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Vail Daily

McDermott: What Makes a Winner at Bravo! Vail

May 26, 2023

Bravo! Vail opens our 36th annual music festival on June 22, and I could not be more excited by the breadth of incredible musicians joining us this summer. Among them are an impressive number of early-career competition winners and finalists.

While awards and accolades can certainly elevate a musician’s reputation and profile, do we take these into account when inviting musicians to perform as part of Bravo! Vail? And how much do these competitions matter in judging the musicality of an artist?

Competitions in music have a long history dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times. The first held in the U.S. took place in 1925 and was created by the cellist, banker, and philanthropist Walter Naumburg. Since then, it has served as a career-launching platform for dozens of famous musicians.

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