Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève leads the Fabulous Philadelphians on a grand musical tour, featuring the “unassailable artistry” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) of Bravo! favorite Jean-Yves Thibaudet in the vividly exotic “Egyptian” concerto.
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
STÉPHANE DENÈVE, CONDUCTOR
JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, PIANO
BERLIOZ: Roman Carnival Overture
SAINT-SAËNS: Piano Concerto No. 5
CONNESSON: And Clearly in the Valley the River Appears
RESPIGHI: The Pines of Rome
BERLIOZ: ROMAN CARNIVAL OVERTURE
Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 (1843)
HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
The failure of Berlioz’s opera Benvenuto Cellini at its premiere in September 1838 was nearly complete. Except for the original overture to the opera, everything else, Berlioz reported, “was hissed with admirable energy and unanimity.” Five years later, he mined the opera for thematic material for a new overture that he could use either as an independent concert work or as the introduction to the second act of Benvenuto. With the flavor of the opera’s setting and his own Italian travels as guides, he named it Roman Carnival. The Overture had a resounding success at its concert premiere in Paris on February 3, 1844, and was encored. It immediately joined the Symphonie Fantastique as the most popular of Berlioz’s music, and it was one of the works he programmed most frequently on the concerts he conducted. The two large sections of the Roman Carnival Overture are based on melodies from the opera. The first, presented by the solo English horn, borrows Benvenuto’s aria O Teresa, vous que j’aime (“O Teresa, whom I adore”). The other theme is a bubbling saltarello reminiscent of the folk dances Berlioz heard in Rome.
SAINT-SAËNS: PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5
Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103, “Egyptian” (1896)
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
At the age of two, Camille Saint-Saëns climbed up onto the piano bench and spent a large part of the rest of his life there. To perform, of course, meant to tour, and travel became one of Saint- Saëns’ chief pastimes. He went to the corners of the earth, from Singapore to San Francisco, but he tried to spend his winters in the baking sun and relative anonymity of Algiers, away from the drab Parisian weather. His fondness for North Africa carried him on at least two occasions to Egypt, each visit inspiring a work for piano and orchestra: Africa, of 1891, was based on native songs; and the Fifth Piano Concerto (“Egyptian”) was composed at Luxor in 1896. The composer was the soloist in the premiere of the Concerto on June 2, 1896 in Paris at a concert celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his debut as a pianist.
The Concerto’s opening movement follows traditional sonata-concerto structure, with a chordal main theme and a complementary, dance-like subordinate melody. “The second movement,” Saint-Saëns wrote, “takes us on a journey to the East and even, in one section, to the Far East. One passage is based on a Nubian love song I heard sung by the boatmen on the Nile.” The finale is a breathtaking tour-de-force of keyboard technique.
CONNESSON: AND CLEARLY IN THE VALLEY THE RIVER APPEARS
E chiaro nella valle il fiume appare (“And Clearly in the Valley the River Appears”) (2015)
GUILLAUME CONNESSON (B. 1970)
Guillaume Connesson is among the leading figures in the current generation of composers that conductor Stéphane Denève says is “returning melody, rhythm and harmony” to French music. Connesson was born in 1970 in Boulogne-Billancourt, the Parisian district framed by a bend in the Seine to the south and the Bois de Boulogne to the north. He took piano lessons as a youth and enrolled in the local state-supported Conservatoire National de Région to study keyboard and choral music. He continued his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Connesson currently teaches at the Conservatoire National in the north Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. He has earned such distinctions as the Prix Cardin de l’Institut de France, Prix Nadia et Lili Boulanger , Prix de la Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique , Grand Prix Lycéen des Compositeurs and Grand Prix for Symphonic Music from SACEM, the French performing rights society.
Connesson wrote, “E chiaro nella valle il fiume appare (‘And Clearly in the Valley the River Appears’), which constitutes the central movement of the Symphonic Trilogy, was inspired by a verse from La quiete dopo la tempesta (‘The Calm after the Storm’) by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837): The storm is past: the birds have a holiday and the hen up the street echoes their calls. The weather breaks to the west of the mountain, and clearly in the valley the river appears. I wanted to compose a piece that celebrated the beauty of the Italian landscape, the natural calm and lyricism that gleam when it is reborn after a storm.”
RESPIGHI: THE PINES OF ROME
Pini di Roma ("The Pines of Rome") (1923-1924)
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
“The Pines of Rome,” Respighi wrote, “uses nature as a point of departure, in order to recall memories and visions. The centuries-old trees that so characteristically dominate the Roman landscape become testimony for the principal events in Roman life.
“1. The Pines of the Villa Borghese. Children are at play in the pine grove of the Villa Borghese. Suddenly the scene changes to ...
“2. The Pines near a Catacomb. We see the shadows of the pines, which overhang the entrance of a catacomb. From the depths rises a chant that re-echoes solemnly, like a hymn, and is then mysteriously silenced.
“3. The Pines of the Janiculum. There is a thrill in the air. The full moon reveals the profile of the pines of Gianicolo’s Hill. A nightingale sings.
“4. The Pines of the Appian Way. Misty dawn on the Appian Way. Indistinctly, incessantly, the rhythm of innumerable steps. To the poet’s fantasy appears a vision of past glories; the army of the Consul advances brilliantly in the grandeur toward the Sacred Way, mounting in triumph the Capitoline Hill.”
Stéphane Denève is the Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed world-wide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists.
