Bravo! Debuts Renowned London Orchestra | VailDaily.com

Bravo! Debuts Renowned London Orchestra

For the first time, London's acclaimed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields performs

National Public Radio has already named Bravo! Vail Music Festival as one of the top 10 in the nation. Bravo! is already the only festival in North America that hosts four of the world's best orchestras in one, six-week season. And its 2015 season has already broken records, in terms of sales and fundraising. But Bravo! doesn't rest on its laurels.

This season, Bravo! delivers even more for audiences to relish, including the first residency with an international orchestra: London's acclaimed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, led by a Bravo! favorite, Joshua Bell. They perform June 23, 25 and 26.

The 44-musician academy has earned critical acclaim for its refined sound and discography of more than 500 CDs, including the soundtrack to "Amadeus."

"Because there are fewer players, the demands on the players are that much greater," says Bravo! artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott. "You get much more of a visceral experience, a much more intense experience. The repertoire is illuminated in a whole different way."

Bravo! audiences mostly know Bell for his virtuoso violin playing, but since 2011, he has also worked in the prestigious position of music director for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

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The orchestra opens the season with Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor and Violin Concerto No. 4, among others.

Even more debuts

New musicians also include multi-instrumentalist and five-octave, "ambassador of soul" vocalist Ellis Hall, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and bass-baritone Eric Owens.

In addition, the festival premieres "Inuksuit," a piece by Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, which features 66 percussionists dispersed throughout Minturn's Maloit Park Aug. 6. Audiences are welcome to walk through the park to hear the various tones morphing and transforming.

Danish composer Poul Ruders rolls out his world premiere as part of the festival's Classically Uncorked candle-lit evenings, filled with fine wine and food in the Donovan Pavilion Aug. 2-4. Ruders, whom The New York Times dubbed a "daringly imaginative craftsman," will talk about his composition at its debut. Overall, the Uncorked concerts pay tribute to living composers worldwide.

New executive director

After a nationwide search, Bravo! appointed Jennifer Teisinger as the festival's new executive director. She spent her previous nine years attracting world-renowned performers — which ultimately led to unprecedented growth and an extraordinary capital fundraising campaign — for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

She joined the Bravo! team Jan. 19.

"Jennifer's commitment to supporting creative excellence and her strong business acumen promise a great future for Bravo! Vail," says board of trustees chairman Dan Gopec.

While Teisinger has thorough knowledge and experience of artistic development, patron relationships and management, she deeply appreciates the solid foundation founder John Giovando fostered.

"(He) ensured that the festival is well positioned for growth," she says. "It is my great pleasure to build upon his vision."

"John Giovando's inspired guidance and spirit will always be with us at Bravo," McDermott says, "and we will aspire to continue the bold and visionary leadership he brought to the festival."

Return of the greats

Although Bravo! has orchestrated a great number of changes this season, it will still offer all of the community events, free concerts, Tuesday night chamber music series, Friday night Bravo! After Dark, Soirée Series, Classically Uncorked and more, which it has in previous years.

And, of course, the ever-popular Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic return to round out the 2016 season, full of masterpieces, pop programs, soulful jazz and intimate concerts.

— By Kimberly Nicoletti

Bravo! at a glance

June 23 – Aug. 6

Academy of St Martin in the Fields: June 23-26

Dallas Symphony Orchestra:
June 29 – July 6

The Philadelphia Orchestra: July 8-16

New York Philharmonic:
July 22-29

Tickets for orchestral concerts: Begin at $28 for lawn seats ($5 for kids 12 and younger). Pavilion seats range from $44-$109.

Tickets for the Chamber Music Series: Start at $29

Classically Uncorked: Start at $50

Gala tickets: Start at $300

Soirée: Start at $225

For more information, visit http://www.bravovail.org or call 877-812-5700.