Bravo! Vail

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The only music festival in North America to host three of the world’s finest orchestras in a single season, Bravo! Vail celebrates its 27th season June 27 through August 2, 2014, under the leadership of artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott and president James W. Palermo.


Each summer, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic take up residence in Vail, CO and are featured in programs of the great classics, plus jazz and pops. World renowned chamber music artists, including members of all three resident orchestras, come together to perform in a diverse and eclectic chamber music series as well.

Bravo! Vail’s ultimate trifecta: great music, social interaction, and the natural beauty of the Vail Valley is enhanced by a renewed effort to reach core target markets - year-round residents, second-home owners, and visitors to the Vail Valley, including Denver/Front Range visitors - who love sharing a great musical experience in a spectacular natural setting with friends.

Mission Statement[edit]

Enriching people's lives through the power of music: producing the finest performances by the greatest artists, fostering music education and promoting a life-long appreciation of the arts.


Twenty-seven years ago, founding executive director John Giovando and founding artistic director Ida Kavafian established Bravo! Vail as public 501 (c) 3 Colorado non-profit corporation. Since then, Bravo! Vail has evolved from a small chamber music series to an international music festival and summer home to the world’s greatest musicians and orchestras.

During the early years, Bravo! Vail added orchestral performances by the National Repertory Orchestra and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra to the chamber concert series. In 1989, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra brought national recognition to Bravo! Vail with a summer residency that lasted for 19 years. In 1995, Bravo! Vail grew in national stature once again with the addition of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Flutist Eugenia Zukerman joined Bravo! Vail as artistic director in 1995 and guided the growth of Bravo! Vail with the addition of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, Bravo! Vail celebrated the arrival of the New York Philharmonic in its Vail debut. Five years later, The Philadelphia Orchestra joined Bravo! Vail, solidifying the current format of three top-tier resident orchestras and a stellar chamber music series.

In 2011, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott became the third artistic director in Bravo! Vail’s history. In her third season as artistic director, Ms. McDermott brings fresh perspective, working tirelessly to assemble the exceptional music-making that includes many firsts, a great deal of fun and much that is fascinating and memorable.

In September 2012, Mr. Giovando retired and Bravo! Vail welcomed James W. Palermo as its new executive director. Mr. Palermo’s career in classical music spans more than 25 years. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Indiana University, he performed professionally throughout Europe and South America before focusing on orchestra management. Since then he has served in leadership roles with the Evansville Philharmonic, The Louisville Orchestra, and the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of the Colorado Symphony Association.

Through extraordinary performances, dedicated leadership and generous support from the community, Bravo! Vail has grown from a handful of attendees to one of the world’s premier music festivals. During the summer months, Bravo! Vail touches the lives of thousands of people, many who come to the area specifically to experience the musical pleasures it provides and the natural beauty of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

In 2013, Bravo! Vail underwent a re-branding process that updated its logo and changed the organization name from "Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival" to "Bravo! Vail."

Performance Venues[edit]

Bravo! Vail utilizes many venues around the Vail Valley during the season, including:

  • Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
  • Vail Mountain School
  • Vilar Performing Arts Center
  • Vail Interfaith Chapel
  • Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center
  • Donovan Pavilion
  • Brush Creek Pavilion


In a typical season, Bravo! Vail provides a number of concerts and events, including:

  • Orchestra concerts
  • Chamber Music Series
  • Free Concert Series
  • Silver Oak & Twomey Series
  • Education & Community Engagement Events

Artists and ensembles who have performed at Bravo! Vail[edit]

A number of artists and musical ensembles have performed at Bravo! Vail since it was founded. Below is a list of some of our notable performers:

  • Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • National Repertory Orchestra
  • New York Philharmonic
  • Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°38′22″N 106°21′53″W / 39.63944°N 106.36472°W / 39.63944; -106.36472 (Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater)