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The ninth’s at Bravo!

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThe Philadelphia Orchestra will be under the direction of guest conductor Hans Graf on Thursday.
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VAIL ” The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival presents the Philadelphia Orchestra now through Saturday at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and during the final weekend of its first residency with Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Orchestra will perform both Schubert’s and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphonies.”

Tonight, the Philadelphia Orchestra will open with Schumann’s “Concerto in A Minor for Piano and Orchestra,” featuring Jonathan Biss at the keyboard. The concert will conclude with Schubert’s “Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944, The Great.” Originally nicknamed the “Great C-Major,” Schubert’s “Ninth Symphony” was deemed too long and too difficult for public performance and did not receive its first official concert until 10 years after the composer’s death.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will be under the direction of guest conductor Hans Graf Thursday. He is currently the music director for the Houston Symphony. Maestro Graf is known for his intensely musical interpretations of a wide range of repertoire and creative programming. Graf has led the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, as well as the orchestras of Cleveland, St. Louis and Baltimore.

Biss will join the orchestra in performance of Schumann’s “Concerto in A Minor for Piano and Orchestra.” Biss, originally from Bloomington, Ind., began playing the piano at the tender age of 6. He feels that doing justice to music is an unattainable goal, and he said, “If I ever stop finding music challenging and life-altering, I’ll quit and become an accountant.”

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Choral,” another of the great ninth symphonies that pushed the limits of classical music into the romantic period. Written after going completely deaf, Beethoven’s “Ninth” is his last completed symphony and the first example of a major composer using the voice as an equal with the orchestra. The fourth movement is considered to be a “symphony within a symphony.” The text to this final movement is based on Freidrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” and will be performed by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Chorus, prepared by director Roger Melone.

The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Chorus is a sister organization to the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and its members come from all walks of life, bound together by their common love of music. Among their 90 singers, 22 are professional musicians working in music-related fields. Forty hold degrees in music and seven maintain private teaching studios. All 90 singers have studied voice, are currently studying voice, or play an instrument.

Melone is a resident conductor as well as choral director with the NMSO and began this post in 1983. Melone has conducted subscription, tour, pops and children’s concerts and enjoys a busy schedule as a guest conductor, making appearances with the orchestras of Austin, Canton, Dallas, Chattanooga, Peoria, Savannah, Sacramento, the Lake Forest Symphony in Chicago and the Illinois Chamber Symphony. In March 1997, he conducted the world premiere of Menotti’s “Jacob’s Prayer” for the feature concert of the American Choral Directors’ National Convention in San Diego.

Tickets for The Philadelphia Orchestra are $23 for lawn seating, $62 for regular reserved seating, and $84 for premium reserved seating. Call 877-812-5700 to purchase tickets.


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