The Breckenridge Music Festival will present a BMF Festival Orchestra Series concert titled “Spring, Summer & Jupiter Symphony” on Saturday, Aug. 9. The evening’s performance, under guest conductor Rossen Milanov, will highlight works by Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Guest artist Disella Larusdottir, soprano, will be featured in the Barber and Bernstein pieces.
After 21 years on the podium, maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann will be retiring as conductor and music director for the Breckenridge Music Festival. Milanov is one of three finalists in the search for a music director to lead the BMF’s Festival Orchestra. This is the second of two concerts Milanov will conduct, giving the audience a taste of how he might lead the next generation orchestra.
“I’ve programmed an evening of classic Americana, featuring the groundbreaking ballet ‘Appalachian Spring,’ by Aaron Copland, one of the most original American composers, inspired by the modern dance style of the legendary ballerina Martha Graham,” Milanov said of Saturday’s program. “The Shaker hymn ‘’Tis a Gift to be Simple’ closes the work in an optimistic, yet serene way.”
Larusdottir, a regular at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, is the star of the evening, Milanov said, singing some of her favorite repertoire. Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” was inspired by a poem by James Agee and dedicated to Barber’s ailing father. The piece is infused with nostalgia, dreamlike imagery and profound sincerity.
“Bernstein’s take on a bel canto aria in “Glitter and be Gay” from “Candide” transports us into a completely different world,” Milanov said. “The vocal pyrotechnics and the extroverted nature of the music have turned this aria into a show stopper.”
The evening will conclude with Mozart’s last symphony, Symphony No. 41, also known as the Jupiter Symphony.
“The talented musicians of the Breckenridge Music Festival will certainly bring to life Mozart’s apotheosis of the human spirit, as well as the musical ingenuity of this fantastic work,” Milanov said.