A look back at Bravo! Vail’s summer festival | VailDaily.com

A look back at Bravo! Vail’s summer festival

Caitlin Murray
Backstage Access
As part of Bravo! Vail's summer festival, attendees packed the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for a screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with the music performed live last year. This year, the orchestra will perform the score of "Jurassic Park."
Zach Mahone | Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: Caitlin Murray is Bravo! Vail’s executive director. Bravo! Vail is an annual classic music festival in Eagle County, held June 21 through Aug. 2 this year. The festival will return in the summer of 2019.

Writing about the conclusion of Bravo! Vail’s festival season is bittersweet as I can’t help but wonder where the time went. While I am sad to see the season come to an end, the past six weeks have been filled with so many memorable moments, fabulous concerts and seemingly endless amounts of beautiful music.

On a personal note, my first season as Bravo! Vail’s executive director was filled with joy, excitement and a deep appreciation for the warmth and generosity of the people of this valley. It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead an organization that connects our community through the power of music and is meaningful to so many people.

Though there are too many musical highlights to recount, a few moments stand out for me: Bravo! Vail’s performance for campers at Roundup River Ranch, a packed house full of new faces at “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and two stunning evenings with Bramwell Tovey and the New York Philharmonic.

Tiny intangible moments

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As I reflect on the summer, I realize that one of my favorite things about Bravo! Vail is how each of our partner orchestras bring their own signature personality to our community — their thoughtful programs, unique sound and exceptional musicians and personnel.

Countless orchestra members and administrators have been traveling to Vail for a decade or more and have grown to consider it a home away from home. These people have made friends here and have become a part of our community. It is always a welcome sight to catch a glimpse of a group of musicians out to dinner at a local restaurant or pass by someone walking through the village carrying a violin case.

To me, these are the tiny intangible moments that make summer in Vail so special.


The scope of concerts and education programs Bravo! Vail presented throughout the Vail Valley this summer was immense, and it truly takes a village to make the festival happen.

I take this opportunity to thank Bravo! Vail’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Council for their guidance and leadership. Led by our chairman Greg Walton, the board and council put in countless hours of work throughout the year to ensure the festival’s success, and it shows.

Our partners at the town of Vail and the Vail Valley Foundation are also absolutely essential to the success of the festival, and I thank them for their loyal support. I also express my deep gratitude to the generous donors whose financial support helps bring music to this valley, and to our loyal audiences — each and every one of you — who came to a concert this season.

Last, but certainly not least, to the behind-the-scenes team that makes it all happen: the Bravo! Vail Guild, the wonderful staff at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Bravo Vail’s staff, interns and production team.

All of us at Bravo! Vail look to the future with incredible enthusiasm. We announced exciting new initiatives for 2019, including the North American debut of the renowned Chamber Orchestra Vienna Berlin; the extension of our contract with the beloved Philadelphia Orchestra; and two productions of the opera Tosca with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

As we wrap up the final notes of the summer, I offer my sincere gratitude for the support of this community, and I look to the future with more excitement than ever for what lies ahead.

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