Barrett Wissman

IMG Artists’ Chairman Barrett Wissman and President Alexander Shustorovich Announce the Successful Completion of the Ninth Napa Valley Festival del Sole

Festival Highlights Include:

  • Spectacular Performances by the Sphinx Virtuosi and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra
  • A “Bella Italia!” Tribute to Sophia Loren with Special Guests Robert Redford, Whoopi Goldberg and Francis Ford Coppola
  • $1.38 million Raised in Support of Music Education Programs and Festival Association Napa Valley

NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts and lifestyle events management, today announced the successful completion of the Ninth Annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole, a celebration of music, dance and the arts with lifestyle events featuring Napa’s wines, unique culinary experiences and wellness programs.

Alexander Shustorovich, Whoopi Goldberg, Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren, Robert Redford and Barrett Wissman enjoy the “Bella Italia!” Tribute to Sophia Loren at the Ninth Annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole.  Source: IMG Artists

“IMG Artists is deeply gratified by the success of this year’s Festival, from record-breaking fundraising numbers to the many successful programs featuring preeminent musicians, dancers, vintners, chefs and more,” said Barrett Wissman, IMG Artists’ Chairman and the Festival’s Artistic Director. “We are thankful for the tremendously positive response from Festival attendees, as well as the entire Napa Valley region, to whom we remain grateful for their continued support and warm welcome. We couldn’t have achieved this success without the efforts of our Partner and Festival Director Rick Walker and the Festival staff, IMG Artists’ Festival Producer Charles Letourneau and the IMG Artists team, and the core lineup of extraordinary artists including Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman, Polina Semionova, Alondra de la Parra, James Valenti, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Matthew Polenzani, Nadine Sierra, James Valenti, Carlo Ponti, among many others. A special thanks goes out to our distinguished guests who made the “Bella Italia!” Tribute a wonderful success including Sophia Loren, Robert Redford, Whoopi Goldberg and Francis Ford Coppola. I would also like to thank the Napa Valley Festival Association Board and its Chairman Darioush Khaledi, Gala Chair Maggie Oetgen and the many extraordinary donors, vintner partners and sponsors that work with us on the Festival.”

Alexander Shustorovich, IMG Artists president, added, “We are particularly pleased by the growing appreciation for – and recognition of – the Sphinx Virtuosi, who gave inspired performances at this year’s Festival. Sphinx is one of the nation’s most dynamic orchestras, and IMG Artists’ partnership with them, together with the more than $1 million raised in support of music causes at this year’s Festival, highlights our commitment to inspiring the next generation of musicians and artists. Sphinx’s message of promoting diversity in the American cultural arts scene is of crucial importance today in building the institutions and audiences of the future.”

“The opportunity to partner with Festival del Sole was simply invaluable,” added Dr. Aaron P. Dworkin, Founder and President of the Sphinx Organization. “Sphinx was thrilled to feature its top musicians, whose commitment to artistic merit complemented the Festival’s own objectives. The Sphinx Symphony, as well as the Sphinx Virtuosi, were honored to share the stage with legendary artists and be able to bring their musicianship to share with the engaged and committed Napa Valley community.  We are tremendously excited about the future of this partnership.”

Specific highlights of this year’s Festival included the following:

  • IMG Artist’s partner, the Sphinx Organization, presented the Napa premiere of its highly lauded Sphinx Virtuosi and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at this year’s Festival with performances by both the Virtuosi and Symphony Orchestra, where they performed with violinist Joshua Bell. conductor Alondra de la Parra, violinist Pinchas Zukerman, tenor James Valenti, conductors Carlo Ponti and Dmitri Sitkovetsky, sopranos Nadine Sierra and Julia Bullock, and tenorMatthew Polenzani.  The Sphinx Virtuosi is composed of top alumni from the Sphinx Competition for Black and Latino string players and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra is the only all Black and Latino professional orchestra in the world.
  • The “Bella Italia!” Tribute to Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren at the Far Niente wine estate the most star-studded night of the Festival and included a tribute program with emcee Whoopi Goldberg, actor Robert Redford, director Francis Ford Coppola all giving homage to Ms. Loren and her life’s work. The evening also featured the debut of the LA Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra founded and directed by Ms. Loren’s son, conductor Carlo Ponti, Jr., that is devoted to the advocacy and support of music education.
  • This year, the Annual Festival Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley raised a record $1.3 million for the Festival’s music education efforts and included a performance by Arturo Sandoval, 10-time Grammy winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree. Proceeds from the Gala provide critical funding for arts education and community programs, and support Festival del Sole’s world-class programming.

Michael Kaiser, President of The Kennedy Center and Co-Chairman-elect of IMG Artists, concluded, “The Festival del Sole is a remarkable marriage of great art, fantastic wine and a gorgeous location.  It should continue to develop into one of the most important summer festivals in the world.”

Next year, July 17-26, 2015, the Napa Valley Festival del Sole will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a full schedule that will continue to artfully blend the world’s best music, dance, and arts programming along with wellness and the Napa region’s fine wine and cuisine.

IMG Artists is the global leader of performing arts and lifestyle events management.  For thirty years, the company has set the standard for excellence across the artist management, touring, events, festivals and cultural consulting fields.  IMGA’s 150 dedicated specialists in twelve offices across three continents offer unparalleled international reach and depth of experience to the company’s artists, clients and partners.  With the launch of the Sino-American Global Entertainment (S.A.G.E.) joint venture with China Arts and Entertainment group, as well as new venue management and technology initiatives designed to support and enhance the core business, IMGA remains the vanguard of the industry. w @IMGArtistsNY  w @IMGArtistsUK

Barrett Wissman and Francis Ford Coppola reveling in the “Bella Italia!” Tribute to Sophia Loren at the Ninth Annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole.  Source: IMG ArtistsNapa Valley Festival del Sole is one of America’s premier music and lifestyle festivals that blends world-class music, theater and dance with the region’s fine wine and cuisine in a celebration of the art of life.  Since 2006, Festival del Sole has presented more than 175 artists and ensembles in venues throughout Napa Valley, partnered with more than 200 wineries, hotels and local businesses, and attracted nearly 10,000 audience members and visitors each season. The 10-day summer Festival features performances by renowned artists and emerging talent, gala events at stunning wineries, resorts and estates, free community concerts, a wellness series promoting healthy living, and year-round arts education initiatives. The Napa Valley Festival del Sole is a non-profit public benefit organization operating under the auspices of Napa Valley Festival Association, and is produced by IMG Artists. For more information visit

For more information, please contact:

Jeana Foxman, Perry Street Communications
T: 214 965 9955

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