VAIL — Bravo! Vail’s new Silver Oak and Twomey Series returns for a second season of concerts this summer, featuring Bravo! Vail artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott and guest artists such as the Jasper String Quartet and acclaimed pianists Stephen Prutsman and Joyce Yang. The series begins on Tuesday at Vail’s Donovan Pavilion and features three concerts in a new atmosphere designed for listening — relaxed, elegant, intimate and enveloped by the beauty of the outdoors. Featured music for the series-opening concert includes the pairing of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 3 with that of American composer Aaron Jay Kernis’ String Quartet, exploring the relationship between two vastly different sounding works written in 1806 and 1997, respectively. Also on the program is Barber’s Adagio for String Quartet, considered one of the most popular of all 20th century classical works.
“I have been playing chamber music at Bravo! Vail for 18 years, and in my first as artistic director in 2011, I brought up the idea of finding an intimate, beautiful space for this special music, where the audience could have a similar experience to that which they have at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater — gorgeous views of the outdoors, room to mingle with a glass of wine among friends and a warm enveloping sound for glorious music,” McDermott said. “When I stepped into the Donovan Pavilion, I knew we’d found the place for the Silver Oak and Twomey Series.”
The Silver Oak and Twomey Series features cabaret-style seating. Musicians and audience members enjoy food and complimentary Silver Oak and Twomey wines from the California vineyards in Napa, Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley.
“Last summer, we offered our first series of concerts — one in which an incredible cast of musicians offered not only classic works from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, but also shared with the audience works from the 20th and 21st centuries that were dear to their hearts,” McDermott said. “This juxtaposition of old and new in a friendly setting means much more to me and my colleagues than simply introducing new works in a ‘safe’ way. For musicians and composers, just like writers, dancers and all forms of creative artists, the past and the present are constantly reflected in each other.”
On Wednesday, the Silver Oak and Twomey Series features pianist Joyce Yang in performance of music by the 18th century Italian master Domenico Scarlatti, which she pairs with music written by American composer Sebastian Currier — Scarlatti Cadences and Brainstorm. Currier’s works, many written while in Rome, use “Scarlatti-like hallmarks” such as driving percussive rhythms and delicate textures, and yet they are 100 percent the voice of a composer born in 1959, as opposed to one born in 1685.
“For Joyce Yang playing these works side-by-side is musically engaging and fun,” McDermott said. “Playing them for a small audience, in an almost cabaret-like setting with beautiful Colorado views is almost too good to be true. Such is the spirit of the Silver Oak and Twomey Series.”
On Thursday, audiences will enjoy a unique pairing with Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet performed on the same evening as the iconic Quartet for the End of Time by the 20th century French master Olivier Messiaen. Featured artists include McDermott, the Jasper String Quartet and clarinetist Steven Williamson.
“The Silver Oak and Twomey Series is like a private meal with a new chef: fantastic ingredients, new combinations, some surprises and always a classic touch of the beloved familiar,” concluded McDermott. “The players are fabulous. The wine is divine.”