Gerhardt Zimmermann returns to conduct the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra |

Gerhardt Zimmermann returns to conduct the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra

Gerhardt Zimmermann, who last year retired as the Breckenridge Music Festival's music director, returns to conduct the Festival Orchestra in “Zimmermann’s Night" on Thursday, July 30.
Courtesy of the Breckenridge Music Festival |

If you go

What: “Zimmermann’s Night,” featuring the return of retired Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30

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

Program: Nicolai’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” Overture Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, Bloch’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 and Ginastera’s “Estancia: Ballet Suite”

Cost: Tickets range from $7 to $25, with a discount for 18 years or younger

More information: Call the Riverwalk box office at (970) 547-3100, or visit

The Breckenridge Music Festival offers another exhilarating evening in the Riverwalk Center with its upcoming orchestral concert “Zimmermann’s Night.” The concert includes the work of four composers and features the Festival Orchestra under the familiar baton of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the festival’s music director until his retirement last season.

Carl Otto Ehrenfreid Nicolai was a 19th-century German composer and conductor. Also the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic, Nicolai is best known as the composer of the opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” based on the Shakespearian comedy of the same name. Thursday night will feature the opera’s overture, the orchestral introduction to all of the opera’s ensuing shenanigans. Often considered to be one of the finest romantic overtures, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” overture is filled with dazzling orchestration, stunning dynamics and exquisite endings.

In contrast, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the composer of the second work of the evening, has to his credit a long list of well-known masterpieces, all created before his early death at age 35. In a life list that includes works like the “Jupiter” Symphony and the towering Requiem, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante is a work that, according to musicologist Kenneth Viant, stands out like a diamond among precious gems. The composition, featuring solo violin and viola, strikes a balance of highlighting and then blending the solo voices into the whole ensemble. The piece features Nathan Olson, festival orchestra concertmaster, and principal violist Katie Carrington.

Bloch’s Concerto Grosso takes a 20th-century look at a form of music, which flourished in Italy during the late Baroque period. You will hear bass lines similar to the Baroque figured bass and short motifs that return periodically, rather than the intertwining themes characteristic of classical and Romantic era composition. The composition highlights the energy and vivacity of the orchestra with intense dynamic shifts of volume, rhythm and stylistic elements.

Prepare to be transported to Ginastera’s homeland of Argentina with “Estancia: Ballet Suite.” Ginastera explains the inspiration for the piece: “Whenever I have crossed the pampa … my spirit felt itself inundated by changing impressions, now joyful, now melancholy, some full of euphoria and others replete with a profound tranquility,” influenced by the changing features of the landscape itself. The rapid orchestration and commanding rhythms paint a picture of a diverse landscape with hints of folk music entwined.

“Zimmermann’s Night” will be a concert filled with dramatic and emotive music, brought to life by the artists of the Festival Orchestra, with Gerhardt Zimmermann conducting. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.breckenridge

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