An intensely spirited showcase for the dynamic Dallas sound, this program runs the gamut from light to languor, featuring dramatic themes, inventive virtuosity, and a truly unforgettable triumph over the forces of fate.
DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CRISTIAN MĂCELARU, CONDUCTOR
HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD, PIANO
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Overture to May Night
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: OVERTURE TO MAY NIGHT
Overture to May Night (1879)
NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera May Night is set in a small Ukrainian village. Levko, son of the village Mayor, is in love with Hanna. So is his father. Levko determines to teach his father a lesson and to win Hanna, so he organizes his friends to give a derisive public serenade beneath the Mayor’s window. The Mayor rushes out and drags the disguised leader — Levko — into the house. The lights suddenly go out, Levko’s friends rescue him and substitute the Mayor’s visiting sister-in-law, whom he rudely tosses into a closet when the lights come back on. The Town Clerk arrives, and the Mayor opens the closet door to display the miscreant. Out charges his furious sister-In-law. The next act opens with a magical scene set on the shore of a lake on a May night. The Rusalki, the spirits of young girls who were abandoned by their lovers and consequently drowned themselves from grief, sing to Levko and present him with a letter for his father. The Mayor arrives, recognizes Levko as the culprit of the preceding evening, and orders him to be bound and taken away. However, Levko produces the Rusalki’s letter, which proves to be an edict written in the hand of the district commissar ordering the marriage of Levko and Hanna. The Mayor relents and the young lovers are united. The Overture to May Night captures the spirit of verdant springtime, the eagerness of new love, and the exotic fantasy of the Rusalki.
RAVEL: PIANO CONCERTO IN G
Piano Concerto in G major (1929-1931)
MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
Ravel’s tour of the United States in 1928 was such a success that he began to plan for a second one as soon as he returned to France. With a view toward having a vehicle for himself as a pianist on the return visit, he started work on a concerto in 1929. Perhaps he was encouraged by the good fortune Stravinsky had enjoyed concertizing with his Concerto for Piano and Winds and Piano Capriccio earlier in the decade. However, many other projects pressed upon him, not the least of which was a commission from the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm in the First World War, to compose a piano concerto for left hand alone, and the Concerto in G was not completed until 1931.
The first movement of the Concerto in G opens with a bright melody in the piccolo that may derive from a folk dance of the Basque region of southern France where Ravel was born. There are several themes in this exposition: the lively opening group is balanced by another set more nostalgic and bluesy in character. The development is an elaboration of the lively opening themes. The Adagio begins with a long-breathed melody for piano. The central section does not differ from the opening as much in melody as it does in texture — a gradual thickening occurs as the music proceeds. The texture then becomes again translucent, and the opening melody is heard on its return in the English horn. The finale is a showpiece for soloist and orchestra that evokes the energetic world of jazz.
TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY NO. 5
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 (1888)
PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Tchaikovsky was never able to maintain his self-confidence for long. More than once, his opinion of a work fluctuated between the extremes of satisfaction and denigration. The unjustly neglected Manfred Symphony of 1885, for example, left his pen as “the best I have ever written,” but the work failed to make a good impression at its premiere and Tchaikovsky’s estimation of it tumbled. The score’s failure left him with the worry that he might be “written out” and the three years after Manfred were devoid of creative work. It was not until May 1888 that he again started collecting “little by little, material for a symphony,” he wrote to his brother Modeste. He worked doggedly on the new symphony, ignoring illness, the premature encroachment of old age (he was only 48, but suffered from continual exhaustion and loss of vision), and his doubts about himself. He pressed on, and when the Fifth Symphony was completed, at the end of August, he said, “I have not blundered; it has turned out well.”
The Fifth Symphony progresses from minor to major, from darkness to light, from melancholy to joy — or at least to acceptance and stoic resignation. Its four movements are linked by a recurring “Fate” motto theme, given by clarinets as the brooding introduction to the first movement. The sonata form starts with a melancholy melody for bassoon and clarinet. A romantic tune for the strings, an aggressive strain given in dialogue between winds and strings, and a languorous string melody round out the exposition. All of the exposition’s materials are used in the development. The bassoon ushers in the recapitulation. The Andante recalls an operatic love scene; twice, the imperious Fate motto intrudes upon the starlit mood of this romanza. A flowing waltz melody dominates much of the third movement; the central trio exhibits a scurrying figure in the strings. Quietly and briefly, the Fate motto returns in the movement’s closing pages. The finale begins with a long introduction based on the Fate theme in a heroic mood. A vigorous exposition, a concentrated development and an intense recapitulation follow. The long coda uses the motto theme in its major-key, victory-won setting.
Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world.
