NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano
Christopher Martin, trumpet
MONTGOMERY Records from a vanishing city
SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings
HAYDN Symphony No. 92 in G major, "Oxford"
Conrad Tao’s performance of this electrifying concerto is acclaimed for its “assertive virtuosity, razor-sharp articulation, and an embrace of both the rhapsodic and the anarchic” (Washington Post). The “Oxford” Symphony balances Haydn’s distinctive grace with bursts of humor, refreshing invention, and surprising intensity.
JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Records from a Vanishing City
Records from a Vanishing City (2016)
JESSIE MONTGOMERY (b.1981)
This summer Jessie Montgomery begins a three-year appointment as composer-in-residence of the Chicago Symphony. A graduate of the Juilliard School and New York University, she is a graduate fellow in composition at Princeton University and professor of violin and composition at The New School. She appears regularly as a violinist with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi (for which she also served as composer-in-residence). She is one of the 19 composers commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to create works marking the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
“Records from a Vanishing City,” she writes, “is a tone poem based on my recollections of the music that surrounded me as I grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s and 1990s. … Partly because my parents were artists … I soaked up all that surrounded me: Latin jazz, alternative rock, Western classical, avant-garde jazz, poetry, and Caribbean dance music, to name a few. A year before completing this work, a very dear family friend passed away and it was decided that I would be the one to inherit a large portion of his eclectic record collection. ... [The] record collection was a treasure trove of the great jazz recordings of the 1950s, 1960s and beyond—he was mad for John Coltrane, but also Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, as well as traditional folk artists.
“In the process of imagining this piece, a particular track on a record of music from Angola caught my ear: a traditional lullaby which is sung in call and response by a women’s chorus. This lullaby rang with an uncanny familiarity in me. An adaptation of this lullaby and the rhythmic chant that follows it appears in each of the three main sections of Records from a Vanishing City.”
SHOSTAKOVICH: Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings
Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings (1933)
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75)
Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings in the aftermath of the official censure that greeted his opera The Nose in January 1930 and then for his ballet The Golden Age that October. Some drastic step was in order, so Shostakovich issued a self-flagellating tract he titled “Declaration of a Composer’s Duties,” in which he confessed the wrong-headedness of essentially all the theatre music he had written to date and deplored the low state to which music had sunk in such collaborative ventures. Yet again, the official response was harsh: Shostakovich, the government bureaucrats insisted, was shifting the burden of his own shortcomings onto his collaborators and, even worse, he wasn’t behaving like a team player.
Amid this turmoil, Shostakovich had all but ceased appearing as a concert pianist, which had been an essential strand of his earlier musical persona. But in 1933 he focused on the keyboard again and from March through July produced this concerto, which proved wildly successful. Listeners reveled in its optimistic bonhomie and its understated references to Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Mahler, and various styles of popular music; and it left the critics without anything to attack. When he started working on this piece, he envisioned it as a trumpet concerto. As he progressed, he began imagining a piano part, which eventually ended up moving to center stage. The trumpet was still there, to be sure; but whereas the piece was originally going to spotlight the trumpet, with a supporting part from the piano and the string orchestra, the roles became reversed. The piano is the busier of the soloists—indeed, this is often called his Piano Concerto No. 1—but the trumpet part nonetheless reveals its early prominence, and that instrument provides a particularly conspicuous and involved strand of the overall texture.
HAYDN: Symphony No. 92 in G major, “Oxford”
Symphony No. 92 in G major, Oxford, Hob. I: 92 (1788 or 1789)
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
In 1785-864, Franz Joseph Haydn composed six symphonies on commission from a recently founded musical organization in Paris, the Concerts de la Loge Olympique. One of the group’s principal backers, Claude-François-Marie Rigoley, Count d’Ogny, was the direct instigator of the extremely generous commission. He was so enthusiastic about Haydn’s music that once the Paris Symphonies project had ended he privately commissioned three further pieces with his own purse—Haydn’s Symphonies Nos. 90-92. We don’t know if he ever heard them. The year 1789, when Symphony No. 92 would have arrived, was not a propitious moment for French aristocrats. D’Ogny died in 1790 at the age of only 33—“suddenly,” it was reported, though the cause was not revealed.
In the event, Haydn pressed these new symphonies into double service to fulfill a commission extended by a prince in Bavaria. Symphony No. 92 may accordingly have been premiered there in 1791, when Haydn was passing through on his way to an extended residency in England. He included the piece in his first London concert, on March 11, 1791, at the Hanover-Square Concert Rooms, which seated 800. The symphony’s second movement was encored—a rare occurrence in Georgian England—and the audience cheered in vain to have the third movement similarly repeated. Oxford University soon announced that it would bestow a Doctor of Music degree on Haydn.
He planned to unveil a brand-new symphony at the festivities, but, the Morning Herald reported, “as Haydn did not reach Oxford [in] time enough for a rehearsal, one of his former pieces was the substitute, and the Composer himself sat at the Organ.” That “former piece” was his Symphony No. 92, already well known to music lovers, and it is to that last-minute substitution that this smart and witty piece owes its enduring nickname, Oxford.
