Bravo! Vail Music Festival marks 35 years

Posted on: July 18, 2022

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado marks 35 years this summer.

“The Bravo! Vail Music Festival has been a fixture in the valley for 35 summers, growing from a small collection of chamber music performances to become one of the preeminent classical music festivals in the world,” writes Carolyn Paletta in last Sunday’s (7/10) Vail Daily (CO). “The festival began in 1987, led by John Giovando, the founding executive director, and Ida Kavafian, the founding artistic director…. In the beginning, the … musicians performed in a Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater that had yet to be completed…. There was not a large existing fan base for classical music…. Giovando said they took initiatives—like offering cheap lawn seats—to help get people in the door who might not otherwise get to experience high-level classical music…. In time, the audiences grew, and so did the roster of performers. The first orchestras … were the National Repertory Orchestra and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra…. Today, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival … features residencies with four of the country’s leading orchestras…. Kavafian served as artistic director for 10 years, and Giovando as executive director for 25, before passing the festival [to] Anne-Marie McDermott and Caitlin Murray, respectively, who are ushering in the next decade of Bravo! Vail.”