Overflowing with heart-filled melodies and blazing with virtuosic glory, this all-Rachmaninoff evening is filled with epic extravagance and sensuous lyricism, with a landmark piano concerto as its magnificent centerpiece.
DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CRISTIAN MĂCELARU, CONDUCTOR
BEHZOD ABDURAIMOV, PIANO
RACHMANINOFF: March from Cinq Études-tableaux
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2
RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances
RACHMANINOFF: MARCH FROM CINQ ÉTUDES-TABLEAUX
“Oriental March” from Cinq Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, No. 9 (1916-1917)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
ORCHESTRATED BY OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
The gifted and ambitious Russian conductor Sergei Koussevitzky scored a coup when he commissioned Maurice Ravel to make an orchestral transcription of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for his Parisian concerts of 1923. When he was appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra two years later, Koussevitzky programmed Pictures during his first season and it again created a sensation. Late in 1929, he proposed to Sergei Rachmaninoff that a similar success might follow an orchestral version of some of his Études-Tableaux. Though he was not personally close to Koussevitzky (the egos of those two leading Russian musicians of their generation could not peacefully co-exist), Rachmaninoff had been associated with him professionally since 1916, when he made an orchestration of his Vocalise for Koussevitzky’s Moscow concerts and performed Liszt and Tchaikovsky concertos with him. He agreed to the plan. Koussevitzky suggested that the orchestration could be done by the noted Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi, who was then at work on his Metamorphoseon for Koussevitzky’s upcoming Boston season. Rachmaninoff welcomed Respighi’s participation and chose five Études from Op. 33 (1911) and Op. 39 (1916-1917) to form a concert suite. The fifth Étude is an Oriental March.
RACHMANINOFF: PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (1900-1901)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
The greatest disappointment of Rachmaninoff’s career was the total failure of his Symphony No. 1 at its premiere in 1897. It was a traumatic event that thrust him into such a depression that he suffered a nervous collapse. An aunt of Rachmaninoff, Varvara Satina, had recently been successfully treated for an emotional disturbance by Dr. Nikolai Dahl, a Moscow physician who was familiar with the latest psychiatric discoveries in France and Vienna. It was arranged that Rachmaninoff should visit him and he began his daily sessions in January 1900. “Dahl had inquired what kind of composition was desired of me, and he was informed ‘a concerto for piano.’ In consequence, I heard repeated, day after day, the same hypnotic formula: ‘You will start to compose a concerto — You will work with the greatest of ease.’ ... Although it may seem impossible to believe, this treatment really helped me. I started to compose again at the beginning of the summer.” In gratitude, he dedicated the new Concerto to Dr. Dahl.
The C minor Concerto begins with eight bell-tone chords from the piano that introduce the surging main theme announced by the strings. The arching second theme is initiated by the soloist. The development, concerned largely with the first theme, is propelled by a martial rhythm that continues with undiminished energy into the recapitulation. The Adagio is a long-limbed nocturne. The finale resumes the marching motion of the first movement. Standing in bold relief to this vigorous music is the lyrical second theme. These two themes, martial and romantic, alternate for the remainder of the movement.
RACHMANINOFF: SYMPHONIC DANCES
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 (1940)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
World War I, of course, was a trial for Rachmaninoff and his countrymen, but his most severe personal adversity came when the 1917 Revolution smashed the aristocratic society of Russia — the only world he had ever known. He was forced to flee his beloved country for America and he pined for his homeland the rest of his life. He did his best to keep the old language, food, customs and holidays alive in his own household, “but it was at best synthetic,” wrote American musicologist David Ewen. “Away from Russia, which he could never hope to see again, he always felt lonely and sad, a stranger even in lands that were ready to be hospitable to him. His homesickness assumed the character of a disease as the years passed, and one symptom of that disease was an unshakable melancholy.” By 1940, when he composed the Symphonic Dances, he was worried about his daughter Tatiana, who was trapped in France by the German invasion (he never saw her again), and had been weakened by a minor operation in May. Still, he felt the need to compose for the first time since the Third Symphony of 1936, and the Symphonic Dances were written quickly at his idyllic retreat on Long Island Sound that summer. Still, it was the man and not the setting that was expressed in this music. “I try to make music speak directly that which is in my heart at the time I am composing,” he once told an interviewer. “If there is love there, or bitterness, or sadness, or religion, these moods become part of my music, and it becomes either beautiful or bitter or sad or religious.”
The first of the Symphonic Dances, in a large three-part form (A–B–A), is spun from a tiny three-note descending motive heard at the beginning. The middle portion is given over to a folk-like melody initiated by the alto saxophone. The return of the opening section, with its distinctive falling motive, rounds out the first movement. The waltz of the second movement is more rugged and deeply expressive than the Viennese variety. The finale begins with a sighing introduction for the winds, which leads into a section in quicker tempo. The movement accumulates rhythmic energy as it progresses and virtually explodes into the last pages, a coda based on an ancient Russian Orthodox chant.
