VAIL — The Bravo! Vail 2014 season concludes with an evening of chamber music at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Saturday night. The concert, which reunites Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott with the Calder Quartet, also spotlights the young New York ensemble Le Train Bleu, conducted by flutist Ransom Wilson, as well as guitarist James Moore and clarinetist Alexey Gorokholinsky. Titled “Baroque Concertos and More,” the season finale concert returns to Bravo! Vail’s roots, and features three of music’s most popular Baroque Concertos, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. In this evening of masterpieces, concertgoers will also enjoy a 20th century masterwork: “Gnarly Buttons” by John Adams. Tickets are $29 and are on sale at bravovail.org.
Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and by Present Music in Milwaukee, “Gnarly Buttons” was first performed by clarinetist Michael Collins and the London Sinfonietta under John Adams’ direction in 1996 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. The clarinet was Adams’ first instrument, which he learned from his father.
The particular history of Adams’ family and their clarinets is embedded in “Gnarly Buttons.” Inspired by his clarinetist father who battled Alzheimer ’s disease, Adams didn’t compose for the clarinet until he was nearly 50 and his father had succumbed to the fatal illness. The piece, which features Alexey Gorokholinsky on solo clarinet, is scored for 13 musicians including a banjo player, who also performs guitar and mandolin. Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist James Moore, a founding member and director of the electric guitar quartet Dither, takes a star turn in what promises to be a remarkable evening of chamber music’s finest.
In 2014, select Bravo! Vail Chamber Music Series concerts are broadcast by Colorado Public Radio Classical (CPR Classical) to listeners across Colorado, highlighting performances captured from Vail’s Donovan Pavilion. Featured artists of CPR Classical’s 2014 broadcasts of Bravo! Vail’s Chamber Music Series include McDermott, violinist David Kim, pianist Gilles Vonsattel, Third Coast Percussion, Le Train Bleu and conductor Ransom Wilson, and the Calder Quartet. The final CPR Classical broadcast of Bravo! Vail’s 2014 season is “The Music of Ravel and Rouse” Saturday at 7 p.m. featuring masterworks by the great French master Maurice Ravel and contemporary American composer Christopher Rouse. In Vail, listeners can tune in at 89.1 FM and around the world online at www.cprclassical.org.