Festival of the Desert 2015


Festival of the Desert today announced the launch of a premier cultural event in the Coachella Valley to be presented by the Del Sole Foundation and produced by Barrett Wissman, the Chairman of IMG Artists. The inaugural launch event will feature a stellar lineup of some of today’s top music, dance, visual art, and theatrical artists, such as opera royalty Renée Fleming and the Paris Opera’s Music Director Phillippe Jordan.  Music icon and legend Quincy Jones will curate the evening gala music program, with American and Bolshoi Ballet’s Principal Dancer, David Hallberg, serving as the artistic director of the dance program.

 “The beauty of Palm Springs, its weather, and its silence – in conjunction with the people who come to visit and live there from around the world – make for the perfect environment for launching such a festival,” said Maestro Philippe Jordan.  “Palm Springs gave me so much, and I would like to give something back to it through my work, which is why I asked Barrett Wissman to collaborate with me on the project.”

 With a longtime fondness for the Palm Springs area desert and a lifelong passion for music, Maestro Jordan, one of the world’s rising star conductors, approached philanthropists Regina and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten about the notion of advancing performing arts and arts education in the desert.  The idea resonated with the Annenberg Weingartens, and they agreed be the lead donors for the launch of the festival.  When Mr. Wissman agreed to oversee the direction of the festival, the notion became a reality.

Celebrating the Arts at The Festival of the Desert 2015 in Palm Springs WHAT:  Led by Artistic Director Philippe Jordan, Music Director of the Paris Opera and one of the world’s leading young conductors, the first-ever launch event for the Festival of the Desert will host an inspiring series of events featuring internationally celebrated musicians, dancers, visual artists, and guest speakers. Performers include Renée Fleming, soprano; Philippe Jordan, conductor; Alfredo Rodriguez, piano; Angel Romero, guitar; Veronika Part, dancer from American Ballet Theatre; Maria Kowroski, dancer from New York City Ballet. Advisers and participants include: David Hallberg, Principal Dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre; Quincy Jones, music producer and composer; Michael Kaiser, former President of the Kennedy Center for the Arts and Chair of the Desert Arts Symposium; and LACMA. The launch event will be held March 18, 2015 under the auspices of the Del Sole Foundation.  IMG Artists Chairman Barrett Wissman is the Festival Director and the event is produced by IMG Artists.

WHERE: Sunnylands Center & Gardens, 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

McCallum Theater, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260

WHEN:  March 18, 2015

11:00 am Genius of the Émigré Concert at Sunnylands Center & Gardens curated by Philippe Jordan

1:00 pm Lunch at Sunnylands Center & Gardens

2:15 pm Discussion of the Future of the Arts in America, led by Michael Kaiser

7:00 pm Concert at the McCallum Theatre featuring Renée Fleming and Philippe Jordan

9:30 pm Gala Reception at Sunnylands Center & Gardens with Renée Fleming, music performances curated by Quincy Jones and dance program curated by David Hallberg featuring Veronika Part and Maria Kowroski.

PRICE:             Tickets $65 – $500

INFO:              http://www.festivalofthedesert.org/

CONTACT:     Festival of the Desert tickets & information, McCallum Thearte Box Office: 760.340.2787

Reigning soprano, Renée Fleming performs at the Festival of the Desert
Photo by (c) Decca/Andrew Eccles

The program will feature a centerpiece recital by today’s reigning soprano, Renée Fleming, at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert on March 18 with Maestro Jordan himself at the piano.  The concert will be followed by a gala reception at the Sunnylands Center and Gardens, featuring a musical program curated by Quincy Jones, and a dance program curated by one of the world’s most acclaimed dancers, David Hallberg, principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet.

“Any chance to work with Philippe Jordan, who is Music Director of this new festival, is really an opportunity not to be missed,” said Renée Fleming.  “Philippe envisions bringing the best that classical music has to offer to the Coachella Valley.”

 “I decided to become involved with the festival to bring the highest quality of artistic excellence in dance to Palm Springs” said David Hallberg. “It is destined to be a festival of the highest standards, given the level of my curating colleagues and the artists involved.”

 Earlier in the day on March 18, an 11:00 am concert, curated by Maestro Jordan, will kick off a day of events at the Sunnylands Center & Gardens.  This will be followed by lunch and a discussion, “The Future of the Arts in America,” led by Michael Kaiser, former President of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

 Tickets for Festival of the Desert are available on the web at http://www.festivalofthedesert.org, or by calling the McCallum Theater Box office at 760.340.ARTS (2787).

 For more information, please visit:

About Festival of the Desert:
Festival of the Desert operates under the auspices of the Del Sole Foundation for the Humanities, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to providing financial support for education and the performing arts, and is produced by IMG Artists.  Festival benefactors include a lead gift by GRoW Annenberg Foundation (a division of the Annenberg Foundation), followed by Harold Matzner and the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation.  Venue partners include the McCallum Theater and the Sunnylands Center and Gardens, with media support from KUSC Los Angeles.

Jacqueline Maddison
Jacqueline Maddison is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beverly Hills Magazine. She believes in shining light on the best of the best in life. She welcomes you into the world of the rich and famous with the ultimate luxury lifestyle.
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