Stéphane Denève is currently in his sixth season as principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra. He spends multiple weeks each year with the ensemble, conducting subscription, tour, and summer concerts. Mr. Denève has become very well known to audiences at Verizon Hall, the Mann Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, having appeared as guest conductor numerous times since making his debut in 2007. He has led more programs than any other guest conductor during that time period, in repertoire that has spanned more than 100 works, ranging from Classical through the contemporary, including presentations with dance, theater, film, and cirque performers.
He is also the Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Director of the Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire (CffOR). He has previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Recognized internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming, he regularly appears at major concert venues with the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. He has a special affinity for the music of his native France and is a passionate advocate for music of the 21st century.
Recent engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, NHK Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, and Rotterdam Philharmonic. In North America he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has appeared several times both in Boston and at Tanglewood, and he regularly conducts The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony. He is also a popular guest at many of the US summer music festivals, including Bravo! Vail, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom Music Festival, Festival Napa Valley, Grand Teton Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West.
He enjoys close relationships with many of the world’s leading solo artists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yo-Yo Ma, Nikolaj Znaider, James Ehnes, Leif Ove Andsnes, Leonidas Kavakos, Nicholas Angelich, Lang Lang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Lars Vogt, Nikolai Lugansky, Paul Lewis, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, and Augustin Hadelich.
In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève led a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande with the Netherlands Opera at the 2019 Holland Festival. Elsewhere, he has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Saito Kinen Festival, Gran Teatro de Liceu, La Monnaie, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, and at the Opéra National de Paris.
As a recording artist, he has won critical acclaim for his recordings of the works of Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Franck and Connesson. He is a triple winner of the Diapason d’Or of the Year, has been shortlisted for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award, and has won the prize for symphonic music at the International Classical Music Awards. His most recent releases include a live recording of Honegger’s Jeanne d’arc au bûcher with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and two discs of the works of Guillaume Connesson with the Brussels Philharmonic (the first of which was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année, Caecilia Award, and Classica Magazine’s CHOC of the Year).
A graduate and prize-winner of the Paris Conservatoire, Stéphane Denève worked closely in his early career with Sir Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre and Seiji Ozawa. A gifted communicator and educator, he is committed to inspiring the next generation of musicians and listeners, and has worked regularly with young people in programmes such as those of the Tanglewood Music Center, New World Symphony, the Colburn School, the European Union Youth Orchestra, and the Music Academy of the West.
Photo credit: Bart Dewaele
For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed world-wide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. He plays a range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire – from Beethoven through Liszt, Grieg, and Saint-Saëns; to Khachaturian and Gershwin, and to contemporary composers Qigang Chen and James MacMillan. From the very start of his career, he delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera, which he transcribed himself to play on the piano. His profound professional friendships crisscross the globe and have led to spontaneous and fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art.
This season takes Thibaudet to 14 countries, including extensive concerts in Asia with the Singapore, NHK, and Guangzhou symphony orchestras and the Malaysian, Hong Kong, and China philharmonics. As Artist-in-Residence at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he plays the Bach Triple Concerto with Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein, Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, chamber music with symphony musicians, and Bernstein's Age of Anxiety both in Boston and at Carnegie Hall. Thibaudet is considered one of the premiere interpreters of the solo part for this symphony, which he will also perform with the Atlanta and National symphony orchestras; the San Francisco and Houston symphonies; the China Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra at home and on tour in Germany, Austria, and Israel, throughout Bernstein's centennial season.
Other season highlights include Ravel with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Cleveland Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with longtime collaborator Charles Dutoit; a recital in Carnegie Hall with violinist Janine Jansen; a tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in California, and a trip to his hometown to play Qigang Chen's Er Huang, which was written for him, with the Orchestre National de Lyon.
In 2017-18 the Colburn School extends Thibaudet's Artist-in-Residency an additional three years and has announced the Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholarships to provide aid for Music Academy students, whom Thibaudet will select for the merit-based awards, regardless of their instrument choice. His passion for education and fostering young musical talent extends to his tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, playing Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F and Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie together in many of the great concert halls of Europe, including the Concertgebouw, the new Elbphilharmonie, and the Teatro alla Scala.
Thibaudet’s recording catalogue of more than 50 albums has received two Grammy nominations, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, as well as Gramophone and Echo awards. Last season he released to great acclaim Bernstein's Age of Anxiety with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, with whom he previously recorded Gershwin (2010), which featured big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, variations on “I Got Rhythm,” and the Concerto in F. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie's birth, Decca released a box set of Satie's complete solo piano music performed by Thibaudet – one of the foremost interpreters and champions of the composer's works. On his Grammy-nominated recording Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2&5, released in 2007, he is joined by Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Thibaudet's Aria–Opera Without Words, which was released the same year, features aria transcriptions, some of which are Thibaudet's own. His other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations With Bill Evans.
Thibaudet has also had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy. He played Aaron Zigman’s soundtrack for Wakefield, a drama by Robin Swicord, which was the first time that the composer had allowed a pianist other than himself to perform his film work. Thibaudet was soloist in Dario Marianelli’s award-winning scores for the films Atonement (which won an Oscar for Best Original Score) and Pride and Prejudice, and recorded Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack for the 2012 film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. He had a cameo in Bruce Beresford's film on Alma Mahler, Bride of the Wind, and his playing is showcased throughout. In 2004 he served as president of the prestigious charity auction Hospices de Beaune. His concert wardrobe is designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at age seven. At twelve, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age fifteen, he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire and, three years later, the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. Among his numerous commendations is the Victoire d’Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honour given by France’s Victoires de la Musique. In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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).