National Repertory Orchestra kicks off summer at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center | SummitDaily.com

National Repertory Orchestra kicks off summer at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Summer music has returned to the mountains. The National Repertory Orchestra is preparing for its "Opening Night with Gershwin" performance at The Riverwalk Center. This year the NRO celebrates maestro Carl Topilow's 40th season with the festival and this concert is the perfect way to kick off concerts throughout the summer.

The first piece on the program, Liberty Fanfare by American composer John Williams, is sure to please the crowd. Williams is a legend for the dramatic and captivating style of his movie scores and this sensational composition is no exception. The fanfare is regularly performed to get audiences into a patriotic spirit and Williams himself said of the work, "I tried to create a group of American airs and tunes of my own invention that I hope will give some sense of the event and the occasion." Organizers of the event think he was successful in this endeavor, making it the perfect opener for this American-themed program.

Following the fanfare is famous conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein's Overture to Candide. Candide is Bernstein's satirical operetta based on the 1759 novella of the same title by Voltaire. This lively overture sets the scene for the operetta's endlessly optimistic protagonist who has been raised to believe that everything will always work out for the best. His beliefs are challenged, however, throughout the course of the story as he encounters a series of ludicrous crises, keeping him from his true love and any sense of predictability in his life.

Maestro Topilow will bring this comical story to life in Bernstein's infectiously merry overture.

Topilow is well known for conducting brilliant and engaging performances of works by George Gershwin and this concert is sure to be added to that lauded list. The composer's Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra will be performed by acclaimed guest artist Christopher Taylor. After his dynamic performance for the opening of the NRO's 2017 season, audiences have been waiting for another opportunity to witness his mastery of the piano.

Taylor's interpretation of this concerto written in 1925 will be a special treat as one of his passions is performing music written in the last 100 years. Another celebrated pianist as well as a great American composer, Gershwin seamlessly blended the styles of classical and popular music in the early 1900s, making a strong mark on the American classical scene. You can hear his incredible flair and technical mastery of the piano in this vivid and luscious concerto.

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Finally, the musicians of NRO will be performing Antonin Dvorák's Symphony op. 95 no. 9 in E minor, "From the New World." A classical staple, this is one of Dvorák's most famous compositions, and for good reason. Although a Czech composer, his work is aptly programmed alongside American giants of classical music because of the immense American influence on his style. Aside from the obvious title of the work, the composer alluded to his travels in the New World through his use of styles derived from Native American music and African-American spirituals.

On the topic of the spirituals Dvorak said, "These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them."

This star-studded program is not one to miss. For ticket purchase and questions, call 970-547-3100 or visit NROMusic.com.

If you go:

What: Opening Night with Gershwin

When: Saturday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge, CO 80424

Cost: $40 Gold, $35 Silver, $25 Bronze

More information: 970-547-3100, NROMusic.com

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