Vilar Performing Arts Center to be steward of classical music for years to come
Beaver Creek resident and longtime VPAC patron commits $350,000 over next 5 years to honor his late wife, help continue venue’s legacy as a classical music destination
Classical music has a wonderful future in the Colorado Rockies thanks to a $350,000 gift from Vilar Performing Arts Center patron Thomas Grojean.
Grojean, a Beaver Creek resident and longtime supporter of the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation’s Vilar Performing Arts Center, committed the funds over five years in memory of his late wife, Therese (Terri).
Beginning with the Winter 2021-22 season, all classical performances at the theater will be encompassed under the newly established Therese M. Grojean Classical Series.
“This amazing gift to our Vilar Performing Arts Center is a wonderful expression of Therese and Tom’s shared love of classical music, and a continuation of their many years of support,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation. “We are honored and privileged to be entrusted by Mr. Grojean with this opportunity to bring the greatest classical artists to Beaver Creek, in tribute to Therese.”
In its 24-year history, the intimate 535-seat Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek has welcomed a variety of world-class performances year-round, and the venue in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado has gained attention as a leader in bringing classical music to the western United States.
Thanks to Grojean’s financial commitment, the VPAC is well-positioned to enhance and expand its exceptional classical music performances for local and visiting audiences.
“Mr. Grojean’s gift will be transformative for the VPAC’s classical programming, allowing us to welcome truly distinguished artists and illustrious ensembles this coming season and over the years ahead,” VPAC Executive Director Owen Hutchinson said. “His generosity and dedication to the artistic landscape of our community is profound. We are deeply honored by his philanthropy.”
As a result of Grojean’s vision, the VPAC announced three additions to its 2021-22 winter season classical series — an exhilarating program of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 performed by the Colorado Symphony led by guest conductor Markus Stenz (Feb. 24); a solo performance by South Korean piano sensation and winner of the 2015 Chopin Piano Competition, Seong-Jin Cho (March 14); and a recital of favorite arias by Bulgarian operatic soprano Sonya Yoncheva and pianist Malcolm Martineau (March 24). The acclaimed soprano will appear on only two U.S. stages in Winter 2022 – at The Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
VPAC’s history of hosting classical and opera greats runs deep, having presented legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2021), violinist Joshua Bell (2020), the Irish virtuoso flute player Sir James Galway (2017), Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer Sir Bryn Terfel (2016), Russian operatic soprano Anna Netrebko (2011), the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra (2001) and many others since the theater’s opening in February 1998.
“The warmth, resonance and intimacy of the VPAC makes performances feel personal and without barriers between artists and audiences,” Hutchinson said. “To experience the caliber of classical, opera and acoustic music in this theater is beyond idyllic — it’s unmatched.”