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Four More Years with Bravo! Vail Festival

July 17, 2014

Bravo! Vail. Bravo Philadelphia!

Yannick and the Orchestra acknowledge the applause of the Bravo! Vail audience following a concert during the residency. Photo by Zach Mahone

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Bravo! Vail, which NPR recently cited as a Top 10 “Can’t Miss” classical musical festival in the United States, have extended their partnership through the summer of 2018.

The agreement was jointly announced from the stage prior to the final concert of the Orchestra’s weeklong residency in Vail, Colorado. It would be hard to tell which cheers from the capacity crowd were louder: those that followed the announcement or those that followed the Orchestra’s performance.

Celebrating the renewal of the agreement between the Orchestra and Bravo! Vail (from left) are Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Bravo! Vail chair Russell Molina; Orchestra Chairman Richard Worley; benefactors Betsy Wiegers, Michael Byram, and Ann Smead; Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott; and Festival Executive Director Jim Palermo.

Orchestra Chairman Richard Worley and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott, Chairman Russell Molina, and President and Executive Director Jim Palermo, praised the Orchestra and the Festival for the many remarkable moments already shared and the memorable moments yet to come. 

Bravo! Vail is a key summer partner with the Fabulous Philadelphians, along with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and other important collaborators in Philadelphia, as well as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Upstate New York. These diverse partnerships allow the Orchestra to bring its music to many fans around the country. 

Fans enjoy the Orchestra’s performance on the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Vail Valley. Photo by Zach Mahone

Yannick conducts the Orchestra with his characteristic passion. Photo by Zach Mahone

The residency’s final concert was led by Yannick, with the Orchestra giving spectacular performances of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto with guest pianist Hélène Grimaud, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, written by the composer especially for the Orchestra. It culminated 10 days of concerts that featured guest conductor Donald Runnicles and Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, and guest soloists Joshua Bell and McDermott.

Hélène Grimaud performs Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, the great composer’s last orchestral work.

Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru led the Orchestra in Disney Fantasia. The Philadelphia Orchestra, of course, recorded the original 1940 soundtrack. Photo by Zach Mahone

As is customary, whether in Vail or in Saratoga, across the globe in China, or back home in Philadelphia, members of the Orchestra stepped off the stage to make music and engage with residents in a variety of settings. There were traditional chamber music concerts, one featuring Concertmaster David Kim and Orchestra members keyboardist Davyd Booth, cellist Richard Harlow, Acting Associate Principal Cello Yumi Kendall, and bassist Henry G. Scott. Another chamber music concert featured McDermott and violist Marvin Moon. Principal Bass Hal Robinson and Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi, on drums, were featured players at Jazz After: Philly Jam. Violinist Phil Kates brought the healing power of music to patients at Vail Valley Medical Center, and the Orchestra performed a free Family Concert including a performance of Peter and the Wolf, led by Măcelaru. 

Concertmaster David Kim was joined by Orchestra musicians (from left) keyboardist Davyd Booth; cellist Richard Harlow; Acting Associate Principal Cello Yumi Kendall; and bassist Henry G. Scott at a chamber music concert at the Vail Interfaith Chapel. Photo by Zach Mahone

A youngster high-fives a cello at the Instrument Petting Zoo that preceded the Orchestra’s free family concert. Photo by Zach Mahone

And Orchestra supporters in Vail turned out in force to enjoy a post-concert reception at the Vail International Gallery, one of the premier art galleries in Vail Village.

Yannick greets supporters at the post-concert reception. Photo by Zach Mahone

Just as Vail audiences experienced The Philadelphia Orchestra, the musicians experienced the Vail lifestyle. They weren’t strangers to the fresh mountain air as they hiked the surrounding high peaks and explored the scenic landscape. In other words, they made like residents during the residency in a place they’ll call home for the next four summers.

Orchestra members are delighted to call the beautiful Vail Valley home during their summer residency at Bravo! Vail. Photo by Zach Mahone

And to that we say bravo!