Concert presented to an in-person audience and livestream.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Carter Brey, cello
SIMON Fate Now Conquers
HAYDN Cello Concerto in C major
TCHAIKOVSKY Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70
Strings take center stage in this sumptuous program, opening with Principal Cello Carter Brey, celebrated for his “elegant phrasing and deft technique,” (New York Times), playing Haydn’s beautifully poised concerto. Souvenir juxtaposes delightful images of the sun-warmed Italian landscape, colored by the burnished sound of a string orchestra, with glorious Russian intensity.
Made possible by The Sturm Family and ANB Bank, this concert is available as livestream.
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CARLOS SIMON: Fate Now Conquers
Fate Now Conquers (2019)
CARLOS SIMON (b.1986)
The son of a minister, Carlos Simon began playing the organ at the age of 12 in his father’s church. “That’s where my interest in music was born and I decided to keep pursuing it through high school and into college,” he explained in an interview at Georgetown University, where he serves on the music faculty. He holds degrees from Georgia State University and Atlanta’s Morehouse College, and earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan. In 2021 he was awarded the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which—as the Sphinx Organization describes it—recognizes “extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians … who, early in their career, demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.”
“I can play with almost an endless number of sound combinations that don’t exist anywhere else,” he has said, “and this allows me to say what I want to say in music.” What he wants to say in music often has to do with social justice, but Fate Now Conquers, commission by The Philadelphia Orchestra, is more of a strictly musical conversation. “This piece,” he writes, “was inspired by a journal entry from Ludwig von Beethoven’s notebook written in 1815:
‘Iliad. The Twenty-Second Book
But Fate now conquers; I am hers; and yet not she shall share In my renown; that life is left to every noble spirit
And that some great deed shall beget that all lives shall inherit.
He continues: “Using the beautifully fluid harmonic structure of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, I have composed musical gestures that are representative of the unpredictable ways of fate. ... Frenzied arpeggios in the strings that morph into an ambiguous cloud of free-flowing running passages depict the uncertainty of life that hovers over us.”
HAYDN: Cello Concerto in C major
Cello Concerto in C major, Hob. VIIb:1 (ca.1765)
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
Franz Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major, which is today one his most popular concertos, lay in oblivion for nearly two centuries, adding nothing to its composer’s renown. Haydn entered it in the catalogue of compositions he began around 1765, so the piece must have been written by that year at the latest. This was therefore a work of the composer’s first years at the Esterházy Court, when he also included cello solos in several of his symphonies.
The cellist in all these works was Joseph Franz Weigl, one of the first musicians Haydn hired when he was brought on board by the Esterházys. Weigl’s contract began on June 1, 1761, and he remained at the court until 1769. He probably kept this concerto in his repertoire, but it was not published. At some point a copyist’s manuscript parts landed in a Czech library, were eventually deposited in the National Museum of Prague, and miraculously made it through World War II. The parts were uncovered there in 1961, at which point this cherished work re-entered the active repertoire.
The first movement unrolls at a spacious pace, without calling undue attention to the expertise required of the soloist. Pairs of oboes and horns add body to the tutti sections, although Haydn limits the accompaniment to a string orchestra when the cello is playing. Indeed, the winds remain silent throughout the elegant, even poignant second movement. The finale is a tour de force. The cello dazzles with its quick scales, which erupt out of notes sustained over several measures. Rapid-fire arpeggios, unrelenting scales, quickly repeated notes, and high-lying passage-work push the soloist into virtuosic territory. This relatively long movement has a strong sense of personality, with each return of the ritornello offering a distinct character and a momentum of musical interest.
TCHAIKOVSKY: Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70
Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 (1890)
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-93)
In 1886, the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society elected Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to membership and asked him to write a piece for its musicians to unveil. The composer delayed fulfilling the request; but once a seed was planted in Tchaikovsky’s mind it tended to germinate, however slowly. The following June he set down some preliminary sketches for a string sextet, but it failed to hold his interest for more than a few days. The project lay dormant until the winter of 1890, when he was in Florence, Italy. He jotted down a melody that would eventually evolve into the sextet’s slow movement. This theme is, in fact, the “souvenir of Florence” to which the title refers; nothing else in the piece particularly evokes Italy.
