Andrew Litton, the festival's music director, will lead six programs; Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo V‹nsk‹ will lead two, including a free concert on the festival's marathon opening day. The two will also perform together in a chamber music concert, with Litton performing at the piano and V‹nsk‹ making a rare appearance on the clarinet.
Other highlights include a 25th-anniversary celebration featuring the same program of Strauss waltzes and polkas that opened the first Sommerfest in 1980. Soprano Heidi Grant Murphy is the soloist. Pianist Christopher O'Riley makes three appearances, two with the orchestra and one performing his trademark solo piano arrangements of songs by the rock band Radiohead.
Other soloists include soprano Harolyn Blackwell, appearing in Orff's Carmina Burana, and Kevin Cole, playing Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue.