Bravo! Vail welcomes New York Philharmonic
July 20, 2017
VAIL — Bravo! Vail knows how to finish with a bang, as the New York Philharmonic comes to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for a week's worth of concerts.
The six concerts, which start tonight, mark the debut of some artists to the local festival as well as a farewell to the Philharmonic's music director Alan Gilbert.
Here's the rundown on what should be a memorable week of music.
Friday, July 21
Bramwell Tovey: An American Celebration
Yes, the Fourth of July was nearly three weeks ago, but this is, as the title indicates, a celebration of great American music. It's only appropriate that the nation's oldest orchestra does an evening of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from Westside Story," and Gershwin's "An American in Paris."
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The always loquacious Tovey will lead the New York Philharmonic and doubtless have a target-rich environment if he cares to comment on the news of the day from the stage.
Saturday, July 22
Mozart and Berlioz
This was originally meant to be "Kavakos Plays Brahms," however, the violinist had to cancel because of a family emergency. So Johannes makes way for Amadeus, as New York Philharmonic concertmaster Frank Huang will perform Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto, followed by Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique."
Sunday, July 23
Chopin and Schumann
Like Saturday, Kavakos was scheduled to perform, and it is Bravo! Vail's fortune to land pianist Daniil Trifonov to perform Chopin's First Piano Concerto. All of 26, Trifonov has two Grammy-winning recordings and made his Carnegie Hall debut at 22.
Since Leonidas Kavakos was also meant to conduct the program, which includes Schumann's Second Symphony, Gilbert will step in to lead the New York Philharmonic. The first native-born New Yorker to become the music director of the Philharmonic, Gilbert is leading his last concerts with the orchestra in Vail before departing for NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany.
Wednesday, July 26
Gilbert Conducts The New World Symphony
This should be a tremendous night of music. Bravo! Vail concludes its New Works Project with the world premiere of Julia Adolphe's "White Stone." This is just one of five works that the festival has debuted this summer.
Bravo! Vail artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott takes to the bench to perform Gershwin's "Concerto in F." While the Philharmonic is already presenting "An American Celebration" on Friday, the Gershwin Concerto might be the quintessential American work, and it's a bucket-list item to see and listen in person for any music fan.
As the title indicates, Dvorak's Ninth caps the evening.
Thursday, July 27
Mahler's Symphony 7
Gustav Mahler led the New York Philharmonic from 1909-11. And it was the Philharmonic, under Leonard Bernstein, which revived the composer's works in 1960, along with the advent of long-play records (LPs).
So it's only appropriate that the New York Philharmonic presents Mahler's Seventh. During Gilbert's final performance at Geffen Hall in New York, the Seventh was performed by the orchestra and 22 musicians from 19 different countries around the world in "A Concert for Unity."
Friday, July 28
Gilbert wraps his tenure as music director of the Philharmonic with Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto (Inon Barnatan performing) and the aforementioned iconic work.
Staff writer Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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