VAIL - The Philadelphia Orchestra is coming back to town.
The orchestra, back for its sixth consecutive summer at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, begins its summer residency in Vail on Friday. Six concerts will be presented Friday through July 14 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
"We have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to take our Philadelphia sound to the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival since 2007," said Allison Vulgamore, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association president and CEO. "It offers the orchestra musicians a breathtakingly beautiful setting and venue in which to make music, for audiences that are dedicated and passionate. Our new music director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, is excited to join the orchestra in Vail this summer."
The Philadelphia Orchestra presents the first of six concerts on Friday, when music director designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin makes his Vail Valley debut leading an all-Brahms program. This couples the Fourth Symphony with James Ehnes as soloist in the Violin Concerto, marking the first of the residency's important concerto collaborations.
Becoming only the eighth music director in The Philadelphia Orchestra's 110-year history, Nezet-Seguin assumed the title of music director designate in June 2010, and looks forward to launching the inaugural season of his new directorship this fall.
"It's my role to awaken the fire and joy of making music," said Nezet-Seguin.
On Saturday night, reigning Gilmore Artist and respected pianist Kirill Gersteinreturns to perform Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the Philadelphians and Nezet-Seguin, on a program with Tchaikovsky's final Symphony, the "Pathethique."
By contrast, on Sunday the orchestra - led by assistant conductor Cristian Macelaru - provides live accompaniment to the celebrated Cirque de la Symphonie. Live acrobatic dancers will soar to orchestral music.
On July 11, the full orchestra comes together under the baton of Steven Reineke, music director of the New York Pops, for "Three Wicked Divas": a program of showstoppers from Wicked, Carmen, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime Wicked Divas that boasts the vocals of two Broadway stars, Helen Hayes Award-winner Stephanie J. Block and Julia Murney.
For the orchestra's penultimate Festival appearance, guest conductor Stephane Deneve, music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, leads a performance on July 13 of Shostakovich's potent Fifth Symphony coupled with the Elgar Cello Concerto performed by Alban Gerhardt.
The Philadelphians draw the season to a close in collaboration with one of today's foremost violinists, Avery Fisher Prize-winner Joshua Bell, whose performances consistently generate what Gramophone magazine dubs "rock concert enthusiasm." Making his Vail Valley debut, Bell traverses Mendelssohn's soulful Violin Concerto under the direction of French Maestro Deneve, and the orchestra concludes its residency with an account of Dvorak's sweeping Seventh Symphony.
Tickets for The Philadelphia Orchestra and other events in the Vail Music Festival's 25th anniversary season are available for purchase at www.vailmusic.org or 877-812-5700.