Get the inside scoop on classical music in Vail |

Get the inside scoop on classical music in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyMichael Butterman, Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach for the Rochester Philharmonic says that becoming more familiar with a classical music piece can make the concert more meaningful.

Whether the works of Rossini, Stravinsky and Brahms are as well-oriented as the locations Vail, Avon and Edwards, or as unfamiliar as the whereabouts of three small villages in remote Central Africa, there is something for everyone to learn from Michael Butterman at his Performance Prelude today.

“Becoming more familiar with a work, even ones as well-known as these, helps make a concert more meaningful and enjoyable,” said Butterman, principal conductor for education and outreach.

Butterman, currently in his eighth season with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, will provide intimate insight into the orchestral concert of the evening today at 5 p.m. in the Children’s Garden at the Betty Ford Alpine Garden. The talk is free and open to the public.

“My principal aim will be to point out features of these works that will enhance the listening experience for the audience,” he said. “I’ll play audio examples of especially noteworthy passages in order to acquaint the listeners with what they will hear, and to help explain why the composers may have chosen to write in the ways that they did.”

When Butterman is not with the Rochester Philharmonic, he is busy as the music director for both the Shreveport Symphony and the Boulder Philharmonic.

Butterman’s guest conducting engagements have included experiences with the Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Sante Fe Symphony, Mobile Symphony and Asheville Lyric Opera. He also served as the Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music for five years, and he was the Principal Conductor of the LSU Opera Theatre.

As a young American conductor, Butterman knows that when it comes to classical music, he is in a special category. Coming from a generation that, generally speaking, experienced a lower level of exposure to classical music in public schools than did previous generations, he described his special connection to the audience, “We understand what we’re facing: introducing the wonders of classical music to audiences for whom it’s a foreign concept ” something that may seem intimidating, stuffy or simply irrelevant to their lives. Comments from the stage, playing short examples before the entire composition, or linking music with other forms of artistic expression such as dance or visual art, all to help de-mystify the concert experience.”

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra (Thieving Magpie) Overture,” Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite,” Brahms’ “Concerto No. 1 in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 15.”

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