After returning to Russia, Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother: “One needs six independent but, at the same time, homogenous voices. This is frightfully difficult.” After much revision, Souvenir de Florence finally received its public premiere in late 1892, when it was enthusiastically received. At an ensuing performance, the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society presented the composer its medal of merit, to thunderous applause. Despite its minor key, this is an ebullient, untroubled composition. There existed few precedents for the ensemble of two violins, two violas, and two cellos—apart from two examples by Brahms and one by Dvořák—and Tchaikovsky worried that his piece might end up sounding like a symphonic work with a reduced orchestration. It appears that the first time the piece was performed “scaled up” for orchestral string sections was when the New York Philharmonic presented it in 1893. “The present Sextuor,” read the program, “is well calculated to meet with popular favor, especially when its sonority is augmented by employing a large body of string instruments, for which it is admirably adapted.”
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
Carter Brey (cello) was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He has since appeared with the orchestra as soloist almost every season, and was featured during The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival, giving two performances of Bach’s six cello suites. He has made solo appearances with virtually all of America’s major orchestras. A member of the Philharmonic String Quartet, he also appears regularly with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and festivals worldwide. His violoncello is a 1754 Guadagnini.
In a magical marriage of collegial warmth and jaw-dropping virtuosity, Tchaikovsky’s hugely popular Violin Concerto opens the Bravo! Vail season alongside the exuberant high spirits of Bizet’s first symphony.
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.
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. Gates open 60 minutes prior to performances. GRFA 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 appropriate intervals.
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. We expect that bus capacity for each bus will be limited to 40 or fewer people. 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 instructions 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 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 9:00AM to 4:00PM. During the Festival, hours include Saturday & Sunday from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. The Bravo! Vail Box Office can be reached at 877.812.5700.
The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater box office is open from 11:00AM until concert start time (5:00PM 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 GRFA amphitheater box office located to the right of the main entrance lobby. The box office is open 11:00AM to concert start time during the Festival.
Does Bravo! Vail offer group pricing?
Due to limited audience capacity this summer, we are not offering discounts for groups.
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 can I expect in terms of health and safety protocols?
As permitted by current State of Colorado and Eagle County guidelines, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival is operating at up to 100 percent capacity, without any social distancing or mask requirements. If you are not comfortable with this approach, although we will miss your presence, we ask that you consider not attending at this time and enjoy the programs offered via live stream.
Face coverings at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater will be optional. All individuals, whether they choose to wear a face covering or not, will be welcomed and respected.
Capacity at performance venues will be at or near 100 percent with no social distancing requirements.
You may also refer to the GRFA policies here.
Will I be required to complete a waiver to attend concerts and events this summer?
What if I misplace or forget to bring my tickets?
There is no charge to reprint tickets. Please call 877.812.5700 before 3:00PM 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. 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.
How can I learn more about the music?
This summer we will be offering each ticket holder household one complimentary copy of our printed program book. You will receive a ticket for your book when you receive your concert tickets. You may redeem your book ticket at any Bravo! Vail concert at the GRFA or Vilar Performing Arts Center to get your copy.
New this year, we are unveiling the Bravo! Vail app, which will allow you to access information contained in the printed program book right on your smartphone. More information on how to download the app will be forthcoming.
Finally, you can find information on each concert's program on our website at bravovail.org.
What should I bring to the concerts?
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 (4-inch legs), and umbrellas are permitted at concerts.
All bags are subject to search (please help us by packing your bag with this in mind).
No oversized bags will be allowed (for example: duffle bags, large backpacking bags, suitcases).
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?
As with the rest of the venue, pandemic protocols will be in place until they are no longer recommended/required by public health. Throughout the Festival season, the venue anticipates returning to a full concessions menu similar to years past. However, capacity limitations may mean that fewer point-of-sale locations are open, until such time that the venue returns to full capacity. We do expect that the touchless credit card payment option will remain in place.
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.
Any forms of audio or video recording (mobile phone, camera, video camera, iPad) are prohibited at these events.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.812.5700 Mon–Fri 9:00AM–4:00PM (and Sat–Sun 10:00AM-4:00PM during the Festival).
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