Renaissance woman Hélène Grimaud is not just a deeply passionate and committed musical artist whose pianistic accomplishments play a central role in her life. She is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays
Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. With every concert he displays an exciting and highly regarded presence, thoughtful interpretations and energetic conviction on the podium. He launched his inaugural season at Cabrillo in August 2017 with premiere-filled programs of new works and fresh re-orchestrations by an esteemed group of composers. Among the 2017 season’s highlights are seven world premieres, 11 composers-in-residence, a stunning roster of international guest artists, and two special tributes – one to commemorate Lou Harrison’s centenary and another honoring John Adams’ 70th birthday.
He recently completed his tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra as Conductor-in-Residence, a title he held for three seasons until August 2017. Prior to that, he was Associate Conductor for two seasons and previously Assistant Conductor for one season from September 2011. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in April 2013 and continues a close relationship with the orchestra in leading them on annual subscription programs and other special concerts.
Măcelaru regularly conducts top orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Detroit Symphony, in addition to the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the 2016/17 season, he led the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester in two separate programs and made debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Weimar Staatskapelle, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. In recent seasons, further international appearances have brought him to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
The 2017/18 season sees Măcelaru opening the National Symphony Orchestra’s season in Washington D.C. and returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra on three subscription programs plus Messiah concerts. He guest-conducts the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego and Vancouver. Internationally he leads the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In Summer 2017, Măcelaru made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and returns to the Grand Teton and Interlochen Festivals. Additionally, he leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in two programs at the Mann Center.
Cristian Măcelaru made his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2015 on a program with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Anne-Sophie Mutter. A keen opera conductor, in June 2015 he led the Cincinnati Opera in highly acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore. In 2010, he made his operatic debut with the Houston Grand Opera in Madama Butterfly and conducted the U.S. premiere of Colin Matthews’s Turning Point with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival. In 2019, he returns to the Houston Grand Opera on a Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni.
Măcelaru came to public attention in February 2012 when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances met with critical acclaim. Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, he previously received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the Foundation’s history. Măcelaru has participated in the conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, studying under David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received master’s degrees in conducting and violin performance. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami. An accomplished violinist from an early age, Măcelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that orchestra at the age of nineteen. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons.
Măcelaru formerly held the position of Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he was Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Larry Rachleff and Conductor for the Opera Department. A proponent of music education, he has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program. As Founder and Artistic Director of the Crisalis Music Project, Mr. Măcelaru spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side-by- side with established artists. Their groundbreaking inaugural season produced and presented concerts featuring chamber ensembles, a chamber orchestra, a tango operetta, and collaborations with dancer Susana Collins, which resulted in a choreographed performance of Vivaldi/Piazzolla’s Eight Seasons.
Cristian Măcelaru resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.
Photo: Sorin Popa
Renaissance woman Hélène Grimaud is not just a deeply passionate and committed musical artist whose pianistic accomplishments play a central role in her life. She is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays with such poetic expression and peerless technical control. The French artist has established herself as a committed wildlife conservationist, a compassionate human rights activist and as a writer.
Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence and began her piano studies at the local conservatory with Jacqueline Courtin before going on to work with Pierre Barbizet in Marseille. She was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at just 13 and won first prize in piano performance a mere three years later. She continued to study with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher until, in 1987, she gave her well-received debut recital in Tokyo. That same year, renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris.
This marked the launch of Grimaud’s musical career, characterised ever since by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award and the Echo Award.
Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999 – just two of many notable musical milestones – Grimaud made a wholly different kind of debut: in upper New York State she established the Wolf Conservation Center.
Her love for the endangered species was sparked by a chance encounter with a wolf in northern Florida; this led to her determination to open an environmental education centre. “To be involved in direct conservation and being able to put animals back where they belong,” she says, “there’s just nothing more fulfilling.” But Grimaud’s engagement doesn’t end there: she is also a member of the organisation Musicians for Human Rights, a worldwide network of musicians and people working in the field of music to promote a culture of human rights and social change.
For most people, establishing and running an environmental organisation or having a flourishing career as a musician would be accomplishment enough. Yet, remarkably, Hélène Grimaud has also found time to pursue writing, publishing three books that have appeared in various languages. Her first, Variations Sauvages, appeared in 2003. It was followed in 2005 by Leçons particulières, and in 2013 by Retour à Salem, both semi-autobiographical novels.
Despite her divided dedication to these multiple passions, it is through Grimaud’s thoughtful and tenderly expressive music-making that she most deeply touches the emotions of audiences. Fortunately, they have been able to enjoy her concerts worldwide, thanks to the extensive tours she undertakes as a soloist and recitalist. She is also an ardent and committed chamber musician who performs frequently at the most prestigious festivals and cultural events with a wide range of musical collaborators, including Sol Gabetta, Rolando Villazón, Jan Vogler, Truls Mørk, Clemens Hagen and the Capuçon brothers. Her prodigious contribution to and impact on the world of classical music were recently recognised by the French government when she was admitted into the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (France’s highest decoration) at the rank of Chevalier (Knight). She was presented with the award at a ceremony in Aix-en-Provence on 22 March 2016.
