Thibaudet is sought-after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors and collaborative musicians for his virtuosity and charisma.  More

Robert Wright, Bass –Robert  Wright is also an active electric bassist, and composer.  A bay area native, he has always played both classical and all styles of jazz and still plays and composes in both idioms. His early musical experience in jazz included playing with Charles Moffett, Smiley Winters and Vince Wallace.  He has worked in the past with Mose Allison, Ritchie Cole and Eddie Harris in the 1980’s. He also played with guitarists Herb Ellis, Emily Remler and Jackie King.  He has made several jazz recordings since the 1980’s.   More