Summer Music in the Valley
December 19, 2003
Concert goers don’t speak in tounges – at least not until after a few glasses of wine.
The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival is an excellent opportunity for all – from newcomers to connoisseurs – to enjoy a great summer of classical music.
For the pensive, a few thoughts:
— Bravo! programs are very listener-friendly. For example, take the opening concert , which featured well-known works like Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. You may not know them by name, but the moment you hear them, you know that you are not in a foreign land.
— For those wanting to learn more about a particular concert, the Bravo! program is a valuable resource. The program is available before each concert and has helpful notes on the composers and the works to be performed on that particular evening. Also look in back of the program for biographies of all the conductors and featured artists.
—-This is not like going to see the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center in New York, although the Philharmonic will be headlining Bravo! 2004. It’s a summer music festival, where the atmosphere is much more casual.
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— Along those lines, bring family and friends. The lawn is a great place to sit for concerts with a picnic basket. The sightlines are great and the views of the sunset and hang-gliders accompany the music wonderfully. It’s also a good way to introduce the little ones to classical music. And, if the kids’ attention span wanes a little bit, there’s always the game of rolling down the hill.
— People watching and mingling are also essential parts of the Bravo! experience. The concerts are a fun way of meeting up with people in the community in a different setting. It’s sort of like Vail’s summer reunion. Handshakes and cocktails are the norm before the concert and during intermission. And, by all means, go out to dinner afterwards. Do keep an eye out for the luminaries. Former President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, always make an appearance at the festival as does philanthropist Alberto Vilar.
— Another must for concert goers is to attend a chamber concert at the Vilar Center. While no one will ever confuse the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater with the Roman Coliseum, the Vilar Center is the height of intimacy when it comes to a musical setting. With just 500 seats in the house, it’s like having a concert in your own living room.
— Bottom line is that the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival is an event unique to to a community like Vail. You’d be hard-pressed to to find such a collection of talented artists and orchestras outside of Tanglewood and it’s in your backyard. Enjoy the show(s).