Concerts not to miss at this year’s Bravo! Vail Music Festival |

Concerts not to miss at this year’s Bravo! Vail Music Festival

Academy of St Martin in the Field music director Joshua Bell will be featured in all three of the Academy’s performances.
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco | Special to the Weekly |

Bravo! Vail Orchestral residencies

• Academy of St Martin in the Fields — Thursday, June 23, through Sunday, June 26

• Dallas Symphony Orchestra — Wednesday, June 29, through Wednesday, July 6

• The Philadelphia Orchestra — Friday, July 8, through Saturday, July 16

• New York Philharmonic — Friday, July 22, through Friday, July 29

The complete Bravo! Vail Music Festival schedule of orchestral and chamber concerts, free performances, soirees and more, including detailed repertoires for each event, can be found at

So, if two’s company and three’s a crowd, what is four?

Little Bravo! Beaver Creek — and, yes, that was Bravo! Vail’s original name — has grown quite a bit, but this is getting ridiculous — in a good way.

Already the only summer music festival with three resident orchestras, Bravo! Vail adds Academy of St Martin in the Fields this summer to a pretty stocked roster in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

And that makes putting together our annual list of “The Five Bravo Concerts You Can’t Miss” even harder than usual, but we accept the challenge with our usual cop-out of picking more than five.

All concerts start at 6 p.m. and are at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, unless otherwise noted.

Bell Plays Mozart

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Thursday, June 23

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, as conducted by Sir Neville Marriner … sorry, that was a reflex. This august ensemble, founded in 1958 and which makes up a lot of everyone’s classical-music collection, got only its second music director back in 2011.

That, of course, is Joshua Bell, who is no stranger to Bravo! Vail. The renowned violinist plays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Fourth Violin Concerto in this concert. (He will be featured in all three of the Academy’s performances.) This program includes Mozart’s 25th Symphony and Mendelssohn’s “Italian.”

Seriously, go to any of the three Academy concerts. Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk team up for Felix Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto on Saturday, June 25, and Bell plays Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on Sunday, June 26.

Hadelich Plays Bruch

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, July 3

First off, congratulations to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jaap van Zweden. During the winter, the maestro was named to succeed Alan Gilbert as the music director of the New York Philharmonic beginning with the 2018-19 season. In the meantime, Bravo! Vail concertgoers get to see both men.

Augustin Hadelich, who performed Sibelius’ First Violin Concerto here last year, returns for the Bruch Violin Concerto. Van Zweden then leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony.

And, if you’re in town for the holiday weekend, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs Carmina Burana on Wednesday, June 29.

Bramwell Conducts: All Beethoven

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Friday, July 8

The always-loquacious Bramwell Tovey, who will also conduct the New York Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail, leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in its opener. David Kim, Hai-Ye Ni and Jean-Yves Thibaudet convene for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, which is followed by the composer’s iconic Fifth Symphony.

Mahler’s ‘Resurrection Symphony’

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Saturday, July 16

Yes, we love Gustav Mahler, and this is ambitious for Bravo! Vail. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Yannick Nezet Seguin should provide plenty of passion to this epic. It has been performed as a memorial — most notably after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and 9/11 — yet it is a celebration. How The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony Chorus all get on the stage at the same time should also be amusing.

If for some reason you don’t like Mahler — why not? — The Philadelphia Orchestra also has superb concerts on Thursday, July 14 (Edvard Grieg, Dmitri Shostakovich and Jean Sibelius) and Friday, July 15 (Mozart and Atonin Dvorak).

Josefowicz & Beethoven’s Eroica

New York Philharmonic

Thursday, July 28

This is a blockbuster with the Sergei Prokofiev Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Third Symphony. Just go to the concert.

Chamber Music Series

Bruckner 7

Tuesday, July 26

Donovan Pavilion, Vail

Former Bravo! Vail Artistic Director John Giovando always wanted us to add a chamber concert to this list, so we are here to serve, even though we’ve mentioned well more than five concerts. All four Tuesdays in July feature chamber music at the Donovan Pavilion, and they’re great programs.

We’re just intrigued to see and hear Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony in a chamber setting played with just nine instruments.

See you at the concerts.

Sports Editor Chris Freud is also the Vail Daily Weekly’s resident classical-music fan and can be reached at 970-748-2934, and @cfreud.

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