Vail Valley Scenery column: Bravo! Vail opens season with international flair
VAIL — After an early afternoon of rain, the sun was shining as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields opened this year’s Bravo! Vail season at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Thursday, June 23.
The sold-out concert marked a new era for Bravo! Vail, with not only the first chamber orchestra in residency but also with the first international orchestra, under the direction of celebrated violinist Joshua Bell. The audience responded at the end of each piece with a standing ovation, an occurrence that doesn’t occur often, but under the spellbinding solo of Bell’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 and the exact and evocative musicians, oftentimes it was difficult to remain seated between movements.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields was founded in 1958 by Sir Neville Marriner, performing at the Anglican Church St. Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square. The orchestra performs chamber music “on a grand scale,” and unlike the other orchestras performing this summer, there is no conductor. They travel and record extensively.
The Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village hosted a post-concert celebration for patrons and musicians. Donors Linda and Mitch Hart, Judy and Alan Kosloff, The Paiko Trust, in honor of the Firefighters of the Vail Valley, Gina Browning and Joe Illick, Susan and Van Campbell, Martha Rehm, Cherryl Hobart and Susan and Rich Rogal supported the concert. Norma Lee and Morton Funger and Susan and Steven Suggs were the underwriters for Bell’s appearance.
Executive Director Jennifer Teisinger, new with Bravo! Vail, was bowled over by the magnitude of the evening.
“I should be thanking you for this opportunity,” she said.
Certainly, for anyone coming in for the opening of the festival this summer, the breeze in the air was full of expectations and the comprehension that having this group performing in Vail is something very special and to be celebrated.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields wrapped up on Sunday, June 26. The Dallas Symphony arrived in all its splendor on Wednesday, June 29, opening with the evocative “Carmina Burana,” and will continue its residency through Wednesday, July 6.
For more information on Bravo! Vail or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.bravovail.org.