The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival announced this week that pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will be its artistic director beginning with the 2011 season, the Festival’s 24th. McDermott will assume artistic leadership in October succeeding Eugenia Zukerman who, after holding the position for 13 years, announced last fall she would step down. Zukerman will complete her stellar tenure with the Bravo! Festival this summer of 2010.
"Annie-Marie McDermott is a superb pianist and a dynamic and compelling person," says Zukerman. "Having often performed with Anne-Marie, I know that her musical insights and creative ideas will be great assets to Bravo! I have complete confidence that Anne-Marie McDermott will be a remarkable artistic leader for the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival."
Bravo's search committee, comprised of board members, staff and an artistic consultant, began an extensive search for a new artistic director last September. More than 80 candidates were vetted to the committee. Alan Kosloff, chairman of Bravo's Board of Trustees, spearheaded the search committee. Kosloff, who has a long-standing relationship with the Festival, became the chairman just a few months prior to beginning the search and says that he is very pleased that McDermott has accepted the position.
"Anne-Marie brings a wealth of experience, musical talent, and great passion that will continue the success of the Festival and take us to new heights," says Kosloff. "We look forward to working with her."
McDermott is no stranger to the Vail Valley and the Bravo! Festival. She has performed at numerous Bravo! Festivals during the last 23 years as a soloist with several of Bravo's resident orchestras and has performed in many of Bravo’s chamber music concerts and soirées.
McDermott is a consummate artist who balances a versatile career as a soloist and collaborator. She performs more than 100 concerts a year in a combination of solo recitals, concerti and chamber music. Her repertoire choices are eclectic, spanning from Bach and Haydn to Prokofiev and Scriabin to Kernis, Hartke, Tower and Wuorinen. McDermott is a member of the renowned piano quartet Opus One, and has been the artistic director of the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival in Key Largo, Florida for the last four seasons and artistic director of the Avila Chamber Music Celebration in Curacao for the last five seasons.
As a soloist, McDermott has recorded the complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas, Bach English Suites and Partitas (which was named Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice), and most recently, Gershwin Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with the Dallas Symphony and Justin Brown.
Bravo's Executive Director John Giovando says McDermott has been a long-standing Festival favorite and he looks forward to working with her in this new capacity. "She will bring great energy, enthusiasm and dedication to the Festival and the Vail community,” says Giovando.
Following founding Artistic Director Ida Kavafian and Eugenia Zukerman, McDermott becomes the third artistic leader in the Festival's history. Eclectic and compelling programming, continuing Bravo’s tradition of juxtaposing old and new orchestral and chamber works--both light-hearted and serious, and expanding Bravo's already immense educational efforts, are just some of her ideas that she plans to implement when she assumes the position.
“Not only do I feel humbled to carry the torch of my great colleagues and predecessors, I also feel a sense of duty to inspire Bravo’s music-loving public with a continued commitment to excellence and a bold look at the future,” says McDermott. “Music has the power and the depth to shed light on our present, past and future. I am thrilled to add this new facet to my musical journey and I greatly look forward to this new adventure.”
The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival celebrates its 23rd season this summer from June 25 through August 3 opening with a recital by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott, followed by concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and Bravo's chamber musicians. Relish the artistic excellence of the Festival and its many musicians in the reserved seating sections or relax on the lawn with friends, family, a picnic basket and wine at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Enjoy the inspiring sounds of chamber music at the intimate Vail Mountain School, Vilar Performing Arts Center and other venues throughout the Vail Valley. From instrument petting zoos to intimate soirées; from Tchaikovsky to Broadway Pops and Blues, the Festival has it all in the glorious setting of the Rocky Mountains. For a Festival lineup and to purchase tickets visit www.vailmusicfestival.org or call 970.827.5700