Bravo! Vail’s 30th season opens with one of the most popular violin concertos in the repertoire, with the Academy's Music Director—one of the most celebrated violinists of his era—in the solo role, followed by a world premiere from a category-defying, Grammy-award winning composer. Mendelssohn’s bright and lushly melodic “Scottish” Symphony conjures a musical landscape filled with drama and urgency.
ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS
JOSHUA BELL, CONDUCTOR & SOLOIST
BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1
EDGAR MEYER: World Premiere - Overture for Violin and Orchestra
MENDELSSOHN: Scottish Symphony
Old Meets New: Ancient Epics, Classical Elegance, and New Frontiers
Join Janice Dickensheets of the University of Northern Colorado for a pre-concert lecture about the evening's performance. Free for concert ticket holders.
Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Lobby
BRUCH: VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 (1865-1866)
MAX BRUCH (1838-1920)
German composer, conductor, and teacher Max Bruch began composing at eleven, and by fourteen had produced a symphony and a string quartet, the latter garnering a prize that allowed him to study in Cologne. Bruch held various posts as a choral and orchestral conductor in Germany and England, and in 1883, he visited America to conduct concerts of his own compositions. From 1890 to 1910, he taught composition at the Berlin Academy and received numerous awards for his work. The G minor Concerto opens with a dialogue between soloist and orchestra followed by a wide-ranging subject for violin. A contrasting theme reaches into the highest register of the violin. A stormy section for orchestra recalls the opening dialogue, which leads directly into the Adagio, based on three sweet themes. The finale begins with hints of the upcoming theme before the soloist proclaims the melody itself. A broad melody, played first by the orchestra, serves as the second theme. A brief development, based on the dance-like first theme, leads to the recapitulation. The coda recalls the first theme to close the work.
EDGAR MEYER: WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEWLY COMMISSIONED WORK, OVERTURE FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA
Overture for Violin and Orchestra (2017) Co-commissioned by Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Bravo! Vail as part of the NEW WORKS PROJECT.
EDGAR MEYER (B. 1960)
Equally at home in the worlds of bluegrass and classical, eclectic bass virtuoso and Grammy-winning composer Edgar Meyer writes music that swings and sighs, offering category-defying ruminations on what America sounds like, brimming with foot-tapping energy that is both folksy and stunningly virtuosic.
MENDELSSOHN: SCOTTISH SYMPHONY
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish” (1841-1842)
FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
At age twenty, Felix Mendelssohn was a wonder. He was one of Europe’s best composers, an excellent pianist, a path-breaking conductor and a visual artist of nearly professional capability, as well as a man of immense charm and personality. It is not surprising that his first appearances in London in the spring and summer of 1829 were a smashing success. Both to relax from his hectic London schedule and to temporarily sate his obsession with travel, he decided to tour the British countryside late that summer. He settled on a walking tour through the Scottish Highlands and arrived in Edinburgh on July 28th.
In a letter recounting the experiences of his first day in the Scottish capital, Mendelssohn wrote, “Everything here looks so stern and robust, half enveloped in a haze of smoke or fog. Many Highlanders came in costume from church victoriously leading their sweethearts in their Sunday attire and casting magnificent and important looks over the world; with long, red beards, tartan plaids, bonnets and feathers and naked knees and their bagpipes in their hands, they passed along by the half-ruined gray castle on the meadow where Mary Stuart lived in splendor.” Two days later, he reported on his visit to Mary’s castle, Holyrood: “In the evening twilight I went to the palace where Mary lived and loved.... Everything is broken and moldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I have found today in that old chapel the beginning of my Scottish symphony.” Then follow ten measures of music that were to become the introductory melody of the Third Symphony. Despite its initial inspiration, the “Scottish” Symphony did not come easily. Some preliminary sketches for it were done in 1830, while he was touring Italy, but he admitted that he found it impossible to evoke the “misty mood” of Scotland while in sun-splashed Rome. He put the work aside, and did not finish it until 1842 in Berlin.
The four movements of the “Scottish” Symphony are directed to be played without pause. The long, brooding introduction opens with a grave harmonization of the melody that Mendelssohn conceived at Holyrood. The sonata form proper begins with a flowing theme, graceful yet filled with vigor. Other melodic inspirations follow. A stormy, thoroughly worked-out development utilizes most of the exposition’s thematic material. After the recapitulation, a coda with the force of a second development section is concluded by a return of the brooding theme of the introduction. The second movement is the only one that consistently shows sunlight and high spirits. It is built around two melodies: one, skipping and animated, is introduced by the clarinet; the other, brisk and martial, is presented in the strings. The wonderful third movement is cast in sonata form: its first theme is a lyrical melody of noble gait that is perfectly balanced by the elegiac second theme, characterized by its heroic, dotted rhythms. The finale is a vivacious and well-developed dance in an atmospheric minor key. The “Scottish” Symphony concludes with a majestic coda in a broad, swinging meter.
JOSHUA BELL, leader and violin
With a career spanning more than 30 years, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Music Director Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era.
