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NRO to perform Brahms’ inspirational symphony and his only violin concerto

Michelle Lewandowski
Special to the Daily
The National Repertory Orchestra program on Sunday, July 20, will open with Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, featuring concerto competition winner Jeffrey Girton.
Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: National Repertory Orchestra presents “The Music of Brahms,” dedicated to the memory of Stephen Russel and sponsored by Rick Poppe and Jana Edwards and Robin Hadly

When: 11 a.m. Sunday, July 20

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

Cost: $25 to $40, depending on seating, or $7 for youth 18 and younger

More information: Visit http://www.nromusic.com, or call (970) 453-5825

Johannes Brahms was one of the most influential composers of the 1800s, and the National Repertory Orchestra will present a performance starring his music on Sunday, July 20, at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.

Under the baton of assistant conductor Andres Lopera, the NRO will perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor and his Violin Concerto in D major, featuring concerto competition winner Jeffrey Girton.

The program will open with Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, which was composed in 1878 and dedicated to violinist Joseph Joachim, a friend of Brahms’. It is Brahms’ only violin concerto and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti.

Despite being his only piece for solo violin, the concerto has been given a lot of attention in popular culture. The third movement alone was the inspiration for “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from the musical “Evita,” and is used twice in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film “There Will Be Blood.” In “Smilla’s Sense of Snow,” by Peter Hoeg, Smilla, the protagonist, says, “I cry because in the universe there is something as beautiful as … Brahms’ violin concerto.”

Performing the concerto is NRO violinist and concerto competition winner Girton. Girton is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College’s Conservatory of Music in the studio of Marilyn McDonald. He has played in such ensembles as the BUTI Young Artists Orchestra, Collegium Westchester and the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Closing the evening is Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, a symphony that took him more than 20 years to complete. Brahms contributes this length to being in constant fear of comparison with Beethoven. “You have no idea how hard it is to compose when always you can hear the footsteps of that giant behind you,” he wrote.

Regardless, those footsteps pushed Brahms to create a new standard for symphonic writing. He aimed to honor the “purity” of German counterpoint and development and advance them into the Romantic style and, in the process, created bold new approaches to harmony and melody.

Critic and author Charles O’Connell called the symphony “mature, finished, plethoric with melody and orchestral color, as vigorous as Beethoven, as song-like as Shubert and as perfectly formed as Bach.”

“I am very much looking forward to working with the amazing musicians of National Repertory Orchestra,” Lopera said. “It’s a great group of artists who are extremely passionate for what they do and quite an honor to be standing and leading the concert with them.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams in Breckenridge, by calling (970) 547-3100 or by going to http://www.nromusic.com. The Breckenridge Welcome Center, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., is also selling tickets. Visit the center at 203 S. Main St., or call (877) 864-0868.

For more information about the National Repertory Orchestra, visit http://www.nromusic.com.

Michelle Lewandowski is the marketing and public relations intern for the National Repertory Orchestra.


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