Augustin Hadelich—longtime Bravo favorite—brings his brilliant warmth to Britten's profoundly emotional concerto, followed by the sumptuous second symphony by Rachmaninoff.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
JAAP VAN ZWEDEN, CONDUCTOR
AUGUSTIN HADELICH, VIOLIN
BRITTEN: Violin Concerto
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2
Pre-Concert Talk presented by Wall Street Insurance in partnership with Cincinnati Insurance held one hour prior to concert.
BRITTEN: Violin Concerto Op. 15
Violin Concerto, Op. 15 (1938-1939)
BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Benjamin Britten was 26 in 1939, and much unsettled about his life. Though he had already produced fourteen works important enough to be given opus numbers and a large additional amount of chamber music, choral works, songs, and film and theater scores, he felt his career was stymied both by an innate conservatism among the British music public and by the increasingly assured threat of war in Europe. Also troubling was his proclaimed pacificism in a nation girding itself for battle. In January 1939, his friends poet W.H. Auden and novelist Christopher Isherwood left for America in search of creative stimulation and freedom from what Auden called the English artist’s feeling of being “essentially lonely, twisted in dying roots.” Britten followed them in May, producing such important scores as the Violin Concerto, Les Illuminations, Michelangelo Sonnets, Sinfonia da Requiem and Ceremony of Carols during his three years in this country.
The Violin Concerto’s broad, darkly noble first movement begins with a succinct, open-interval motive in the timpani that recurs throughout as a motto. Above the bassoon’s muttering repetitions of the motto, the violin presents the main theme, a melody made from a series of short, smooth, mostly descending phrases. The second subject is constructed from extensive elaborations of the rhythms and intervals in the motto. A climax is built from this material in the development before the recapitulation begins with roles reversed from the exposition: upper strings play the main theme while the soloist hammers out aggressive permutations of the motto. The second subject is omitted in the recapitulation, but the violin reclaims the main theme in the coda, intoning it above a sparse accompaniment of timpani, harp and plucked strings. The second movement is a driving, virtuosic, slightly sinister scherzo for which the more relaxed central section provides formal and expressive contrast. A brilliant cadenza that recalls the timpani motto and the main theme from the first movement serves as a bridge to the finale. The somber finale is a passacaglia, a formal technique using a series of variations on a short, recurring melody. Britten fitted this passacaglia with nine variations on a stern scalar theme, and gave the music a serious emotional cast that seems to have reflected his sorrow over the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, which reached its bloody climax when he was completing the Concerto. “It is at times like these,” he said, “that work is so important — so that people can think of other things than blowing each other up! ... I try not to listen to the radio more than I can help.” Though Britten was only 27 when he composed his Violin Concerto, the work shows that he was already a master of reflecting the human condition in music of technical polish and emotional depth.
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27
Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1906-1908)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Early in 1906, Rachmaninoff decided to sweep away the rapidly accumulating obligations of conducting, concertizing and socializing that cluttered his life in Moscow in order to find some quiet place in which to devote himself to composition. His determination may have been strengthened by the political unrest beginning to rumble under the foundations of the aristocratic Russian political system. The uprising of 1905 was among the first signs of trouble for those of his noble class (he eventually moved to the United States as a result of the swallowing of his family’s estate and resources by the 1917 Revolution), and he thought it a good time to start looking for a quiet haven.
A few years before, Rachmaninoff had been inspired by a performance of Die Meistersinger he heard at the Dresden Opera. The memory of that evening and the aura of dignity and repose exuded by the city remained with him, and Dresden, at that time, seemed like a good place to be. The atmosphere there was so conducive to composition that within a few months of his arrival he was working on the Second Symphony, First Piano Sonata, Op. 6, Russian folk songs and symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead. The Second Symphony was unanimously cheered when it was premiered under his direction in St. Petersburg on February 7, 1908.
The Symphony’s majestic scale is established by a brooding introduction. A smooth transition to a faster tempo signals the arrival of the main theme, an extended and quickened transformation of the basses’ opening motive; the expressive second theme enters in the woodwinds. The development deals largely with the vigorous main theme. The second movement is the most nimble essay in Rachmaninoff’s orchestral works. After two preparatory measures, the horns sound the main theme. Eventually, the rhythmic bustle is suppressed to make way for the central section, whose skipping lines embody some of Rachmaninoff’s best fugal writing. The Adagio is music of heightened passion that resembles an operatic love scene. Alternating with the joyous principal melody is an important theme from the first movement, heard in the central portion and the coda. The finale bursts forth in the whirling rhythm of an Italian tarantella. The propulsive urgency subsides to allow another of Rachmaninoff’s finest melodic inspirations to enter. A development of the tarantella motives follows, into which are embroidered thematic reminiscences from each of the three preceding movements. The several elements of the finale are gathered together in the closing pages.
With the arrival last season of Jaap van Zweden as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, a new era began. Having concluded a highly acclaimed and revelatory inaugural season, Jaap van Zweden and the musicians of the New York Philharmonic unite for a new 2019-20 season of more surprises and adventurous experiences. As an international presence on three continents over the past decade, he also continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. Guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many other leading orchestras around the globe, among them the Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus orchester, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
In this his second season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden fuses past and present, representing today’s composers and the new-music landscape while reflecting on relevant historic achievements. He conducts repertoire ranging from seven World Premieres (including opening week with a Philip Glass commission and the season-concluding hotspots festival with works by Nico Muhly and Sarah Kirkland Snider, as well as three other works by women composers for Project 19) to symphonic cornerstones (including Mahler both in New York and on a European tour in 2020, when the Philharmonic becomes the first-ever American orchestra to appear at the Mahler Festival in Amsterdam). Other season highlights include a fully staged production of Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung. He conducts his first Young People’s Concert and once again invites his fellow New Yorkers to Phil the Hall. Added to his repertoire of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Schoenberg will be Björk, Steve Reich and John Adams.
Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings, the most recent of which is a 2019 release with the New York Philharmonic of the World Premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, continuing the Philharmonic’s partnership with Decca Gold. In 2018 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, he completed a four-year project conducting the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which have been recorded and released on Naxos Records as individual recordings as well as a complete set. His highly praised performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal, the latter of which earned Maestro van Zweden the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012, are available on CD/DVD.
Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was appointed at age nineteen as the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career nearly twenty years later in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic where he served as Chief Conductor from 2005-2013, served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra from 2008-11, and was Music Director from 2008-2018 of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he currently holds the title Conductor Laureate. Van Zweden was named Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2020 Concertgebouw Prize, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden’s leadership was named Gramophone’s 2019 Orchestra of the Year.
In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families of children with autism. Now, over 20 years later, the Foundation has grown into a multi-faceted organization which, through various initiatives and activities, focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy to children through a national network of qualified music therapists in the Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in August 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and launched the app, TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.
Photo credit: Bert Hulselmans
At the age of 34, Augustin Hadelich has firmly established himself as one of the great violinists of today. Named “2018 Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, he has performed with every major orchestra in the U.S., many on numerous occasions, as well as an ever-growing number of orchestras in the UK, Europe, and Asia. Showcasing a wide-ranging and adventurous repertoire, he is consistently cited for his phenomenal technique, soulful approach, and beauty of tone.
International highlights of the 2018/2019 season include his debut with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra Munich and engagements with Belgian National Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquesta Nacional de España, and the symphony orchestras of Bournemouth, City of Birmingham, New Zealand, São Paulo, and Singapore. He will also perform in a 10-concert tour of Germany with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, featuring double concertos with violinist Julia Fischer. In the United States, he will return to the symphonies of Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, San Diego, and Seattle, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
Summer 2018 saw Augustin Hadelich's debut at the Salzburger Festspiele, performing the Sibelius concerto with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, as well as return appearances at the Aspen, Bravo! Vail and Colorado music festivals. Other recent festival appearances include his debut at the BBC Proms, as well as performances with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom. Mr. Hadelich has also performed at the Britt, Chautauqua (where he made his U.S. orchestral debut in 2001), Eastern, Grand Teton, Marlboro, Rheingau, and Sun Valley festivals.
Among recent international performances are the BBC Philharmonic/Manchester, Concertgebouw Orchestra/Amsterdam, Hallé Orchestra (UK), Hamburg Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Mozarteum Orchestra/Salzburg, Munich Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, NHK Symphony/Tokyo, Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and the radio orchestras of Cologne, Frankfurt, Saarbrücken, and Stuttgart.
Augustin Hadelich has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Thomas Adès, Marin Alsop, Stefan Asbury, Herbert Blomstedt, Andrey Boreyko, James Conlon, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Thierry Fischer, the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, James Gaffigan, Alan Gilbert, Hans Graf, Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hruša, Carlos Kalmar, Hannu Lintu, Andrew Litton, Cristian Macelaru, Jun Märkl, Fabio Mechetti, Juanjo Mena, Ludovic Morlot, Andris Nelsons, Sakari Oramo, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Peter Oundjian, Vasily Petrenko, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Lahav Shani, John Storgårds, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Krzysztof Urbański, Edo de Waart, and Jaap van Zweden, among others.
An active recitalist, Augustin Hadelich’s numerous engagements include appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw/Amsterdam, The Frick Collection/New York, Kennedy Center/ Washington, Kioi Hall/Tokyo, the Louvre, and the Wigmore Hall/London. His chamber music partners have included Inon Barnatan, Jeremy Denk, James Ehnes, Alban Gerhardt, Richard Goode, Gary Hoffman, Kim Kashkashian, Robert Kulek, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Charles Owen, Vadim Repin, Mitsuko Uchida, Joyce Yang, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard quartets.
Augustin Hadelich is the winner of a 2016 Grammy Award – “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” – for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, L’Arbre des songes, with the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony MEDIA). A prolific recording artist, Mr. Hadelich’s newest disc – Paganini 24 Caprices for Warner Classics – was released in January. Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote about this recording: “Anyone who masters these pieces so confidently has, so to speak, reached the regions of eternal snow: he has reached the top.” Other recent discs include live recordings of the violin concertos by Tchaikovsky and Lalo (Symphonie espagnole) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on the LPO label (2017), and an album of duo works for violin and piano on AVIE in collaboration with Joyce Yang (2016). Previous recordings on the AVIE label include the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya (2015), and the violin concertos of Jean Sibelius and Thomas Adès (Concentric Paths) with Hannu Lintu conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (2014), nominated for a Gramophone Award and listed by NPR on their Top 10 Classical CDs of 2014.
Augustin Hadelich’s career took off when he won the Gold Medal at the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Since then, he has garnered an impressive list of honors, including an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2009); a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK (2011); Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award (2012); the inaugural Warner Music Prize (2015); a Grammy Award (2016); an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter in the UK (2017); and Musical America’s “2018 Instrumentalist of the Year.”
Born in Italy, the son of German parents, Augustin Hadelich is now an American citizen. He holds an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Smirnoff. Mr. Hadelich plays the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor
Friday, July 5 | 6:00PM
A revered maestro returns to Vail, and a three-time Grammy-winning violinist makers her long-awaited Bravo debut in this enchanting program filled with nuance and virtuosity.
Saturday, July 6 | 6:00PM
The Fabulous Philadelphians evoke the vivid energy of youth through the magic of music, featuring Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, selections from Harry Potter, and Britten's beloved Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
Stay up to date on all of the latest news and events from Bravo! Vail.
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 and non-exchangeable. 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).