Edgar Meyer, composer
"The most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument." —The New Yorker
JOSHUA BELL, leader and violin
With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, he has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards, and is a recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, as well as the Lumiere Prize for his work in the sphere of Virtual Reality. Named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958, and recently renewed his contract through 2020. In 2016, Sony released Bell’s album For the Love of Brahms with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk, followed in 2017 by the Joshua Bell Classical Collection, a 14 CD set of Bell’s Sony recording highlights from the past 20 years.
Summer 2017 saw Joshua Bell perform at the BBC Proms with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Verbier Festival, as Artist In Residence at the Edinburgh International Festival and – in the US - at Tanglewood, Ravinia, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. In the 2017/18 season in the US, Bell takes part in the New York Philharmonic’s celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, performing Bernstein’s Serenade led by Alan Gilbert, and also appears with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra among others. His North American recital tours take him to Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Washington D.C.’s Strathmore Center. Highlights in Europe include appearances as soloist with the Vienna Symphony and Danish National Symphony; as director and soloist with the Orchestre National de Lyon; and recitals in Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Bologna, Milan and London. With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields he will tour widely including in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe, featuring performances in London, New York, San Francisco, Reykjavik and at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
Convinced of the value of music as a diplomatic and educational tool, Bell participated in President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba. He is also involved in Turnaround Arts, another project implemented by the Committee and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts which provides arts education to low-performing elementary and middle schools.
Joshua Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Edgar Meyer, composer
In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. Hailed by The New Yorker as “...the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument”, Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002.
As a solo classical bassist, Mr. Meyer can be heard on a concerto album with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hugh Wolff featuring Bottesini’s Gran Duo with Joshua Bell, Meyer’s own Double Concerto for Bass and Cello with Yo-Yo Ma, Bottesini’s Bass Concerto No. 2, and Meyer’s own Concerto in D for Bass. He has also recorded an album featuring three of Bach’s Unaccompanied Suites for Cello. In 2006, he released a self-titled solo recording on which he wrote and recorded all of the music, incorporating piano, guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, gamba, and double bass. In 2007, recognizing his wide-ranging recording achievements, Sony/BMG released a compilation of The Best of Edgar Meyer. In 2011 Mr. Meyer joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and fiddler Stuart Duncan for the Sony Masterworks recording “The Goat Rodeo Sessions” which was awarded the 2012 Grammy® Award for Best Folk Album.
As a composer, Mr. Meyer has carved out a remarkable and unique niche in the musical world. One of his most recent compositions is the Double Concerto for Double Bass and Violin which received its world premiere July 2012 with Joshua Bell at the Tanglewood Music Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Meyer and Mr. Bell have also performed the work at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival, and with the Nashville and Toronto symphony orchestras. In the 2011-12 season, Mr. Meyer was composer in residence with the Alabama Symphony where he premiered his third concerto for double bass and orchestra. Mr. Meyer has collaborated with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain to write a triple concerto for double bass, banjo, and tabla, which was commissioned for the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The triple concerto was recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and featured on the 2009 recording The Melody of Rhythm, a collection of trio pieces all co-composed by Mr. Meyer, Mr. Fleck and Mr. Hussain. Mr. Meyer has performed his second double bass concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and his first double bass concerto with Edo de Waart and the Minnesota Orchestra. Other compositions of Mr. Meyer’s include a violin/piano work which has been performed by Joshua Bell at New York’s Lincoln Center, a quintet for bass and string quartet premiered with the Emerson String Quartet and recorded on Deutsche Grammophon, a Double Concerto for Bass and Cello premiered with Yo-Yo Ma and The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, and a violin concerto written for Hilary Hahn which was premiered and recorded by Ms. Hahn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra led by Hugh Wolff.
Collaborations are a central part of Mr. Meyer’s work. His longtime collaboration with fellow MacArthur Award recipient Chris Thile continues in 2014 with the release on Nonesuch Records a recording of all new original material by the two genre bending artists, a follow up to their very successful 2008 cd/dvd on Nonesuch. Mr. Meyer and Mr. Thile will embark on a nationwide tour in Fall 2014 appearing in many of the major cities in the US. Mr. Meyer’s previous performing and recording collaborations include a duo with Béla Fleck; a quartet with Joshua Bell, Sam Bush and Mike Marshall; a trio with Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall; and a trio with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor. The latter collaborated for the 1996 Appalachia Waltz release which soared to the top of the charts and remained there for 16 weeks. Appalachia Waltz toured extensively in the U.S., and the trio was featured both on the David Letterman Show and the televised 1997 Inaugural Gala. Joining together again in 2000, the trio toured Europe, Asia and the US extensively and recorded a follow up recording to Appalachia Waltz, Appalachian Journey, which was honored with a Grammy® Award. In the 2006-2007 season, Mr. Meyer premiered a piece for double bass and piano performed with Emanuel Ax. Mr. Meyer also performs with pianist Amy Dorfman, his longtime collaborator for solo recitals featuring both classical repertoire and his own compositions, Mike Marshall in duo concerts and the trio with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain which has toured the US, Europe and Asia together.
