Anne-Marie McDermott will continue to lead Bravo! Vail music festival through 2020
VAIL — Bravo! Vail Music Festival this week announced the renewal of Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott’s contract through 2020. By extending McDermott’s contract, Bravo! Vail ensures audiences can look forward to summers of richly imaginative programming, world-renowned artists and unparalleled performances for years to come.
An internationally acclaimed concert pianist and recording artist celebrated for the rare combination of virtuoso technique and sheer exuberance she brings to every performance, McDermott joined the festival as artistic director in 2011.
Bravo! Vail Music Festival audiences quickly saw the result, as the festival has gone from strength to strength under her leadership, consistently drawing world-class artists to the Vail Valley each summer and cementing its reputation as one of the world’s great classical music festivals.
“Anne-Marie has been a guiding force for Bravo! Vail for years and a defining factor in the festival’s continuing success,” said Bravo! Vail Chairman Dan Godec. “We are fortunate to have an artist of the highest caliber as a partner for our performers and a guide and interpreter to the world of classical music for our audiences. Today, we are pleased to recognize this ongoing contribution with a new contract for Anne-Marie and look forward to many more great seasons together.”
During McDermott’s tenure, Bravo! Vail audiences have become used to seeing a virtual who’s who of classical music today appearing in Vail each summer, with in-demand pianists such as Yefim Bronfman and Helene Grimaud, singer Matthias Goerne and violinists Joshua Bell and Midori gracing the Vail stage in recent years.
Just as important as the growing list of marquee names is the influential role McDermott has played in expanding the scope and breadth of the festival itself. She was instrumental in building upon the relationship with Bell — now serving as music director of London’s acclaimed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields — to launch a new partnership with the academy and add a strong international element to the festival’s stellar lineup of American orchestras.
Under her artistic watch, Bravo! Vail has also become one of the country’s premier showcases for young talent, as McDermott has introduced promising musicians such as Benjamin Beilman to Vail audiences early in their careers, created the Bravo! Vail Piano Fellowship to mentor the next generation of gifted performers, championed innovative artists such as Roomful of Teeth and Le Train Bleu, and developed new initiatives such as Bravo! Vail After Dark to bring classical music into popular venues. She also continues the Young Professionals Program each summer, bringing ensembles such as the Dover String Quartet, Third Coast Percussion and Cantus, among others.
In addition, she’s revitalized the festival’s focus on chamber music, bringing principle artists from the festival’s flagship orchestras to perform in intimate settings for Vail audiences and helping inaugurate the signature Classically Uncorked series, which pairs highlights from the canon with groundbreaking new works by artists such as Steve Reich, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Thomas Ades and Charles Wuorinen.
“It’s hard to believe that I am working on the final touches to my sixth season of programming for Bravo! Vail,” McDermott said. “I am exhilarated and grateful to be renewing my contract to serve as artistic director. Nothing could have prepared me for the tremendous joy I have experienced in collaborating with the musicians, the audiences, the community and the incredibly generous and hard-working staff and board of this singular festival over the past six years.
“I have been blessed in my partnership with director of artistic planning Jacqueline Taylor. We take great pride in our work and have assembled a 2016 season full of rich musical opportunities for all.”
McDermott has appeared in solo recitals and concertos throughout the United States and Europe. She continues her collaboration with the OPUS ONE Quartet and violinist Ida Kavafian, violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Peter Wiley. McDermott recently appeared on tour in Europe with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, including appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall.
McDermott’s award-winning recordings include the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas, Bach’s English suites and partitas, solo works by Chopin and George Gershwin: Complete works for Piano and Orchestra, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, she released a disc of Mozart concerti with the Calder Quartet, which was praised by Gramophone as “exceptional on every count.” Her latest recording was with Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra — a two-disc set featuring Haydn concerti and sonatas.
In addition to her role with Bravo! Vail, McDermott is curator for chamber music at the Mainly Mozart Festival. She also serves as artistic director of the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival in Florida. McDermott studied at the Manhattan School of Music and was winner of both the Young Concert Artists auditions and an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
For more information about McDermott and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, visit bravovail.org.