We’re concluding the third week of Bravo! Vail’s 2014 season, and the sheer number of fantastic concerts of all types presented thus far have been rather mind-boggling. From orchestral concerts of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra to the launch of the chamber music and free concert series, Bravo! Vail has hit the ground running in service of the community.
It was sad to see the Dallas Symphony leave after its residency, but we sent the musicians off in noble style with a special Patriotic Concert on July 4. Seeing one of our veteran warriors from the Vail Veterans Program narrate Gardens of Stone will forever be imprinted upon my memory. Concerts like that so importantly remind us about the sacrifices others make for our freedom.
Tonight, we say goodbye to the fabulous Philadelphia Orchestra after its final concert of Brahms and Rachmaninoff. The French pianist Helene Grimaud makes her highly-anticipated Bravo! Vail debut, and I must say, observing her special musical chemistry with Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin in rehearsal has been thrilling. There still is space available, so please join us for a memorable closing to The Philadelphia Orchestra residency.
We take a deep breath this week before the New York Philharmonic arrives on July 19, and immerse ourselves in a lot of wonderful and highly unusual chamber music. If you review the calendar on Bravo! Vail’s website, you’ll notice a substantial number of completely free performances all over the valley, all summer long. This week in particular is rich with possibility with several Little Listeners at The Library events and other free concerts that should surprise and delight not only your children and grandchildren, but you, too.
The highly-charged ensemble Third Coast Percussion from Chicago joins us this week in a series of really interesting and fun programs. Who doesn’t love percussion? The sounds and rhythms are energetic and mesmerizing. Third Coast presents concerts this week in Vail, Avon and Edwards. Of note is a first time collaboration with Walking Mountains Science Center on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. In The Science Behind: Sound, science educators will be joined by Third Coast Percussion to explore and demonstrate concepts related to the science of sound in a fun and interactive program. The program is free.
We’re also excited about a new series of free concerts held in Nottingham Park in cooperation with the town of Avon. Last Wednesday, this new collaboration began with Tito del Barrio Malaga and his Flamenco Fusion. Del Barrio Malaga began his journey in music at age 16 playing the Arabic lute. He has since mastered many musical styles from around the world and blends them together to reflect the cultural and musical diversity of his band. Tito and his band combined flamenco, gypsy, rumba, bolero and salsa music and brought it all to life in a fun-filled, free concert for an appreciative audience in Nottingham Park.
The next installment in that new offering is a Celtic Jam with the Irish group Colcannon on Thursday at 6 p.m. Authentic and joyous, Colcannon’s distinctive, contemporary musical style keeps in firm touch with the heart and essence of traditional Irish music.
At the end of the week begins one of the highlights of the summer, the annual residency of the New York Philharmonic. The New Yorkers open with a blockbuster weekend of concerts on Friday, featuring Yefim Bronfman performing Beethoven’s Third Concerto. Bronfman is stepping in for violinist Midori, who had to cancel due to complications with her pregnancy. Bronfman also returns on July 19 to perform his very personal rendition of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. On July 20, we hear works by Strauss, Rouse and Tchaikovsky, whose love melody from the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture is one of the most recognizable classical music themes of all time.