Browse the programs that took place in our 2021 Season.
Virtuoso Afro-Cuban-born brothers – American violinist Ilmar and Cuban pianist Aldo – live on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm half a century wide. Los Hermanos/The Brothers tracks their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and electrifying first performances across the United States, in a nuanced, often startling view of estranged nations through the lens of music and family.
Nia Imani Franklin, composer, vocalist, and 2019 Miss America titleholder, is joined by pianist Aldo López-Gavilán for some of her original songs and compositions. The program will also include select original pieces composed by Napa County students who participated in Ms. Franklin’s “Compose Her” music composition workshop presented by the Festival this spring. Performance is followed by a Q&A session.
All attendees must be accompanied by a child.
Tonight, on the beautiful grounds of Silverado Resort and Spa, Festival Napa Valley celebrates its champions – the benefactors and patrons whose enthusiasm, vision, and support launched Festival Napa Valley 16 years ago, as well as major supporters of the 2021 season.
Fourteen-year-old Fiona Khuong-Huu was a prizewinner at the Grumiaux and Spohr Competitions, and recently received the Salon de Virtuosi Prize in New York. She has performed at Buckingham Palace with Maxim Vengerov, and with orchestras in the United States, Italy, and Belgium. Currently a student of Kenneth Renshaw and Li Lin at the Juilliard School, she has taken master classes with Vadim Gluzman, Ivry Gitlis, Shlomo Mintz, and Menahem Pressler.
Festival Napa Valley kicks off with an unforgettable recital starring one of today’s most dazzling singers - soprano Lisette Oropesa - who performs in the picturesque outdoor stage at Charles Krug. The Cuban-American Oropesa is one of the most in-demand lyric coloraturas today, and has been celebrated for her "endless supply of golden-age trills," (Opera News) and a voice that is "brightly crystalline and arrestingly powerful." (New York Times). Tonight’s concert is dedicated to the late Ann Getty, whose generosity and kindness made an indelible mark on Festival Napa Valley.
Driving down Highway 29, you might recognize a 35-foot-tall stainless steel bunny leaping up from a vineyard. The sculpture, “Bunny Foo Foo,” is one of many innovative works at HALL St. Helena, a gorgeous, art-filled estate that combines the best of the past and the future.
The Dallas Symphony Trio presents an admission-free program of chamber music works.
Founded in 1871 by Charles Wheeler, a founding member of the St. Helena Viticultural Club, the original Wheeler Farms stretched over 2,000 acres just south of St. Helena. In 2013, longtime Napa vintners Bart and Daphne Araujo bought the last parcel of the historic property. Today the 12-acre Wheeler Farms is a diversified expression of Napa Valley’s rich agricultural history, and sits brightly in the sun off of Zinfandel Lane.
More than four decades ago, at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii, winemaking legends Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild met for the very first time. There they began a groundbreaking collaboration with a singular vision: merge Old World and New World wine styles to create one grand Opus.
“In vino veritas.” That’s the philosophy at Theorem Vineyards, one of the most enchanting vineyard estates in all of Napa Valley. Nestled on the northern slope of Diamond Mountain in Calistoga, Theorem Vineyards houses one of the most significant collections of historical buildings in Napa Valley.
She is Jennifer Hudson. A global superstar with a voice as big as her heart. And she is bringing that formidable voice and her unbridled charisma to Festival Napa Valley for one of the most inspiring events of the year: the Arts for All Gala.
Allan and Mei Warburg began collecting contemporary sculptures in 2015, activating their 200-acre estate as a green space gallery. Today more than 40 large-scale sculptures dot the landscape, each piece playing with nature, space, and imagination. Guests at this invitation-only Donor Luncheon will be treated to a unique sonic tour of some of these most extraordinary works of art.
Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi, passionate and longtime supporters of Festival Napa Valley, have a love of art, wine, and hospitality imbued by the rich traditions of their Persian culture. To them, these are vital components of a life well lived and generously shared. A couple whose passion for music is rivaled only by their prowess in making their outstanding Darioush wines, the Khaledis host an exclusive patron dinner and private concert at their magnificent Napa estate, which is inspired by the ancient capital city of Persepolis.
Program will include Blackburn Music Academy musicians in the world premiere of chamber works and songs by Nia Imani Franklin.
The words were found carved in a stone that was part of the original circa 1885 building—“Far niente,” or “without a care.” While that’s how guests may feel when wandering the grounds of this astounding Napa estate, for its proprietors nothing could be further from the truth. Great care has gone into this historical property—from its original nineteenth century roots, to its restoration in the 1970s, to the rise of its legendary Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. To experience Far Niente is to experience some of the region’s most precious history.
What is it to be a modern winery? Is it sleek architecture, miles of solar panels, and prestigious consulting winemakers? That is certainly part of it. But the best modern wineries embrace not just winemaking, but everything that influences it – nature, music, and art. And with all that in mind, owner Cliff Lede has created one of the most exciting, forward-thinking boutique wineries in Napa.
GRAMMY-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz and brilliant young violinist Chad Hoopes bring their talents to the outdoor stage at Charles Krug.
History surrounds you at Charles Krug, Napa Valley’s oldest winery. Founded in 1861, the iconic estate has been owned and operated by the Peter Mondavi Sr. family for four generations. Serving as stewards of the legendary estate, the family has built upon the winery’s reputation for innovation and uncompromising quality, crafting wines that are artful expressions of classic Napa Valley terroir. The stunning tasting room, designed by architect Howard Backen, is both contemporary and timeless.
