New York Philharmonic To Return To Bravo! Vail

Mike Lawson • News • March 6, 2017

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The New York Philharmonic will return to Bravo! Vail in Colorado, celebrating its 30th season, for the Orchestra’s 15th annual summer residency, July 21–28, 2017.

The residency will include six orchestral concerts that honor the Philharmonic’s legacy on the occasion of its 175th anniversary season and the conclusion of Alan Gilbert’s tenure as Music Director. In his final appearances at Bravo! Vail as Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert will conduct four programs (July 22 and 26–28), including a World Premiere by Julia Adolphe; Bramwell Tovey will conduct an all-American program (July 21); and the Philharmonic’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos will conduct and lead from the violin (July 23) in his Bravo! Vail debut. The newly formed New York Philharmonic String Quartet will also make its Bravo! Vail debut in the festival’s Chamber Music Series (July 25). The other soloists include pianists Anne-Marie McDermott (Bravo! Vail artistic director) and Philharmonic Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan; soprano Susanna Phillips (Philharmonic debut); mezzo-sopranos J’Nai Bridges (Philharmonic and Bravo! Vail debut) and Jennifer Johnson Cano; tenor Joseph Kaiser; and bass Morris Robinson. The New York Philharmonic has performed at Bravo! Vail each summer since 2003.

Saturday, July 22: Alan Gilbert will lead a concert featuring Brahms’s Violin Concerto, with Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos as soloist, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The Philharmonic’s 1866 performance of the first four movements of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, led by Carl Bergmann, was the first of seven U.S. Premieres of Berlioz works the Orchestra would ultimately present. Alan Gilbert introduced the position of Artist-in-Residence in his first season as Music Director; it has brought seven musicians for intensive, year-long relationships with the Philharmonic.

Wednesday, July 26: Alan Gilbert will lead a concert celebrating the Orchestra’s legacy of championing the music of every era, with the World Premiere of a new work by Julia Adolphe — commissioned by Bravo! Vail as part of the Festival’s New Works Project, which will feature five World Premieres during the 2017 season — as well as two other works premiered by the Philharmonic: Gershwin’s Concerto in F, with Anne-Marie McDermott as soloist, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World. The premiere continues the relationship established between Julia Adolphe and the Orchestra in June 2014, when the Philharmonic selected Ms. Adolphe’s Dark Sand, Sifting Light as one of three works by emerging composers premiered by Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra in the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL. In November 2016 the Philharmonic gave the New York Premiere–Philharmonic Co-Commission of Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra) with Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps as soloist and led by Jaap van Zweden, the Philharmonic’s next Music Director. Walter Damrosch commissioned Brooklynite Gershwin’s Concerto in F for the New York Symphony (one of the forebears of today’s New York Philharmonic), which gave the work’s World Premiere in 1925, led by Damrosch, with Gershwin as piano soloist. The Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of Dvořák’s New World Symphony in 1893. The performance of the New World Symphony concludes The New World Initiative, the Philharmonic’s season-long, citywide project revolving around Dvořák’s New World Symphony and its theme of home through performances, community outreach, and education projects.

Thursday, July 27: Alan Gilbert will conduct the Symphony No. 7 by Mahler, Philharmonic Music Director from 1909 until his death in 1911. Mahler’s acolytes Bruno Walter and Willem Mengelberg both served as Philharmonic Music Director, and Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein championed his works. During the course of his tenure, Alan Gilbert has led the Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9.

Friday, July 28: Alan Gilbert will conduct two iconic works by Beethoven: the Piano Concerto No. 2, with Inon Barnatan as soloist in his final appearances as the Philharmonic’s Artist-in-Association, and Symphony No. 9, with soprano Susanna Phillips in her Philharmonic debut, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Joseph Kaiser, bass Morris Robinson, and the Colorado Symphony Chorus directed by Duain Wolfe. The Philharmonic gave the U.S. Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 1846, for which it commissioned the first English translation of “Ode to Joy.”

Friday, July 21: Bramwell Tovey will return for his 14th summer with the New York Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail to conduct the residency’s opening program, celebrating the Orchestra’s role as an advocate of American music: Schuman’s orchestration of Ives’s Variations on America; Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture for Orchestra, arranged by Robert Russell Bennett; selected songs by Gershwin; Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The Philharmonic premiered Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story in 1961, led by Lukas Foss; Bernstein was composing the score for West Side Story when, in November 1956, he was appointed Joint Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic (he became Music Director in September 1958). The Philharmonic also premiered the orchestrated version of Ives’s Variations on America in 1963, led by André Kostelanetz, and gave the New York Premiere of Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture for Orchestra in 1943, led by Fritz Reiner.

Sunday, July 23: Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos will lead and perform J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto in D minor (reconstructed), BWV 1052, and conduct Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 and Weber’s Oberon Overture. Introduced by Alan Gilbert in his inaugural season as Music Director, the position of Artist-in-Residence reflects his belief in collaboration with like-minded musicians and his desire to create a platform to showcase many aspects of a performer’s musical personality. The New York Philharmonic performed Weber’s Oberon Overture on its inaugural concert, on December 7, 1842.

Tuesday, July 25: the New York Philharmonic String Quartet makes its Bravo! Vail debut performing Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F minor; Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4; and Dvořák’s String Quartet in F major, American. This performance follows the ensemble’s debut, in March 2017 New York Philharmonic subscription concerts, followed by appearances on a Young People’s Concert and on the EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour.

Bravo! Vail was founded by John Giovando and violinist Ida Kavafian in 1987. Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott became artistic director in 2011, and Jennifer Teisinger assumed the role of executive director in January 2016. New York Philharmonic concerts will be performed in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and will start at 6:00 p.m. The chamber music concert featuring the New York Philharmonic String Quartet will be held at the Donovan Pavilion and will also start at 6:00 p.m.

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