Jaap van Zweden is the music director for the New York Philharmonic.
Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, who also cited him “one of five classical music faces to watch” in the 2018-19 season.
Christopher Martin (trumpet) joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Trumpet, The Paula Levin Chair, in September 2016.
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
Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, who also cited him “one of five classical music faces to watch” in the 2018-19 season. Tao is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and was named a Gilmore Young Artist—an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. At the 2019 New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessies”), Tao was the recipient of the award for Outstanding Sound Design / Music Composition, for his work on More Forever, his collaboration with Caleb Teicher.
Tao’s 2018-19 season began with the New York Philharmonic’s world premiere of their commission Everything Must Go, and the inaugural concert of their curated late-night concert series Nightcap. He also made his LA Opera debut in the West Coast premiere of David Lang's adaptation of Thomas Bernhard’s the loser, and made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, alongside summer debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony. In Europe he was presented by the Swedish Radio Symphony in recital and in Andrew Norman’s Suspend alongside Susanna Mälkki; he also returned to the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, performing with Antonio Pappano.
In the 2019-20 season, Tao will be presented in recital by Carnegie Hall, performing works by David Lang, Bach, Julia Wolfe, Jason Eckhardt, Carter, Rachmaninoff, and Schumann. He will also make his debut in recital at Walt Disney Hall, where the LA Phil will present him in works by Copland and Frederic Rzewski. Following his debut at Blossom, The Cleveland Orchestra will present Tao in Severance Hall in a special program featuring music by Mary Lou Williams and Ligeti, and improvisation alongside pianist Aaron Diehl. Concerto highlights in the upcoming season include performances of his own work for piano & orchestra, The Oneiroi in New York, with the Seattle Symphony, as well as performances with the Baltimore, Charlotte, and Pacific Symphonies. He will also perform The Oneiroi alongside Galina Ustvolskaya’s Piano Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony. In March 2020, Tao's piece Everything Must Go will receive its European premiere with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and conductor Edo de Waart.
In addition to concert halls, he will also tour to college campuses, including the University of Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, and Princeton University. Tao’s acclaimed evening-length collaboration with choreographer Caleb Teicher, More Forever, will be presented by Celebrity Series of Boston, and will make its west coast premiere at Segerstrom Hall in Orange County, CA. His ongoing electroacoustic collaboration with improviser and vocalist Charmaine Lee continues with an opening-night performance at the 2019 Resonant Bodies Festival in New York. In the spring, Tao will tour with the JCT Trio — his ensemble with violinist Stefan Jackiw and cellist Jay Campbell — to Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Ohio, Texas, and New Mexico. He will also celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday at the 92Y with Anthony de Mare, premiering a new two-piano take on “Move On,” from Sunday in the Park with George.
As a curator and producer, Tao presented the UNPLAY Festival in June 2013 at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. The festival, hailed by The New York Times for its “clever organization” and “endlessly engaging” performances, featured Tao with guest artists performing a wide variety of new works. Across three nights encompassing electroacoustic music, performance art, youth ensembles, and much more, UNPLAY explored the fleeting ephemera of the Internet, the notion of canonization in the 21st century, and the role music plays in social activism and critique.
A Warner Classics recording artist, Tao’s debut disc Voyages was declared a “spiky debut” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross. Of the album, NPR wrote: “Tao proves himself to be a musician of deep intellectual and emotional means – as the thoughtful programming on this album…proclaims.” His next album, Pictures, with works by David Lang, Toru Takemitsu, Elliott Carter, Mussorgsky, and Tao himself, was hailed by The New York Times as “a fascinating album [by] a thoughtful artist and dynamic performer…played with enormous imagination, color and command.” His third album, entitled Compassion, will be released in Fall 2019 and will feature works by Julia Wolfe, Frederic Rzewski and Aaron Copland.
Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1994. He has studied piano with Emilio del Rosario in Chicago and Yoheved Kaplinsky in New York, and composition with Christopher Theofanidis.
Photo credit: Brantley Gutierrez
Christopher Martin (trumpet) joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Trumpet, The Paula Levin Chair, in September 2016. He served as principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) for 11 seasons, and enjoyed a distinctive career of almost 20 years in many of America's finest orchestras, including as principal trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and associate principal trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra. He made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in October 2016, performing Ligeti's The Mysteries of the Macabre.
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. There is a $2 fee per ticket. Tickets are delivered by mail or email, or may be picked up at Will Call.
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?
While our standard policy is that tickets are non-refundable, we understand the necessity to be flexible in these unprecedented times. Should you need to change your plans to attend a concert this summer, we ask that you consider donating the value of your tickets to help support Bravo! Vail's ongoing mission of enriching people’s lives through the power of music. If you prefer a refund rather than donating the value of your tickets, please contact the box office.
If we are forced to cancel an event in its entirety, you will have the option to donate the value of your tickets to help support Bravo's mission, place the value of your tickets on account for future use, or receive a refund.
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?
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).
Stay up to date on all of the latest news and events from Bravo! Vail.