An all-Gershwin affair in Vail |

An all-Gershwin affair in Vail

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Katherine Blodgett/Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – The music of George Gershwin’s most popular concert pieces and operas will be performed Wednesday evening at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.

Throughout his professional life, Gershwin, the Pulitzer-prize winning songwriter, composed hundreds of songs for the Broadway stage and Hollywood films. Some of his most well-know works, An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, I Got Rhythm and Porgy and Bess, will be performed tonight.

Lynne Mazza, Bravo!’s associate artistic director, said Gershwin was the first to approach classical music from the perspective of a popular songwriter. His compositions are most often described as a combination of classical and symphonic style and jazz.

“His personal style is a remarkable contradiction between intimate song and symphonic splendor,” said Mazza. “He successfully combined the virtuosity of the 19th century with the casual city jargon of the 20th century.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov will lead the orchestra Wednesday night. Joining them is guest pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Milanov, a Bulgarian native, is not only known for his musicianship, he used to star in his own cooking show in Bulgaria. McDermott, a Festival regular, returns to Vail for her 15th year with Bravo!

The evening begins with An American in Paris and then continues with Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Orchestra, a big band jazz piece that later turned into a standard orchestra version.

After intermission, I Got Rhythm, possibly Gershwin’s most well-know piece, will be performed. “The score shows skill, wit and confidence that were not present in his earlier orchestra forays,” said Mazza.

The program concludes with Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture, from Gershwin’s 1935 “American folk” opera. The opera is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally.

The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival presents an all-Gershwin evening 6 p.m. Wednesday with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Tickets are $23, $63 or $85 depending on seating. Children 12 and under receive free lawn admittance. Tickets are available at 877-812-5700 or

For a complete festival lineup and to purchase tickets visit or call 877-812-5700.

What: The Philadelphia Orchestra performs an all-Gershwin

Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday

Cost: $23, $63 or $85, depending on seating

More information: 877-812-5700 or

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