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Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto

New York Philharmonic
Orchestral Series
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at 6:15pm Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Important Update! July 19
Due to heavy commuter traffic, tonight's performance of Chick Corea's Trombone Concerto with the New York Philharmonic will be delayed for a start time of 6:30PM. We appreciate your understanding as we work to accommodate this unique situation.

Late seating opportunities will be available throughout the performance.

Drive safely and we look forward to seeing you at the performance!


Guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero opens the Philharmonic residency with the world premiere of a new work by Nina Shekhar and the Bravo! Vail premiere of Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto written for Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, in a program that includes Dvořák’s beloved New World Symphony. 

The New York Philharmonic returns to Bravo! Vail for its annual summer residency, performing works both fresh and familiar with its signature brilliance and power.

All artists, programs, and pricing are subject to change.​

Program Details

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Joseph Alessi, trombone
Nina Shekhar, composer

NINA SHEKHAR The Mother is Standing  - Co-Commissioned by the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the New York Philharmonic (Jaap Van Zweden, Music Director)
CHICK COREA Trombone Concerto
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, From the New World

PRE-CONCERT TALK 5:00PM - Jack Sheinbaum (University of Denver), speaker in the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater Lobby. 

TALKBACK: Following the performance, join a brief talkback with composer Nina Shekhar and Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott.

Guest Artists

Giancarlo Guerrero


Joseph Alessi


Nina Shekhar


Program Notes

The Mother is Standing (2023)

(10 minutes)


The Mother is Standing (World Premiere, Co-commission by Bravo! Vail and the New York Philharmonic)

Symphonic Commissioning Project


Nina Shekhar (pronounced “shaker”), who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition at Princeton University, previously studied at the University of Southern California and University of Michigan, where she earned dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering. She holds a place on the composer roster of Young Concert Artists and also performs as a flutist, pianist, and saxophonist.

Her music has been commissioned and performed by many notable performers and organizations, including the New York Philharmonic (which played her Lumina here last summer), Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Eighth Blackbird, and International Contemporary Ensemble. She is a Composer Teaching Artist Fellow for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and served as an inaugural Debut Fellow of the Young Musicians Foundation, mentored by violinist and social activist Vijay Gupta

This new work is jointly commissioned by Bravo! Vail and the New York Philharmonic.

“As I navigate my own womanhood, I am guided by the strong women in my life. My mom’s side of the family had a unique        matrilineal structure, in which the mother’s name was passed down to her children rather than the father’s. I am blessed to have been surrounded by many brilliant, beautiful, and resilient women— women who have weathered grief and loss in a deeply patriarchal world. And through it all, they always carry themselves with a quiet grace—soft but never silent. The Mother is Standing draws inspiration from the Stabat Mater Christian hymn to Mary, which describes her suffering as Jesus’s mother during his crucifixion. While based off the hymn’s traditional chant melody, this piece examines the love between mother and child in a wider context. This piece is dedicated to my mom, who constantly teaches me through her example what womanhood and motherhood truly means.” — Nina Shekhar


Trombone Concerto (2020)

(25 minutes)


Trombone Concerto 
     A Stroll
     Waltse for Joe
     Joe’s Tango


Chick Corea plunged into a performing career right after high school, appearing in the 1960s with such figures as Mongo Santamaría, Willie Bobo, Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz. In 1968, he assumed the piano seat in Miles Davis’s band and began to play on electric pianos in addition to acoustic instruments. He became a leading presence in the movements of free jazz and jazz fusion. He appeared in solo concerts, in jazz ensembles, and in a number of duo formations, including with bassist Dave Holland and vibraphonist Gary Burton. By the end of his career, he recorded almost 90 albums, winning 23 Grammy awards in the process.

In 1983, the New York Times quoted him: “I’ve worked with formal composition in the past...but these were sporadic, isolated instances, and distinctly separated from the mainstream of my work. But now, I have made a conscious decision to become serious about playing classical music again.” In the late 1990s he adapted his famous composition Spain into a piano concerto, which he performed with the London Philharmonic, and in 2004 he composed a string quartet, his first piece that did not include a piano.

After hearing Corea’s music at a jazz concert in New York, Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone) contacted him about writing a trombone concerto. It took some persuading, but within months music started arriving. After an introductory opening section with a freely improvised trombone solo, the concerto moves into “A Stroll,” reflecting what Corea saw and heard during long walks in New York City; “Waltse for Joe,” which explores the trombone’s lyrical side; “Hysteria,” written during the early days of the pandemic and reflecting the chaotic feelings of that moment; and “Tango,” which provides what Alessi calls “a dramatic and effusive ending.”

The commission of Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto is made possible with support from Edward Stanford and Barbara Scheulen.


(18 minutes)

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World (1892-93)

(40 minutes)

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World)
     Adagio—Allegro molto
     Scherzo. Molto vivace
     Allegro con fuoco



Antonín Dvořák was acclaimed as the most prominent Czech composer when he signed on as director of the National Conservatory of Music, newly established in New York City. He spent three years there, from 1892-95, building the school’s faculty, appearing as a conductor, and composing enduring masterworks. His Symphony From the New World, which the New York Philharmonic introduced in December 1893, was arguably the most spectacular success of his career. The critic for the New York Evening Post proclaimed it “the greatest symphonic work ever composed in this country.”

The title came to Dvořák as an afterthought, and he added it just before delivering the score to the orchestra, later explaining that it signified nothing more than “impressions and greetings from the New World.” But for that subtitle, a listener encountering the piece for the first time might not consider it less imbued with the “Czech spirit” than the composer’s other symphonies. Still, Dvořák really was interested in African-American and Native American music, and musicologists have found in the symphony’s melodies echoes of such undeniably American tunes as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” which seems to inform one of the prominent themes in the first movement. The famous English horn melody of the Largo was a strictly original invention, but when a Dvořák pupil arranged it into the song “Goin’ Home,” it was mistakenly assumed to be an authentic spiritual. Dvořák’s pronouncements on the American character of this work are ambiguous. To one reporter, he pointed out certain parallels to Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” To another, he insisted, “I have simply written original themes embodying the peculiarities of Indian music, and using these themes as subjects, have developed them with all the resources of modern rhythms, harmony, counterpoint, and orchestral color.”

Did you know? 

Jazz pianist Chick Corea died in 2021, shortly after completing the concerto he wrote for eminent trombonist Joseph Alessi, who worked his connections after hearing a Corea tune at a jazz club and coaxed this last piece out of him.

The New York Philharmonic returns to Bravo! Vail in 2023 for its 20th annual summer residency, performing works both fresh and familiar with its signature brilliance and power.

All artists, programs, and pricing are subject to change.

Presented at

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater