Each summer, more than 200 of the finest orchestra musicians fromacross the nation journey to Jackson Hole to make music together as theGrand Teton Music Festival Orchestra.  Some have been calling JacksonHole and the Grand Teton Music Festival their summer home for as manyas 25 years or more, and return year after year for the collegialatmosphere, and the joy of making music together in these spectacular surroundings.

Since its inception in 1962, the Grand Teton Music Festival has earnedthe reputation as one of the most important summer music festivals inthe country. Originally produced by an organization known as the FineArts Guild as part of the Jackson Hole Fine Arts Festival, the GrandTeton Music Festival’s first several seasons included dance, film, andvisual art as well as music. Local volunteers gave time, energy, andmoney to make the acoustical panels, risers, and floor coverings thatprovided the setting for beautiful music. With performances in the oldHigh School gymnasium, the Jackson Lake Lodge, and on the lawn of St.John’s Church, the Festival made a mark on the summer cultural life ofJackson Hole.

The Grand TetonMusic Festival moved to Teton Village in 1967 when the Jackson Hole SkiCorporation gave the Festival a rent-free site for a concert tent. TheFestival quickly set a goal of finding a permanent home for itsconcerts to be in place before the tent became shredded by the sun andwind. It became increasingly clear that a permanent music director wasalso necessary. With the appointment of Ling Tung as Music Director in1968, the Festival took a giant step forward. He and his businessmanager Margaretha Walk envisioned the Festival as a summer retreat foran esteemed group of professional musicians. Since that time, musiciansfrom America’s great orchestras and music school faculties gatherannually to form a resident orchestra that performs weekly concerts ofsymphonic music, as well as chamber music, in this collegial setting.

Afterseven years of orchestral performances in Teton Village under acarnival tent and chamber music in the Mangy Moose Saloon, the Festivalcelebrated its growing national prominence by opening Walk FestivalHall in 1974 at the base of the ski slopes in Teton Village. PaulMcCollister and the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation generously donated theland on which the Hall is built. Architect Bob Corbett, acousticengineer Christopher Jaffe, construction tycoon John Bancroft and JobCaptain George Sutherland built Walk Festival Hall achieving acclaimfor its unrivaled acoustics. 2007 marked the grand re-opening of WalkFesitval Hall following a 10-month, $4.85 million project to preserveits rich acoustics. The addition of interior and exteriorsoundproofing, as well as extensive functional and aestheticimprovements, ensures great performances in Walk Festival Hall forgenerations to come.

Inaddition to the Festival’s summer season and a series of winterconcerts, year-round education and outreach programming has become anintegral part of the Festival’s mission. These programs reach more than12,000 young students, musicians, and adults each year.


EijiOue succeeded Ling Tung as Music Director, leading the Festival from1997 – 2003, and was the driving force behind founding one of theFestival’s most loved events, the outdoor, annual July Fourth communityconcert, Music In The Hole, in 1997. 2006 marked the arrival ofinternationally renowned conductor Donald Runnicles as Music Director,only the third conductor to hold this position in the Festival’shistory.

Now, after nearly 35 years of residency in WalkFestival Hall, the Festival has welcomed some of the world’s mostcelebrated artists such as Emmanuel Ax, Paul Badura-Skoda, Sarah Chang,Lynn Harrell, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, the New York Philharmonicunder the direction of Zubin Mehta, Robert Shaw and the MormonTabernacle Choir, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington DC to itsstage.