The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival announced today that its executive director John Giovando, 67, will retire in October 2012, after the Festival concludes its 25th season. Giovando has served in that position since the Festival’s inception in 1987.
"It’s time for me to announce this retirement and bid farewell at the close of our 25th season in 2012,” said Giovando. “I look at what this Festival has achieved in the last 24 years and smile at its success. I thank everyone who has supported Bravo over the years—every ticket buyer, board member, sponsor and volunteer—you have all made the Festival a world-class event in the world-class community of the Vail Valley. Music has been a passion and dream of mine and in creating this Festival I have had the privilege of living both.”
The notice gives the board plenty of time to find a successor, and when Giovando steps down artistic director and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will have completed two seasons and will be working on her third.
“John Giovando is one of a rare breed of leaders who combines a deep love of music with exceptional managerial skills,” said McDermott. “Working with him is nothing short of a pleasure and privilege. He is loved and his legacy will be cherished.”
McDermott was appointed the Festival’s artistic director in October 2010.
“Working with John at this Festival has been a pleasure and I will remember our successful relationship for many years to come,” said Alan Kosloff, Bravo’s chairman of the board of trustees. “John has made a decision to retire after the 25th year of the Festival. He has given us more than a year’s notice and we will search for his replacement.”
In 1987, Giovando and violinist Ida Kavafian created the Bravo Music Festival in Vail. They brought musicians from Music from Angel Fire, New Mexico, to present chamber music concerts in the Vail Valley. These performances started small—at one of the first concerts the musicians actually outnumbered the audience. Today, the Festival has grown to an annual audience of more than 60,000 and is the only summer music festival to host three world-class orchestras in residence--the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. In addition, the Festival presents a stellar roster of soloists in the performance of the great repertoire from the chamber music literature.