CRISTIAN MĂCELARU, conductor
Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world.
BEHZOD ABDURAIMOV, piano
Behzod Abduraimov has worked with leading orchestras worldwide including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras.
CRISTIAN MĂCELARU, conductor
Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. With every concert he displays an exciting and highly regarded presence, thoughtful interpretations and energetic conviction on the podium. He launched his inaugural season at Cabrillo in August 2017 with premiere-filled programs of new works and fresh re-orchestrations by an esteemed group of composers. Among the 2017 season’s highlights are seven world premieres, 11 composers-in-residence, a stunning roster of international guest artists, and two special tributes – one to commemorate Lou Harrison’s centenary and another honoring John Adams’ 70th birthday.
He recently completed his tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra as Conductor-in-Residence, a title he held for three seasons until August 2017. Prior to that, he was Associate Conductor for two seasons and previously Assistant Conductor for one season from September 2011. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in April 2013 and continues a close relationship with the orchestra in leading them on annual subscription programs and other special concerts.
Măcelaru regularly conducts top orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Detroit Symphony, in addition to the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the 2016/17 season, he led the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester in two separate programs and made debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Weimar Staatskapelle, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. In recent seasons, further international appearances have brought him to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
The 2017/18 season sees Măcelaru opening the National Symphony Orchestra’s season in Washington D.C. and returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra on three subscription programs plus Messiah concerts. He guest-conducts the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego and Vancouver. Internationally he leads the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In Summer 2017, Măcelaru made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and returns to the Grand Teton and Interlochen Festivals. Additionally, he leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in two programs at the Mann Center.
Cristian Măcelaru made his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2015 on a program with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Anne-Sophie Mutter. A keen opera conductor, in June 2015 he led the Cincinnati Opera in highly acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore. In 2010, he made his operatic debut with the Houston Grand Opera in Madama Butterfly and conducted the U.S. premiere of Colin Matthews’s Turning Point with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival. In 2019, he returns to the Houston Grand Opera on a Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni.
Măcelaru came to public attention in February 2012 when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances met with critical acclaim. Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, he previously received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the Foundation’s history. Măcelaru has participated in the conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, studying under David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received master’s degrees in conducting and violin performance. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami. An accomplished violinist from an early age, Măcelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that orchestra at the age of nineteen. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons.
Măcelaru formerly held the position of Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he was Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Larry Rachleff and Conductor for the Opera Department. A proponent of music education, he has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program. As Founder and Artistic Director of the Crisalis Music Project, Mr. Măcelaru spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side-by- side with established artists. Their groundbreaking inaugural season produced and presented concerts featuring chamber ensembles, a chamber orchestra, a tango operetta, and collaborations with dancer Susana Collins, which resulted in a choreographed performance of Vivaldi/Piazzolla’s Eight Seasons.
Cristian Măcelaru resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.
Photo: Sorin Popa
BEHZOD ABDURAIMOV, piano
Behzod Abduraimov has worked with leading orchestras worldwide. These include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras, and prestigious conductors including Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Manfred Honeck, Vasily Petrenko, James Gaffigan, Jakub Hrůša and Vladimir Jurowski.
Following his spectacular debut at the BBC Proms with the Münchner Philharmoniker under Gergiev in July 2016, Behzod immediately returned in July 2017. This was followed by his debuts at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Rheingau Musik Festivals.
Upcoming European highlights include the Lucerne Festival, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Philharmonia, Czech Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony orchestras. Recent notable dates include NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester as part of the Elbphilharmonie opening, and the London Symphony Orchestra. In recital he is one of the featured artists for the Junge Wilde series at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and will be presented in recital at the main halls of the Barbican, London, and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Behzod will also collaborate in recital with the cellist Truls Mørk, which will see them on tour in Europe and the US.
In North America Behzod appears at the Hollywood Bowl, Blossom and Ravinia Festivals. He will make his debut with the San Francisco Symphony and returns to both the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. Last season, Behzod gave his Stern Auditorium recital following his debut success at Carnegie Hall in 2015 and has appeared in concerts with the Houston Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Minnesota Orchestra.
An award-winning recording artist – his debut recital CD won both the Choc de Classica and the Diapason Découverte – Behzod released his first concerto disc in 2014 on Decca Classics which features Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No.1 with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai under Juraj Valčuha.
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1990, Behzod began to play the piano at the age of five as a pupil of Tamara Popovich at Uspensky State Central Lyceum in Tashkent. He is an alumnus of Park University’s International Center for Music where he studied with Stanislav Ioudenitch, and now serves as the ICM’s artist-in-residence.
Photo: Nissor Abdourazakov
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 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 movie screenings which start 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).