Summer Symphony in Sun Valley

July 1, 2008
SUN VALLEY, ID - On Sunday, August 3, 2008, the Sun Valley Pavilion will make its debut as the host venue for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony (SVSS). The Sun Valley Summer Symphony is a world-class orchestra consisting of distinguished musicians from major orchestras throughout the United States and is the largest privately funded, free admission symphony in America.

After 23 years of performing world-class free concerts in makeshift tents, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony has a permanent new home in the new Sun Valley Pavilion, which has been transformed from a visionary architect's rendering to a fully functional concert venue of international acclaim. The essential element of the superstructure, a towering, 70-foot-high proscenium arch constructed in a Tacoma shipyard, was transported to Sun Valley in three enormous sections and welded back together on-site. Installation of this formidable steel truss (weighing 75 tons), required the three largest commercial cranes in the region, with each crane having a capacity of 275 tons.

Inspired by the world's greatest concert stages, the 3,000-square-foot stage easily accommodates the symphony's 100-piece orchestra, backed by choral risers.

The stage is lined with curved acoustical fabricated wood panels designed to evenly deflect the sound. Similar curved acoustical panels are suspended above the orchestra to disperse the natural acoustic vibrations throughout the seated audience.

The exposed wall surfaces are surfaced with imported travertine rock from the famous Mariotti quarry outside of Rome - the same material used throughout the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Coliseum in Rome. Travertine (750 tons of it) was shipped to Sun Valley from the port of Civitavecchia, northwest of Rome.

The solid roof over the stage and backstage are suspended by a grid of steel cables, attached to wooden runners, which, in turn, support the Pavilion's horn-shaped wooden roof clad with copper shingles.

The terraced, concentric amphitheatre seats an audience of 1,500 under nearly half an acre of white fabric, stretched from the proscenium arch to the curved pergola (promenade) at the rear of the audience. This tensile fabric canopy is translucent; it admits soft, diffused sunlight in the daytime and emits a warm, lantern-like glow from the outside on summer evenings. Every seat has a more comfortable, more intimate relationship with the stage than ever before.

The gently terraced park surrounding the pavilion is equipped with a sophisticated sound system. Utilizing components of the LARES-Lexicon system, the exterior sound seems to emanate acoustically from the stage, rather than from speakers.

FTL Design Engineering Studio developed the architectural concept for this pavilion.

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