Director’s Chair: Musical artistry in Beaver Creek |

Director’s Chair: Musical artistry in Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily German violinist Julia Fischer will perform with he Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra on Wednesday.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ”

Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

In the next few days at the VPAC, we present two exceptional evenings of music. Two orchestras, two extraordinary soloists, and two vastly different programs will juxtapose some of the greatest musical artistry of the year ” Chris Botti with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Julia Fischer on Wednesday.

Sunday evening’s performance features renowned jazz trumpeter Chris Botti accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in a program featuring Botti’s signature smooth jazz hits including material from his latest CD, “Italia.” Botti has wowed audiences in two previous performances at the Vilar and this is a unique opportunity to see him collaborate with the CSO in our intimate venue.

On Wednesday evening, the Vilar Performing Arts Center presents the 50th anniversary tour of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields featuring German violinist Julia Fischer.

The program for the Academy’s “Golden Jubilee Tour” includes Benjamin Britten’s “Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge;” Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A minor” and “Concerto for Violin No. 2 in E Major;” and William Walton’s “Sonata for Strings.”

At only 25 years old, violinist Julia Fischer is an extraordinary musical talent earning numerous accolades including Gramophone Magazine’s 2007 Artist of the Year, BBC Music Magazine’s 2006 Best Newcomer of the Year and Germany’s coveted ECHO Award for her recording of “Russian Concertos.”

And the critics love her as well.

“Across the world thrusting young violinists are two a penny, but there is only one Julia Fischer … she seems to have vaulted straight across preening adolescence into Olympian Wisdom,” wrote The Times. “Fischer’s personality and radiant musicality dazzle and thrill at the same time,” raved The Liberation.

Fischer’s new album of Bach concertos, recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, debuted last month. It is already ranked No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, and broke records to become the highest-selling classical debut in iTunes history.

As I write this, I am listening to the new album ” it’s truly stunning. Both of the Bach concertos on Wednesday’s program are featured on this latest recording, and they give a sneak peek into the artistry that we’ll witness on Wednesday night.

You can watch an engaging preview of Julia Fischer for yourself at She discusses in a candid interview the reasons why her collaborations with the ASMF orchestra are so close to her heart. In fact, on this tour, she serves as not only a soloist, but as the director of the entire ensemble.

“It is my favorite orchestra ” the only orchestra where I dare to lead,” she says. “We have such a great sense of community. They also inspire me. It’s not that they do what I want, more that the Academy and I share a very similar approach to Bach. I’m not an ‘authentic’ player ” we are playing for people of the 21st century.”

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields gave their first concert in 1959 and has since become a fabled ensemble that boasts well over 500 recordings ” making them the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world.

Led by Neville Marriner and attracting some of the finest players in London, their considerable discography and widespread radio coverage has entertained audiences across the globe. The Academy is particularly well-known for its Mozart recordings with Sir Neville Marriner, including the award-winning soundtrack to the film “Amadeus.” They also won an Academy Award for their soundtrack to the picture “The English Patient.”

This current tour is only playing in 10 cities in the United States and abroad, and the Vilar Performing Arts Center is proud to be able to bring this incredible concert to our community.

I hope to see you at the theatre.

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