Bravo! Vail Backstage Access column: Ultimate environmental encore to the season |

Bravo! Vail Backstage Access column: Ultimate environmental encore to the season

John Luther Adam’s epic environmental piece “Inuksuit” will be performed with 66 percussionists on Saturday at Maloit Park in Minturn. The event is free to the community.
Special to the Daily |

The final concerts of the Bravo! Vail music festival are here: tonight with the final performance in the Classically Uncorked Series, Friday with the final Bravo! Vail After Dark and Saturday with the epic composition for percussion called “Inuksuit” in Maloit Park in Minturn. As I look back on my first Bravo! Vail music festival, I have many first-timer impressions.

The music: It has been fascinating to get to know the different orchestras and chamber music groups over the past six weeks. Each ensemble has its own culture, personality and sound. By rotating through each orchestra, chamber group and soloist as the festival continued, my aural palate kept expanding.

The people: Vail is the most open, welcoming, friendly community I have ever encountered. Now that the festival is nearly over, I cherish the warmth of this community and the shared gratitude among Bravo! Vail audiences, patrons, musicians and volunteers who have told me how appreciative they are to have classical music in Vail every summer. I am equally grateful the music is so valued here.

The environment: The beauty of the Vail Valley is an inextricable part of the Bravo! Vail concert experience. The changing sky, the breeze and the birds — and yes, the chipmunks — became a part of my most memorable concert experiences.

After a whirlwind 85 concerts and events in 45 days, almost half of which were free concerts and music education experiences, here we are at the end of the festival with two concerts remaining. Tonight is the final, sold-out performance in the Classically Uncorked series with the world premiere of Poul Ruders’ Piano Quartet. And on Saturday at 2 p.m., Bravo! Vail closes the festival with a first — a free percussion concert with 66 musicians in Maloit Park in Pulitzer-Prize-winner John Luther Adams’ environmental piece “Inuksuit.”

“Inuksuit,” a co-production between Bravo! Vail and the Aspen Music Festival and School, features 66 percussionists who are coming from the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Colorado Symphony, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Denver University, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado.

As Adams has said, “At some point, the music becomes too big for the concert hall, so then you have no choice but to move outside.” The percussionists are positioned throughout Maloit Park in Minturn, and the entire performance experience is augmented by the sounds of nature: birds, wind or other animals. The audience meanders through the park listening to the percussion sounds as they rise and fall and mingle with the sounds of nature.

It’s a fitting end to the Bravo! Vail music festival. The experience of living in Vail is all about the outdoors. Bravo’s orchestral performances are in an outdoor amphitheater. And the final concert of the festival is a performance of a piece that was created to be performed outside. “Inuksuit” ties together all of the first impressions I had of my first Bravo! Vail: the music, the people and the environment. Come and be a part of it!

Jennifer Teisinger is the executive director of Bravo! Vail. Bravo! Vail runs through Saturday. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 970-827-5700.

Support Local Journalism