Vail Bravo!: Have violin, will travel |

Vail Bravo!: Have violin, will travel

Lynne Mazza
Bravo: Behind the curtain
Vail CO Colorado

VAIL – Imagine this. You are working in New York City, and your cell phone rings, it is Eugenia Zukerman, artistic director for the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and she asks if you are available to leave for Colorado the next day to cover some Bravo concerts because a violinist had to cancel for personal reasons. Add that there’s only five days before the concert, and the responsibility of learning a newly-commissioned work by the renowned composer Joan Tower.

Heart attack for most, maybe? But not for violinist Stephanie Chase, who answered that phone call from Eugenia last week. After a moment of shock, Stephanie said, “I have always wanted to come to Vail as I have heard so many wonderful things about the Bravo! Festival, but I have to think about this for a moment; I would have to rearrange my life, in particular, leave all my students at New York University’s Intensive String Quartet Program a bit early and arrange for a colleague to take over.”

But when Stephanie heard that her colleagues in Vail would be pianist Lydia Artymiw, violist Rebecca Albers and cellist Sophie Shao, it was a very difficult offer for her to refuse, even though the “fear” of having to learn a new work in about five days was a powerful reality, not to mention the other repertoire involved. So, all of a sudden, there Stephanie was, teaching for nine hours straight and sneaking in a moment to make flight and car rental reservations, preparing to head for LaGuardia Airport the next day. She studied Tower’s new piece, “Piano Quartet,” on the plane.

Clearly, life in the music world is not always smooth sailing. Eugenia and I have had to deal with many cancellations over the years for all sorts of reasons, but this was definitely one of our most challenging and as such there were a few sleepless nights. Stephanie is a consummate musician, a real trooper and has been incredibly gracious to step in at the last minute. Lydia, Becca, Sophie and Joan Tower have been so very supportive of Stephanie and have worked diligently together these past days (musicians love to take care of each other). We at the Bravo! Festival can’t thank Stephanie enough for saving the day.

Join us at the Vail Mountain School tonight at 6 p.m. (performance prelude at 5 p.m.) and meet our heroine Stephanie, along with Joan Tower, Rebecca Albers, Sophie Shao, and Lydia Artymiw, and hear a fabulous evening of chamber music. Listen to Joan’s commissioned piece, and imagine that less than a week prior Stephanie didn’t even know she was going to be in Vail. It will be a legendary happening!

Lynne Mazza is the associate artistic director for the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival For tickets and concert information call 877-812-5700 or visit

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