VAIL - Dallas Symphony Orchestra's residency at the Bravo Vail Valley Music Festival continues Friday night with a special performance for concert-goers. For the first time, violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Alisa Weilerstein will join together to perform Brahms' Double Concerto. These two giants of classical music have never performed this masterful Brahms piece together, and Vail audiences will be the first to hear it.
Tonight's concert is part of the festival's season-long theme of "Brahms the Symphonist." Under the direction of maestro Jaap van Zweden, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform Brahms' Double Concerto and Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C minor, The Great. The concert begins at 6 p.m. at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.
"Alisa Weilerstein and Jennifer Koh are both known and regarded as two of the most dynamic young soloists on the classical stage," said Jacqueline Taylor, Bravo's artistic administrator. "These two powerhouses are the soloists of the new generation of classical musicians and this piece will be the perfect vehicle for their combined passion."
Weilerstein is the recipient of the 2011 MacArthur Grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation. According to her website, when she received a phone call announcing she had won the grant, she thought it was a prank call.
Weilerstein first performed in Vail when she was 20 years old and has since performed at Bravo several times.
Not only will this specific performance be an event that is not to be missed, but the history behind the work lends itself to dramatic, passion-filled presentations, said Taylor.
What is the story behind Brahms' masterwork? The work was written as a peace offering to repair Brahms' friendship with illustrious violinist Joseph Joachim. Their three-decade long friendship deteriorated over a letter Brahms wrote to Joachim's wife, who Joachim accused of adultery. The letter expressed sympathy and his support of his belief that she had been faithful to Joachim, and when Joachim learned of this correspondence during the divorce proceedings, he severed all ties with Brahms. Four years of no communication later, Joachim construed Brahms' offer to premiere the work and accepted - both the olive branch and the opportunity to debut the solo violin part.
Preceding the concert will be a Behind the Music lecture with Kristin Taavola, associate professor of music theory at the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music. This will take place at 5 p.m. in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and is free and open to the public.
To purchase tickets call 877-812-5700 or visit www.vailmusic.org.