A lesson in the history of Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival | VailDaily.com

A lesson in the history of Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival

Abby BallainVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado -Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival was founded in 1987 by John Giovando and Ida Kavafian to stimulate and enhance the cultural life of the Vail Valley through the classical music programs. The festival’s purpose also is to provide, promote, and foster public education in the arts for both adults and youth. Under the direction of Giovando and Artistic Director Eugenia Zukerman (who took over for Kavafian in 1987), more than 460,000 people have attended the concerts over the years to listen to some of the country’s top orchestras. Each six-week summer season, the festival brings 50 guest artists to about 60,000 concert-goers.Giovando says that the 22nd season will be special because of the return of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This year also marks a change for the Bravo staff, he said. The Bravo! offices recently moved from Minturn to West Vail. The new space is larger than the last and can accommodate growing staff. The first Bravo! office was in Concert Hall Plaza in Lionshead.”It was just old, old Vail,” Giovando said. “We have grown since those first few years. The growth has been good and the new office space will helps us grow more.”Giovando says that 2002, Bravo’s 15th season, stands out the most in his mind because it was the first sounds of music since the Sept. 11 attacks. The first sounds of that season was “Ode to Joy.””It was so uplifting and beautiful,” Giovando said. “It was a salute to freedom which I will remember forever.”With the support of Vail Valley community, Bravo! donors, and the Bravo! Volunteer Guild, the festival continues to offer programs for listeners of all ages. Free public performances, such as the Casual Classics & Conversation Series, as well as Performance Prelude Discussions provide educational and cultural opportunities for adults. Live @ the Library concerts and instrument petting zoos introduce classical music to kids at a very young age. In addition to these many programs, Bravo! has awarded over 120 scholarships to area youth.The 22nd season gets underway Wednesday with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic will also perform during the festival, which runs until Aug. 4. For tickets call 877-812-5700 or visit http://www.vailmusicfestival.org.Abby Ballain is the Bravo! marketing intern and production assistant. E-mail comments about this story to cschnell@vaildaily.com.