Barrett Wissman

The Prodigy Behind Napa’s Festival del Sole

Barrett Wissman is all about the perfect pairing. As the co-founder of Napa’s Festival del Sole, he brings world-class musicians and performers and juxtaposes them with world-class experiences with wine and food. At age 11, he paired up with major symphony orchestras as a piano virtuoso. At Yale he studied a pair of subjects, economics and political science, then collected a pair of advanced degrees in music. He embarked upon a high-profile career on Wall Street before decamping to Los Angeles to immerse himself in the entertainment industry. He acquired a majority stake in IMG Artists, whose roster includes Joshua Bell, Renee Fleming, the Bolshoi Ballet, Audra McDonald and Itzhak Perlman, and became its chairman. A decade ago, he teamed up with Richard Walker to found Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole, a midsummer celebration of music, dance, performance, improvisation, fine wine and cuisine — what he calls “the art of life.” The festival now runs 10 days (July 17-26) and includes 47 events at wineries, parks and cultural locations that pair top-flight talent with the best of the Napa Valley.

Read entire article and interview at San Francisco Chronicle >

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