After appearances at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Ruhr Piano Festival in July, Grimaud will begin the 2017-18 season in Sweden, as the Gothenburg Symphony’s Artist in Residence, with a chamber recital and performances of the Ravel Piano Concerto, a work she will also play in Zurich and Vienna in January. Other highlights include concerts featuring Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in, among other cities, Munich with Valery Gergiev and the Munich Philharmonic, on tour in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland with the Gothenburg Symphony, and in Philadelphia with Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performances this autumn in Lucerne, Ludwigshafen and Paris of a multimedia concert project, Woodlands and beyond…, which combines piano works by Romantic and Impressionist composers with images from Woodlands, the latest publication by her partner, fine art photographer Mat Hennek. This was premiered at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in April 2017.
Performance highlights of recent years include two collaborations with the Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon – tears become… streams become…, a large-scale immersive installation at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, and Neck of the Woods, a piece devised for the Manchester International Festival. During the 2016-17 season Grimaud made a series of European appearances with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic; performed concertos by Brahms and Ravel in the US and Australia; gave recitals in Germany and Switzerland with cellist Sol Gabetta; and performed music from her 2016 album, Water, in the US and Europe, as well as at a number of venues in South Korea and China.
Hélène Grimaud has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002. Her most recent album, Perspectives (April 2017), a two-disc personal selection of highlights from her DG catalogue, includes two “encores”, Brahms’s Waltz in A flat and Sgambati’s arrangement of Gluck’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”, previously unreleased on CD/via streaming. Water(January 2016) is a live recording of the performances from tears become… streams become… with works by nine composers: Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt, Janáček, Debussy, and Nitin Sawhney, who wrote seven short Water Transitions for the album as well as producing it. Classicalite called the release “an astonishing work of piano majesty that is both thought-provoking and spiritually unsettling”, while Gramophone hailed Grimaud’s ability to interpret “a multitude of styles with passionate authority”. Water was the follow-up to the September 2013 release of her album of the two Brahms piano concertos, the First recorded with Andris Nelsons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Second with Nelsons and the Vienna Philharmonic. Limelight magazine called it an “utterly remarkable, inspired and inspiring recording”.
Duo, the album she recorded with cellist Sol Gabetta just prior to the Brahms concertos, won the 2013 ECHO Award for “chamber recording of the year”. Previous releases include her readings of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 23 on a 2011 disc which also featured a collaboration with singer Mojca Erdmann in the same composer’s Ch’io mi scordi di te?.Grimaud’s 2010 release, the solo recital album Resonances, showcased music by Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Bartók, while her other DG recordings include a selection of Bach’s solo and concerto works, in which she directed the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the piano; a Beethoven disc with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Vladimir Jurowski which was chosen as one of history’s greatest classical music albums in the iTunes “Classical Essentials” series; Reflection and Credo (both of which feature a number of thematically linked works); a Chopin and Rachmaninov Sonatas disc; a Bartók CD on which she plays the Third Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez; and a DVD release of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Claudio Abbado.
Hélène Grimaud is undoubtedly a multi-faceted artist. Her deep dedication to her musical career, both in performances and recordings, is reflected and reciprocally amplified by the scope and depth of her environmental and literary pursuits.
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Where are the orchestra concert performances held?
Bravo! Vail orchestral concerts take place at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (GRFA) located at 530 S. Frontage Rd E Vail, CO 81657
What time do performances begin?
Concerts start promptly at 6:00PM (except for the movie screening which starts at 7:30PM). The GRFA lobby opens 90 minutes prior and gates open 60 minutes prior to performances. Give yourself plenty of time to park and get into the venue. Latecomers will be escorted by ushers at an appropriate interval.
Where do I park?
FREE concert parking is available at the Vail Parking Structure (241 South Frontage Road East, Vail) and the Lionshead Parking Structure (395 South Frontage Road West, Vail). A Town of Vail Special Event express bus provides continuous service from both parking structures to the GRFA before and after concerts. Limited $10 parking is available at Ford Park by the Tennis Center (500 South Frontage Rd). Additional $10 parking is available at the Vail Athletic/Soccer Field lot.
