National Repertory Orchestra performs Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ |

National Repertory Orchestra performs Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’

Benjamin Paul
Special to the Daily
Tasha Hoskins / National Repertory Orchestra
Tasha Hoskins / National Repertory Orchestra |

If you go

What: National Repertory Orchestra performs Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8

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

Cost: Tickets are $25 to $40, or $7 for youth 18 and younger

Program: “The Four Seasons,” by Antonio Vivaldi; “Bridges,” by Victoria Bond; “Variaciones Concertantes,” by Alberto Ginastera

More information: Call (970) 453-5825, or visit

On Wednesday, July 8, Breckenridge’s National Repertory Orchestra and music director Carl Topilow will present a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” one of the most beloved pieces in the classical music repertoire. The concert will also include music by Alberto Ginastera and NRO alumna Victoria Bond.

‘The Four Seasons’

Vivaldi’s masterpiece was first published in 1725 and takes the form of four separate concertos for solo violin and string orchestra accompaniment. Each concerto is based on a sonnet depicting a seasonal tableau; the author of these sonnets is unknown, but many believe that it was Vivaldi himself.

“‘The Four Seasons’ is a truly unique and special work that evokes the moods of the individual seasons with remarkable accuracy,” said violinist Cristian Zimmerman, who will perform the solo violin role for the opening “Spring” concerto. Zimmerman is currently pursuing a degree in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

The melody that begins the first movement of “Spring” is among the most recognizable in classical music. The music contains depictions of birdcalls, a shepherds’ dance and a barking dog.

The “Summer” concerto also begins with birdcalls but grows in intensity as a fierce thunderstorm approaches. Soloist Margeaux Maloney has a bachelor’s degree from The Julliard School and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in violin performance at the University of Southern California. After the storm clears, “Autumn” brings a more cheery scene.

“You can hear a harvest party in the first movement, the night of rest that follows in the second movement and the hunt that takes place in the third movement,” said soloist Melanie Kuperstein. Kuperstein has a master’s degree in violin performance from the University of Maryland and is currently a member of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

The seasons conclude with the “Winter” concerto, which sees soloist Amy Cave alternating between high-pitched, icy winds and warm fireside melodies. Cave has a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Michigan and performs professionally in both orchestral and chamber music settings.

Folk music inspiration

The world of classical music has changed greatly in the centuries since Vivaldi. One of the past century’s greatest contributions has been the incorporation of musical traditions and voices from around the world. The increasing prevalence of composers from non-European backgrounds, drawing inspiration and material from their nations’ popular and folk music, has greatly enriched the classical repertoire.

One of these influential voices is Ginastera, a 20th century Argentine composer who combined his training in classical forms and techniques with a love for his own country’s legends and musical heritage.

Ginastera’s 1953 “Variaciones Concertantes” is a musical character piece, focusing on each instrument of the orchestra, in turn, to draw out its specialties. Among the piece’s many highlights are the peaceful opening for cello and harp, a lively showcase for clarinet and a pastoral movement for horn. After exploring a wide range of moods and instrumental combinations, the piece concludes with an exuberant finale for the entire orchestra.

Also inspired by folk music, Victoria Bond’s “Bridges” uses themes from American and Chinese musical traditions to create a global array of soundscapes. Each of the piece’s four movements is a musical idea inspired by a specific bridge: the famous Golden Gate Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge are represented, as are less-famous bridges from Virginia and China.

Bond is one of the many NRO alumni who have gone on to play prominent roles in today’s classical music scene. The first woman to be awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the prestigious Julliard School, Bond has been widely acclaimed for her work in both conducting and composition.

Jim and Kay Ross, Blue River Bistro and Wyndham Vacation Rentals are the NRO’s sponsors for this concert. For tickets and more information, call (970) 547-3100 or visit

Benjamin Paul is the marketing and public relations intern for the National Repertory Orchestra.

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