The sensational pianist and Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year Daniil Trifonov makes his Vail debut! Trifonov is "without question the most astounding young pianist of our age" (London Times), and we are thrilled to present him performing Chopin’s rich and inventive Piano Concerto No. 1. The second half of the program will feature the originally programmed Schumann’s masterfully transcendent Symphony No. 2
Please Note: This program was updated as of July 17. The original soloist for July 22 and July 23, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, has cancelled both of his Bravo! Vail performances due to a family emergency.
“Without question the most astounding young pianist of our age."
— The London Times
“He is, no other word, a phenomenon.”
— The Guardian
"Trifonov delivered a performance of sometimes unsettling intensity – one that didn’t so much grab your attention as dared you to look away. His technical abilities were spellbinding – exquisitely weighted chords, beautifully graded runs, harmonies hammered out with percussive brilliance.”
— The Telegraph
“We can’t actually know what Liszt sounded like, but we do know he was a virtuoso, and he mesmerized his listeners, and people found something distinctive and other-worldly and spiritual about him. All those things hold true of Trifonov, as well, though they add up to a pretty pale description of playing that can only be described as a visceral experience. … His recital [...] was a knockout.”
— Washington Post
“Daniil Trifonov is a superpianist, one of those rare performers for whom no technical hurdle is too difficult, and who can tease captivating music out of the densest jumble of notes.”
— Musical Toronto
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC: CONDUCTED BY ALAN GILBERT
DANIIL TRIFONOV, SOLOIST
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 2
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 (1830)
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Frédéric Chopin was twenty and in love when he wrote his First Piano Concerto in 1830. The object of his affection was a comely young singer, one Constantia Gladowska, whom Casimir Wierzynski in his biography of the composer described: “She had been studying voice at the Warsaw Conservatory and was considered one of the school’s best pupils. She was also said to be one of the prettiest. The young lady, conscious of her charms, was also distinguished by ambition and diligence in her studies. She dreamed of becoming an opera singer....” Constantia was pleasant to Chopin and they became friends, but he was never convinced that she fully returned his affection. She took part in his farewell concert in Warsaw on October 11th, at which he premiered his First Piano Concerto, and they kept up a correspondence for a while after leaving the school. Her marriage to a Warsaw merchant in 1832 caused him intense but impermanent grief, which soon evaporated in the glittering social whirl of Paris, his new home. The Concerto opens with a long orchestral introduction that presents the melodramatic main theme and a grandly arched second subject. The piano enters for the reprise of the themes to complete the exposition. The development is largely occupied with the main theme. The recapitulation commences with the orchestra alone while the pianist returns only with the second theme. Of the Romanze, Chopin wrote, “[It is] of a romantic, calm and partly melancholy character. It is intended to convey the impression one receives when the eye rests on a beloved landscape that calls up in one’s soul beautiful memories, for instance, of a fine moonlit spring night.” The rondo-finale partakes of the jubilant character of a native Polish dance, the Krakowiak, with the returning theme separated by several glittering, tuneful episodes.
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61 (1845-1846)
ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
The years 1845 and 1846 were difficult ones for Schumann. In 1844, he had gone on a concert tour of Russia with his wife, Clara, one of the greatest pianists of the era, and he was frustrated and humiliated at being recognized only as the husband of the featured performer and not in his own right as a distinguished composer and critic. The couple’s return to Leipzig found Robert nervous, depressed and suffering from occasional lapses of memory. He had a complete breakdown soon after, and his doctor advised the Schumanns to return to the quieter atmosphere of Dresden, where Robert had known happy times earlier in his life. They moved in October 1844, and Schumann recovered enough to completely sketch the Second Symphony in December of the following year. He began the orchestration in February, but many times found it impossible to work and could not finish the score until October.
Clara noted that her husband went night after night without sleep, arising in tears in the morning. His doctor described further symptoms: “So soon as he busied himself with intellectual matters, he was seized with fits of trembling, fatigue, coldness of the feet, and a state of mental distress culminating in a strange terror of death, which manifested itself in the fear inspired in him by heights, by rooms on an upper story, by all metal objects, even keys, and by medicines, and the fear of being poisoned.” Schumann complained of ringing in his ears, and it was at times even painful for him to hear music. He was almost frantic for fear of losing his mind. His physical symptoms, he was convinced, were a direct result of his mental afflictions. He was wrong.
