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New York Philharmonic
Orchestral Series
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 6pm Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
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Pavilion Sold Out - Lawn Low Inventory

Music Director Jaap van Zweden opens the Philharmonic residency with Copland’s monumental Symphony No. 3 and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

Did you know?

Copland bounced around a succession of domiciles in Mexico and four U.S. States while focusing on his Third Symphony over two years (1945-46), but he managed to keep his esthetic center, producing one of the unquestionable masterworks among American symphonies.

Featured Artists

Jaap van Zweden


Augustin Hadelich


Program Highlights

  • Jaap van Zweden, conductor 
  • Augustin Hadelich, violin 

BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto in D major 

COPLAND Symphony No. 3 

PRE-CONCERT TALK 5:10PM - Jack Sheinbaum (University of Denver), speaker in the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater Lobby. 

Bravo! Vail soloist change note

June 20, 2024 - Regretfully, Hilary Hahn is forced to withdraw from her concerts this July on doctors' orders. This withdrawal includes her forthcoming appearance with the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. She is suffering from a double pinched nerve and is unable to perform.

We are disappointed we have to cancel this long-anticipated soloist; however, we are pleased to announce violinist Augustin Hadelich will appear in her stead, and the repertoire remains unchanged. Hadelich will play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at this concert.

As part of Bravo! Vail’s standard terms, all event details including programs, locations, and artists are subject to change. To review Bravo! Vail’s Ticket Terms, please click here.

If you are unable to attend for any reason, we encourage you to consider donating the value of your tickets back to Bravo! Vail Music Festival to help support our mission. If you prefer an alternative, you may request account credit, which may be used toward another ticket purchase during the 2024 or 2025 Festival seasons.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this artist cancellation but are thrilled to bring you the original program with Augustin Hadelich and the New York Philharmonic.


As always, we are deeply grateful for your support of Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

Program Notes

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 (1806)

(45 minutes)


Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
     Allegro ma non troppo

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto has long been considered one of the most essential works of its genre, but it earned its reputation only after a slow start. It made little effect at its premiere, in Vienna in 1806, surely not helped by the fact that the composer finished it only two days earlier, leaving the orchestral musicians little time to prepare what is at heart a very symphonic concerto. At least the soloist, Franz Clement, seems to have acquitted himself with distinction, since a review noted, “To the admirers of Beethoven’s muse it may be of interest that this composer has written a violin concerto—the first, so far as we know—which the beloved local violinist Klement [sic] ... played with his usual elegance and luster.” Clement hedged his bets with the audience by also programming a set of variations, probably of his own composition, that he played on a single string while holding his violin upside down. It may be that Clement had already gotten to know the concerto as a work-in-progress. One hopes so, since the solo writing involves extended work in the upper positions, which would not have been at all standard for violinists at the time. Nonetheless, Beethoven’s manuscript shows that he wrote so hastily that he left some of the notation of the solo part on the sketchy side; he didn’t fill in the blanks until it came time to publish it. Not until 1844, when Felix Mendelssohn conducted it with the London Philharmonic, with 12-year-old Joseph Joachim as soloist, did this concerto score a triumph. Beethoven did not write out cadenzas for this piece, and the ones proposed by Joachim remain the most commonly heard, although many other violinists have written competing versions. 

The Concerto’s opening sounds are strange indeed: five beats sounded quietly on the timpani, the last coinciding with the entrance of the other orchestral instruments. It hardly qualifies as a melody, but Beethoven was a master of exploring the musical implications of even the most modest motifs. The strings pick up the rhythm right away, and it returns often in the course of the first movement. A year after the Violin Concerto was premiered, Beethoven altered it into a version for solo piano with orchestra (again unsuccessful), and for that he did supply a first-movement cadenza—not for solo piano, as one would expect, but for piano plus timpani, the latter making much use of its five-note figure. The first movement, imposing and monumental in character, is balanced by the second, poignant and heartfelt; and the rollicking finale, which follows without a complete break, is designed for fun and bravura.


(18 minutes)

Third Symphony (1942-46)

(43 minutes)


Third Symphony 
     Molto moderato
     Allegro molto
     Andantino quasi allegretto
     Molto deliberato (Fanfare); Allegro risoluto

Aaron Copland had already produced two symphonies, in 1924/28 and 1934, when in March 1944 the conductor Serge Koussevitzky extended a commission for another major orchestral work, which he hoped to introduce at the outset of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 1946 season. Copland had been thinking about writing such a piece for some time—his friends Elliott Carter, David Diamond, and Arthur Berger kept urging him in that direction—but he kept the new commission secret for quite a while. “I did not want to announce my intentions until it was clear in my own mind what the piece would become (at one time it looked more like a piano concerto than a symphony). The commission from Koussevitzky stimulated me to focus my ideas and arrange the material I had collected into some semblance of order.”

In the summer of 1944, he retreated to the remote village of Tepoztlán, Mexico, to work on the symphony’s first movement in relative isolation. The second movement waited until the following summer, which he spent in Bernardsville, New Jersey. “By September, I was able to announce to [the composer] Irving Fine, ‘I’m the proud father—or mother—or both—of a second movement. Lots of notes—and only eight minutes of music—such are scherzi! ... Having two movements finished gave me the courage to continue, but the completion seemed years off.” In the fall of 1945, he retreated to a rented property in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “Again, I told almost no one where I could be found. I felt in self-exile, but it was essential if I was to finish the symphony.” A stay at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and then a stint in the Berkshire Mountains, allowed him to put the last movement into place. He had a head start on that finale, having decided that it would incorporate the Fanfare for the Common Man, which he had written three years before. Here, it appears as an introduction to the rest of the movement, although its general contours do pervade a fair amount of the symphony’s material. (Copland, by the way, employed the locution Third Symphony as a specific title for this work, preferring it to the more generic implication of “Symphony No. 3.”) He viewed this instance of self-borrowing not as a short-cut but rather as a way to intensify what he hoped to communicate. “I used this opportunity to carry the Fanfare material further and to satisfy my desire to give the Third Symphony an affirmative tone,” he wrote. “After all, it was a wartime piece—or more accurately, an end-of-war piece—intended to reflect the euphoric spirit of the country at the time.”