“Nothing Like a Live Audience” – CBS Denver

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(CBS4) – World-class musicians, conductors and soloists return to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail for the first time in over a year, and if you ask the artists about the return, the feeling is hard to to describe.

(credit: CBS)

“There will never be another moment in my life like this Bravo season,” said Anne-Marie McDermott, artistic director of Bravo! Vail.


Bravo! Vail is the only music festival that brings together world-renowned chamber and symphony orchestras on one stage. The festival, now in its 34th season, has had almost no 33rd.


“We couldn’t give it up. We felt it was our responsibility to bring music in one way or another, ”McDermott said.


“There was no idea too crazy,” said Caitlin Murray, executive director of Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

McDermott, also a solo pianist on the series, worked with Murray on ways to keep music alive, even having fun playing his piano in the back of a van in the community. The end product was a bit more evolved. It was a “music box”.

“We took a little house and mechanized it into this mobile concert hall and we towed it in the back of a van, and we did 49 gigs last summer that way in the parks, at the fire station, in people’s alleys, in dead ends sometimes for as few as four or six people, ”Murray said.

(credit: CBS)

While this has helped the community to heal, for musicians not being able to play together has left a hole.

“The musicians have done a lot of streaming stuff, but there’s nothing quite like a live audience and summer venues like this, the Bravo Festival, they’re very special,” said the violinist Joshua Bell.


For Bell, Bravo! Vail is one of his favorite places to play.

“Several years ago I started a residency, every year coming with my orchestra where I’m music director from the Academy of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields in London, so we’ve performed here every year for several years, “Bell continued. , “Now I’m back, the academy from London couldn’t come due to visa issues and the pandemic, so we brought in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, who is also one of my alumni collaborating orchestras that I love, so it’s just great to be here. ”

Even more special? This is the first time that Saint Paul’s Room has had the opportunity to play a concert together since the pandemic.

“It’s a group that is an intimate chamber orchestra. They are like a family. They’ve been separated for about a year and a half so I’m really happy to be with them on their reunion, ”said Bell.

If you think the spectators are excited, for the performers the feeling is difficult to express.

“We all wanted to… I think the arts are going to come back with enthusiasm after this difficult year,” he said.

For the local mountain community, music has always been a part of life.

“I think it’s a real sign of the resilience of our organization, of our community, of these musicians to be back on stage and bringing people together to celebrate again,” said Muray. “Tonight is a sign of normalcy. It is the sign of a return to normal. The pandemic is not over, and we certainly have other issues that we face – we are sitting here with a wildfire not far away – and I think it’s important that no matter what we’re fighting against. in life, the music will be there. “

Although most aspects of 2020 Bravo! Vail doesn’t want to repeat themselves, they plan to use the music box as a way to continue bringing free music to the Vail Valley. For more information, click here.

The first part of the Bravo! Vail series kicked off Thursday night. To find out more about timetables and tickets, click here.

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