In those pre-antibiotic times, a common treatment for syphilis was a small dose of liquid mercury. The mercury relieved the external signs of the disease— but at the cost of poisoning the patient (victim?). Schumann, many years before his devoted marriage to Clara, had both the infection and the treatment. The problems he lamented—ringing ears, cold extremities, depression, sleeplessness, nerve damage—were the result of the mercury poisoning. Sensitive as he was, Schumann first imagined and then was truly afflicted with his other symptoms until he became ill in both mind and body. Seen against this background of pathetic suffering, Schumann’s Second Symphony emerges as a miracle of the human spirit over the most trying circumstances.
The Symphony’s sonata-form first movement is prefaced by a slow introduction that presents a majestic, fanfare-like theme in the brass and a sinuous, legato melody in the strings. (The brass theme recurs as a motto during the course of the work.) The tempo quickens to begin the exposition, with the main theme heard in jagged, dotted rhythms. The second theme continues the mood of the main theme to complete the short exposition. The lengthy development section is mostly based on the second theme. After the recapitulation returns the exposition’s themes, the fanfare-motto is heard briefly to conclude the movement. The scherzo has two trios: the first dominated by triplet rhythms in the woodwinds, the second by a legato chorale for strings. The horns and trumpets intone the motto theme at the end of the movement. The third movement is constructed around a nostalgic melody first presented by the violins; a brief, pedantic contrapuntal exercise acts as a middle section. The brilliant finale is in sonata form, with a second theme derived from the opening notes of the melody of the preceding Adagio. The majestic coda begins with a soft restatement of the motto theme by trumpets and trombone, and gradually blossoms into a heroic hymn of victory.
ALAN GILBERT, conductor
Alan Gilbert is the music director for the New York Philharmonic.
Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music and is "without question the most astounding young pianist of our age" (London Times).
ALAN GILBERT, conductor
New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. He simultaneously maintains a major international presence, making guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Gilbert is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and former Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg. He has led productions for the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he served as the first appointed Music Director.
In seven years at the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert has succeeded in transforming the 175-year-old institution into a leader on the cultural landscape. He has led staged productions of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, Stravinsky's Petrushka, and Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake to great acclaim, and encouraged the development of two series devoted to contemporary music: CONTACT!, introduced in 2009, and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today's music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers, which was inaugurated in 2014 and returned in 2016.
Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies and holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at the Juilliard School. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2014, honored with the Foreign Policy Association Medal and named an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2015, and nominated for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Music Direction of two New York Philharmonic productions: Sweeney Todd and a 100th-birthday gala tribute to Frank Sinatra, broadcast on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Photo: David Finlayson
Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov launched his career by winning First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein Competitions in 2011 at the age of 20. The 2016–17 season saw the release of Transcendental, a double album that represents Mr. Trifonov’s third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist and marks the first time that Liszt’s complete concert études were recorded for the label. The winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, he played Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto under Riccardo Muti in the gala finale of the Chicago Symphony’s 125th anniversary celebrations and, having scored his second Grammy nomination with Rachmaninoff Variations, performed Rachmaninoff for his Berlin Philharmonic debut at the orchestra’s New Year’s Eve concerts, aired live in cinemas throughout Europe. He also made debuts with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and headlined the Munich Philharmonic’s “Rachmaninoff Cycle” tour with Valery Gergiev. He played with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and Dresden Staatskapelle at home and at the Salzburg Easter Festival and BBC Proms. Other collaborations included Zurich’s Tonhalle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber, Houston Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and La Scala orchestras. Also a composer, Mr. Trifonov reprised his own concerto in Kansas City. He made recital debuts at London’s Barbican and Melbourne’s Recital Centre; appeared in Berlin, Vienna, Florence, Madrid, Oslo, and Moscow; and returned to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. This summer he returns to the Tanglewood, Verbier, Baden-Baden, and Salzburg festivals. Mr. Trifonov began his musical training at age five, and attended Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Other honors include Third Prize in Warsaw’s Chopin Competition, First Prize in Tel Aviv’s Rubinstein Competition, both First Prize and Grand Prix in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition, and the Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist. Daniil Trifonov made his New York Philharmonic debut in September–October 2012 performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert; most recently, in November 2016, he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, led by Vladimir Jurowski. He joined the Board of the New York Philharmonic in 2015.
Photo: Dario Acosta
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.