Vilar Performing Arts Center’s winter Classical Series begins Thursday, Jan. 12 |

Vilar Performing Arts Center’s winter Classical Series begins Thursday, Jan. 12

Betsy Schwarm
Special to the Daily
At a concert on Thursday, Jan. 12, the Takács String Quartet will perform two of Ludwig van Beethoven's early quartets, as well as one of his last ones, exploring the ways in which the master composer caused the art form to evolve.
Ellen Appel | Special to the Daily |

Attend a show

Plan ahead and save on tickets to the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s winter Classical Series. Purchase four or more performances and save 20 percent on the full order. This limited-time offer is available until the end of January by calling 970-845-TIXS. The Vilar Center also offers $10 student tickets, subject to availability, for those who are younger than 19. Bring a student ID or other proof of age to take advantage of this offer.

BEAVER CREEK — Great music doesn’t go into hibernation just because it’s winter in Colorado. Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center presents a series of classical music programs featuring some of the finest talents in the business, bringing the stars of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House to the Vail Valley.

On Thursday, it’s an all-Ludwig van Beethoven program from the Takacs String Quartet, an internationally acclaimed Boulder-based ensemble that continues to visit the Vilar Center most winters, due to popular demand. Beethoven seized the basic concept of a work for four string instruments and developed it into what is often considered its highest form.

Takacs will perform two of the master composer’s early quartets, as well as one of his last ones, exploring the ways in which the master composer caused the art form to evolve.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Vilar Center hosts Rising Stars of Opera: four young singers early in their careers. The program is organized by the Richard Tucker Foundation, named in honor of one of America’s greatest opera singers. The Brooklyn-born Tucker was one of the most dominant figures of the business in the mid-20th century. The foundation that bears his name aims to nurture some of the finest young talents, making this VPAC program a chance to observe young artists on the brink of major careers.

More opera — though from a widely renowned star — is on tap for mid-February, as soprano Deborah Voigt comes to the Vail Valley for two programs. A favorite performer at the Metropolitan Opera, Voigt also has Broadway in her repertoire, and, in her role hosting many of The Met Live in HD broadcasts, has proven that she’s no stranger to the spoken word.

On Monday, Feb. 13, Voigt presents her one-woman show Voigt Lessons, offering perspective on her storied career and the life challenges she has faced; the combination of personal narrative and musical selections gives poignant insight into how an artist deals with fame. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Voigt steps again onto the stage at the Vilar Center for a selection of songs and opera arias, letting audiences revel in what she does best.

Tuesday, March 2, the Vilar hosts an explosive glimpse into early 18th century music with the Baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire. In mythology, Apollo was the Greek god of music and the arts. Apollo’s Fire specializes in high-energy concerts in which only a dozen or so performers manage to bring musical fireworks to the stage.

The program balances a pair of Johann Sebastian Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos with works by three of the master composer’s contemporaries: Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel. It’s an opportunity to hear how some compositional ideas of the era carry across national borders, while others are more specific to an individual composer.

In the Vail Valley, winter isn’t just snow and mountains; there’s classy indoor entertainment, as well. This sampling represents only half of the Vilar Center’s winter Classical Series, with even bigger names also to be found on the schedule.

Betsy Schwarm is a music historian based in Colorado. She serves on the music faculty of Metropolitan State University of Denver and gives pre-performance talks for Opera Colorado and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.