Mr. Meyer began studying bass at the age of five under the instruction of his father and continued further to study with Stuart Sankey. In 1994 he received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000 became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. Currently, he is Visiting Professor of Double Bass at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Photo: Jim McGuire
Need help planning your visit to the Vail Valley? We've got you covered- from travel recommendations, to lodging and dining options, we want your entire visit to be top notch.Learn More
Where are the 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 generally start promptly at 6pm (except for movie screenings which start at 7:30 or 8pm). The GRFA lobby opens 90 minutes prior to performances and gates open 60 minutes prior to performances. Please be sure to give yourself plenty of time to park and get into the venue; latecomers will be admitted at an appropriate interval, escorted by volunteers from the Bravo! Vail Guild.
How long do concerts last?
Concerts generally last under two hours. Please check performance pages beginning in April for specific running times.
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets, subscriptions, passes,and gift certificates may be ordered in the following ways:
• Phone 877.812.5700 or Fax 970.827.5707
• Mail or in-person Bravo! Vail 2271 N Frontage Rd W Suite C, Vail, CO 81657
• Email email@example.com
Ticket delivery methods are Mail, Print at Home, and Will Call. Bravo! Vail accepts all major credit cards (Amex, Visa, MasterCard and Discover), cash, and checks with proper identification. There is a $2 order fee per ticket.
What are the Box Office hours?
Bravo! Vail Box Office hours are Monday through 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) beginning mid-June. Tickets for upcoming performances may be purchased on-site during concert intermissions.
Where is the Will Call window?
Will Call tickets may be picked up at the Box Office located to the right of the main entrance lobby. The Box Office is open 11am to concert start time beginning mid-June. Will Call tickets may also be picked up during concert intermissions.
Does Bravo! Vail offer group pricing?
Group sales discounts of up to 15% for groups of 15 or more are available to select concerts. Please call 970.827.4316 for more information, or view the Group Sales page.
What if I buy tickets and cannot attend?
All sales are final. If you are unable to attend your concert, please call the Box Office at 877.812.5700 at least two hours prior to the concert to donate the tickets for resale or drop them off at the venue so seats can be filled by another music lover. You will receive a ticket release receipt in the mail. If you wish to give tickets to a friend, you may call the Box Office to leave them in your friend's name at Will Call.
What if I misplace or forget to bring my tickets?
The Box Office can reprint your tickets if needed.
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 Premium Aisle, Premium, Reserved, and Saver sections which reflect 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 in order to sit in this area.
By purchasing an ADA seat, you are stating that you require an ADA seat and if purchased fraudulently, you may be subject to relocation.
If you need further assistance purchasing ADA seating, please call the Box Office at 877.812.5700.
What should I bring to the concert?
If you have lawn seating at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, you should plan to bring a blanket to sit on, sunglasses, and a hat or visor. Lawn chairs with legs under 4 inches tall are allowed. Vail weather can be unpredictable so rain gear and a jacket are recommended. Concessions are available at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, but you are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic sealed drinks. Per Colorado State Law, you may not bring outside alcoholic beverages into any Bravo! Vail venue. For your safety and the safety of all of our guests, backpacks, bags, purses, picnic baskets, and coolers will be checked upon entry to Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The following articles are not allowed:
• Alcoholic beverages (picnics and commercially sealed non-alcoholic beverages are permitted, and concessions with food and alcohol sales are available at the venue)
• Bikes, inline skates, scooters, and skateboards
• Cameras and recording devices
• Lawn chairs with legs higher than 4 inches (lawn chair rentals are $10)
What food and beverages are available for purchase at GRFA?
Popcorn, candy, burgers, sandwiches, and salads are available for purchase at concessions inside GRFA. A full bar is also available to purchase beer, wine, and alcohol. All major credit cards and cash are accepted for payment. In the pavilion seating, we recommend eating prior to the concert or at intermission.
Food and commercially sealed non-alcoholic beverages may be brought into the GRFA.
What if it rains?
Concerts take place rain or shine. 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 — wear what makes you most comfortable! You can dress formally, or opt for jeans and a t-shirt, or anything in between. Just one word of advice: while the summers in Colorado are perfect, the evenings often bring rain showers and cooler temps. We recommend being prepared for both.
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 are some general rules of concert etiquette?
Above all, we want you to have a beautiful, musically rich concert experience. We ask that all concertgoers help to ensure a mutually enjoyable evening by silencing all devices such as cell phones and watch alarms. Please take time to turn these off prior to performances, so they don’t disrupt musicians and other patrons. Likewise, please limit conversations and other noisy activities during the music, so everyone can enjoy the concert undisturbed. In the pavilion seating, we recommend eating prior to the concert or at intermission.
What else should I know?
Vail is at high elevation so don’t forget to hydrate and use sun protection. Visitors from lower elevations may experience altitude sickness when traveling to and visiting Vail. Be sure to drink water to allow your body to acclimate to the change in oxygen levels.
What if I still have questions?
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Box Office at 877.812.5700 Monday–Friday 9am–4pm MST with any questions you have.