WALKING DIRECTIONS FROM THE VAIL VILLAGE PARKING STRUCTURE:
Via Gore Creek Trail: 15-minute scenic walk
1. Exit the parking garage by following the Pedestrian Exit signs towards “Vail Village” / “Golden Peak”
2. Turn left out of the parking garage onto East Meadow Drive and head east
3. At the end of the road turn right on Vail Valley Drive and cross the road
4. Turn left on the walking path before the bridge, following the street signs towards "Ford Park"
5. Continuing east, follow the walking path along Gore Creek until reaching the GRFA
Via Frontage Road: 15-minute walk
1. From the top level of the parking garage, exit onto the South Frontage Road
2. Turn right and follow the sidewalk east along the south side of the frontage road
3. Cross East Meadow Drive and continue east along the sidewalk
4. Turn right after passing The Wren at Vail on the right
5. Continue down the path down to the GRFA
How long do concerts last?
Concerts generally last 2 hours including intermission. Please call the box office 877.812.5700 for exact running times.
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets, passes, and gift certificates may be ordered in the following ways:
1. Online: bravovail.org
2. By phone: 877.812.5700
3. In person: Bravo! Vail 2271 N Frontage Rd W Suite C, Vail, CO 81657
Bravo! Vail accepts American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards, cash, and checks. There is a $2 fee per ticket. Tickets are delivered by mail or email,or may be picked up at the Box Office.
What are the Box Office hours?
Bravo! Vail Box Office hours are Monday-Friday from 9AM to 4PM. During the Festival, hours include Saturday & Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. The Bravo! Vail Box Office can be reached at 877.812.5700.
The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater box office is open from 11AM until concert start time (5PM on days with no concerts) during the Festival. Tickets for upcoming performances may be purchased on-site at the GRFA before concerts and during intermission.
Where is the Will Call window?
Will Call tickets may be picked up at the Box Office located to the right of the main GRFA entrance lobby. The Box Office is open 11AM to concert start time during the Festival.
Does Bravo! Vail offer group pricing?
Discounts for groups of 15 or more are available for select concerts. Please call 970.827.4316 for more information.
What if I buy tickets and cannot attend?
Tickets are non-refundable. You may exchange your tickets ($7 fee per ticket) by calling the Box Office at 877.812.5700 up to 2 days before the concert. You may release your tickets or leave them for a friend at Will Call by calling the Box Office.
What if I misplace or forget to bring my tickets?
There is no charge to reprint tickets. Please call 877.812.5700 before 3PM on the day of the performance or allow extra time to request new tickets at the Will Call window.
Where are seating options for people with disabilities?
Per the American Disability Act (ADA), the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is accessible to individuals with disabilities. ADA seating is available in Section 1 Row L and Section 4 Row O in all reserved seating zones and prices (Premium Aisle, Premium, Reserved, and Saver). A limited number of ADA General Admission Lawn seats are available for sale behind Section 2. You must have a designated ADA lawn seat ticket to sit in this area. By purchasing an ADA seat, you are stating that you require an ADA seat. If purchased fraudulently, you may be subject to relocation. If you need assistance purchasing ADA seating, please call the Box Office at 877.812.5700.
What if it rains?
Concerts take place rain or shine. The GRFA is an open-air venue. Refunds are not given due to weather unless a concert is canceled in its entirety with no performance rescheduled.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code for concerts. Please be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures.
What should I bring to the concert?
If you will be on the lawn, a blanket, sunglasses, and a hat are recommended. If rain is predicted, please bring appropriate rain gear. Food, commercially sealed non-alcoholic beverages, low-profile lawn chairs, and umbrellas are permitted at concerts. All backpacks, bags, purses, picnic baskets, and coolers will be checked upon entry.
The following articles are not allowed at the venue: cameras, audio/video recording devices, standard-height lawn chairs, baby strollers, alcoholic beverages, firearms, pets, smoking, skateboards, bicycles, scooters, and skates.
What food and beverages are available for purchase at the GRFA?
Concessions are offered for purchase inside the venue. Menu items include snacks, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. A full bar is also available. All major credit cards and cash are accepted for payment. If you have a pavilion seat, please eat prior to the concert or at intermission.
Are lawn chairs available to rent?
Low-profile lawn chairs are available at the GRFA to rent for $10. You may also rent a lawn chair with your lawn ticket purchase online or by calling the Bravo! Vail Box Office at 877.812.5700. To reserve a lawn chair in advance, please email email@example.com
What are some general rules of concert etiquette?
Please allow time for parking and seating. Concert attendees must silence all mobile devices prior to performances to not disrupt musicians and other patrons. Please limit conversations and other noisy activities during the performance. In the pavilion seating, we recommend eating prior to the concert or at intermission. Parental supervision is required for all children attending Bravo! Vail concerts.
What else should I know?
Vail’s high elevation requires adequate hydration and sun protection. Visitors from lower elevations may experience altitude sickness.
What if I lose something at the concert?
Check with the GRFA box office for lost items at intermission or call 970.748.8497.
What if I still have questions?
Please contact the Box Office at 877.812.5700 Mon–Fri 9AM–4PM (and Sat–Sun 10AM-4PM during the Festival).