New York Philharmonic closes out Bravo! Vail residency today |

New York Philharmonic closes out Bravo! Vail residency today

Daily staff report
Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic on Friday night for their final performance of the 2015 Bravo! Vail season.
Chris Lee | Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Mozart & Shostakovich with the New York Philharmonic

Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony is sardonic, gripping, and feisty; it is a tour de force, and is a perfect pairing with the New York Philharmonic’s own dramatic and vibrant persona. Providing contrast to this piece, Mozart’s sparkling and exuberant Sinfonia Concertante opens the program, featuring the Philharmonic’s Acting Concertmaster Sheryl Staples and Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps.

Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail

When: Friday at 6 p.m.

How much: Tickets range from $29-$149. Lawn seats for children aged 3-12 are $5.

More info: Visit or call the box office at 877-812-5700.

VAIL – One was simmering with the passion of a man carrying the weight of the world. One was shining with the joyous promise of youth. When the world-renowned New York Philharmonic wraps up its 2015 Bravo! Vail Music Festival season on Friday, it’s with a two-part program capturing and contrasting two great composers – Shostakovich and Mozart – at their most personal and revealing. Darkness and light together never sounded so intriguing – or so beautiful.

Written when he was only 23, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major presents a portrait of the artist as a young man, resentful and bristling under the heavy-handed yoke of his Salzburg employer, the Archbishop Colloredo, and responding as only a young artist can. The resulting work bursts with such energy, enthusiasm, and invention – in stark counterpoint to the subdued sensibilities expected of a court organist – that it led to Mozart’s swift dismissal from his post and departure from Salzburg.

But what was Salzburg’s loss proved very much classical music’s gain and a piece that points to the genius emerging even at his early years and has come to be regarded as the equal of any of the later violin concertos. Bridging the traditional symphony and concerto forms, the Sinfonia Concertante takes the rare step of making room for a viola soloist to share the limelight alongside the traditional spot for solo violin and form a stunning partnership. And with the Philharmonic’s Acting Concertmaster Sheryl Staples and Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps in these roles for Friday, the piece presents the perfect showcase for two artists who delight in performing together and pushing each other to greater and greater heights.

Closing out the night, New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert leads the orchestra in Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony, a work of emotional intensity and courage unmatched in the classical canon. Listen closely to the grand gestures, soaring strings, and notes of hope and despair battling throughout, and you’ll hear a cri de coeur from an artist truly at the height of his powers grappling with the terrifying realities of a turbulent world. And while the events that inspired the symphony are safely behind us, the stirring account of human striving in the face of darkness it so memorably and movingly gives us rings as true today as ever. This is one not to miss.

These two musical masterpieces will mark the conclusion of the New York Philharmonic’s 2015 summer residency with Bravo! Vail. Tickets, ranging from $29 – $149, are still available for purchase. For more information, call 877-812-5700 or visit

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