Orchestra musicians high on Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

Orchestra musicians high on Breckenridge

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

BRECKENRIDGE – A sunny summer walk past the Riverwalk Center is now filled with a cacophony of instrumental music. A half hour before rehearsals begin for the newest members of the National Repertory Orchestra on Tuesday, the musicians arrive with their cases of varying sizes and begin to practice. They only moved into their new Breckenridge homes for the summer on Sunday and will already have three days of practice in before orientation. The participating musicians come from all around the world – the Midwest, East Coast, Japan – many turning down other summer festivals to perform with the NRO.And while the Rocky Mountain backdrop of their headquarters in downtown Breckenridge may be a source of inspiration to the musicians, it’s also at a higher elevation than most are used to playing in. Music director Carl Topilow, who’s been heading up the orchestra for nearly 30 years, knows the challenges of the different sections of the group. For the woodwind players, it’s figuring out how to shape the reeds in a way that works; for the brass it’s a matter of breath control; while the string players put dampits (rubber tubes filled with water) in their instruments when they aren’t playing to keep them from developing cracks.And all of them are in need of just a little more air.”Rather than immediately doing our usual five hours of rehearsal per day, I limit it for the first couple of days,” Topilow said of the first week of rehearsals. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. They have to pace themselves.”The NRO’s intensive concert season begins Saturday with the program, “Nature, Love, and Life,” 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk. The program will feature Williams’ Call of the Champions, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G and three overtures by Dvorak.Topilow said the Dvorak works to be performed Saturday are rarely played together, yet that is exactly how they were intended. “Usually these pieces are done individually, especially the brilliant ‘Carnival’ overture,” he said.Pianist David Kim joins the NRO performance Saturday night as the featured soloist for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Last year he performed the Ravel concerto for the left hand, written for a war veteran with only one hand. This year he’ll play the composer’s other piano concerto with both hands.Topilow said he likes to go over the history of the NRO as well as what the staff and management are all about at the musician’s orientation. “It’s important for them to understand their responsibilities and reasons behind various aspects of the program.” That way, he said, they know why they are asked to perform the arduous task of playing three concerts on the Fourth of July. The orchestra will perform at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre at 10 a.m., Evergreen High School at 3 p.m. and the Riverwalk at 8:30 p.m. for the patriotic holiday.The orchestra will soon go to two rehearsals a day which are open to the public.To get tickets for Saturday’s show, call (970) 453-5825 or go to http://www.nromusic.com

Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or lbrefeld@summitdaily.com.National Repertory 2006 Summer ScheduleAll performance take place at the Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge• June 17: “Nature, Love and Life”• June 24: “A Musical Passport”• June 28: “Russian Passions”

• June 30: “Broadway and Beyond”• July 1: “A Night for Hollywood”• July 8: Stephan Sanderling, guest conductor• July 12: Andrew Litton, guest conductor• July 15: “Art and Music”• July 19: “Celebrating Mozart’s 250th Birthday”

• July 27: “Joint Classical Concert”• July 28: “Pops Concert”• July 30: “Showcase of Tomorrow’s Stars”• Aug. 2: JoAnn Falletta, guest conductor• Aug. 5: Season Finale, “Honoring Heroes”Riverwalk Center goes onlineOnline ticketing is now available for the 2006 summer season at the Riverwalk Center. Visit http://www.townofbreckenridge.com and click on Online Ticket Sales to get there. Links to online ticket sales are also available from http://www.nromusic.com and http://www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com.”Online ticketing … means that our box office is in effect open 24 hours a day,” said Vanessa Flaherty, town of Breckenridge facilities and events coordinator.

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