Pianist Audrey Vardanega takes the stage for this stop-animated puppet show and musical performance combining story, music, and natural sounds. Vardanega performs pieces from Tales of the Boatman, an exciting series created by multi-instrumentalist, storyteller, and shadow puppeteer Chris Rippey that tackles themes of myth, magic, music, and nature.
All attendees must be accompanied by a child.
Festival Napa Valley presents a very special tribute to music icon Tony Bennett, the preeminent master of the Great American Songbook. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received nineteen Grammy® Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award). No one in American popular music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence as Bennett.
Alila Napa Valley has emerged as a bright star on the wine country scene. Nestled next to the legendary Beringer Estate Winery and a stone’s throw from downtown St. Helena, the luxury resort is ideally located to experience the best of the region - from exploring its beautiful countryside to indulging in its epicurean lifestyle.
Rich and Leslie Frank have a philosophy: “We don’t have customers; we have guests. And the idea is that our guests have a great time.” Of course, an essential component of that enjoyment is the years they have spent crafting some of the most outstanding small-batch, single-vineyard wines in Napa. It’s also the welcoming, gracious sensibility guests will experience throughout this intimate evening on their Calistoga estate—one of Napa’s most iconic and unforgettable locations.
Praised as a “musically eloquent” player (San Francisco Classical Voice) “with the kind of freedom, authority, and strength… that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” (The Piedmont Post), Audrey Vardanega has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist across Europe, China, and the United States. In this admission-free concert, Vardanega performs works for solo piano by Chopin and Mozart.
Contemporary luxury meets the exceptional elegance of Napa Valley at Bardessono, a LEED Platinum Certified hotel nestled in the heart of Yountville. Eco-developers built Bardessono with 100,000 square feet of salvaged wood, which they used for the doors, flooring, and walls of this spectacular resort – a mightily impressive feat.
Equally impressive are the gems created by Pomellato. The visionary Italian jewelry house, known for its avant-garde Milanese designs and sophisticated colored stone combinations, will have an array of stunning pieces on display at today’s exclusive luncheon
Nowhere is this more true than at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, a place where environmental stewardship and exceptional wines go hand in hand. Working tirelessly to preserve and protect its natural resources, St. Supéry has committed to producing the highest quality wines while also supporting the estate’s biodiversity and sustainability.
Star baritone Lucas Meachem returns to Festival Napa Valley to perform the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, widely considered to be one of the funniest operas of all time. Maestro Kent Nagano makes his Festival debut and leads Meachem, soprano Mikaela Bennett, tenor Mario Rojas, mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh and Festival Orchestra Napa in this comic farce featuring some of Puccini’s best music, including the famous aria "O mio babbino caro.” Jean-Romain Vesperini directs.
You don’t have to travel to Europe to experience the grandeur of a great castle. Just take a seat at tonight’s Patron Dinner, hosted in the elegant confines of Castello di Amorosa, the Napa estate winery with a 121,000-square-foot, thirteenth-century-style Tuscan castle at its heart. Made from more than 8,000 tons of Napa-sourced stone, it is an incredible site to behold. Sipping on fine wines and soaking in breathtaking views, guests will dine underneath the summer sky in Castello di Amorosa’s spectacular stone courtyard. Magical.
Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “pristine clarity, enviable precision, and emotional heat” (Classical Voice of North Carolina), Steven Banks is establishing himself as an important young artist on the saxophone, which is rarely heard as a solo concert instrument.
Anne and Roger Walther have spent a lifetime giving, and their enthusiasm and energy is paralleled only by their deep commitment to the Napa community. The Walther family invites Festival patrons to join them for a private peek at their turbo-charged collection of exotic and classic cars, followed by an afternoon of elegant food and beautiful music, set among the stunning beauty of St. Helena’s Sage Canyon vineyards.
Ballet superstar Roberto Bolle brings his celebrated production, Roberto Bolle and Friends, to Napa for the annual Dance Gala, an event that invariably ranks among the year’s highlights. A principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre from 2009-2019, a principal dancer étoile at La Scala Theatre Ballet, and a guest artist with other top international companies, Bolle is one of Italy’s most beloved artists. Accompanied by a star-studded cast of dancers, he performs solos and ensemble numbers from both treasured classic and modern ballets.
A dinner at Raymond Vineyards is no ordinary parade of plates. Owner Jean-Charles Boisset approaches wine, and how we enjoy it, at the sensory level. That includes sight, smell, texture, taste, and everything that surrounds you (he describes this so articulately in his recent book, Alchemy of the Senses).
One of the world’s most prestigious wine dynasties, the Antinori family has been making wine for more than six centuries. Since they purchased 500 acres in Napa Valley in 1993, a little bit of Tuscany has been blossoming on the West Coast. And Tuscany is exactly what guests will indulge in during this afternoon of pranzo perfection.
Festival favorite Michael Fabiano, the celebrated tenor who The New York Times called “one of the most exciting, sought-after singers in the world”, returns to Napa to delight the audience in song with Festival Orchestra Napa, under the baton of eminent conductor James Conlon. Joining Fabiano are this year’s Manetti Shrem Prize winners Simone McIntosh and Mario Rojas.
Perched above the vineyards in St. Helena, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is one of the world’s foremost centers of food and wine education. With an alumni list that includes Charlie Palmer, Grant Achatz, and Cat Cora, this is the destination for food and wine enthusiasts who want to dig deeper, explore farther, and learn more.
What’s music to the ears? A season finale that simultaneously supports, energizes, and inspires the ethos of Festival Napa Valley. This closing private jazz and bluegrass concert by the celebrated violinist Tessa Lark with pianist/accordionist Sam Reider and bodacious barbecue at Robin and Michelle Baggetts’ beauty of a winery, Alpha Omega, promises just that.