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Vermont Symphony Orchestra Announces Jaime Laredo's Legacy Concert, May 6

Outgoing Music Director returns to conduct Brahms, Bruch, Ludwig, and Walker.

By: Mar. 28, 2023
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Vermont Symphony Orchestra Announces Jaime Laredo's Legacy Concert, May 6  Image

Jaime Laredo, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's (VSO) Music Director for the past twenty years, returns to the Flynn in Burlington on May 6 2023, to conduct his farewell concert. Originally scheduled for 2020, this program features longtime friends of the VSO and Laredo, violin soloist Bella Hristova and composer David Ludwig, in an inspiring evening of music selected by Laredo to celebrate his tenure with the VSO.

Laredo says, "It's a bittersweet moment in time. I'm very sad that I have left the Orchestra, and I'm very excited for the Orchestra. It will always be part of my family."

The May 6 concert begins with the very first piece Jaime Laredo ever conducted with the VSO, the poignant Lyric for Strings by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker. Violinist Bella Hristova then joins the VSO to perform Saturn Bells, a planetary science-inspired work written by her husband, David Ludwig. Ludwig, like Walker, was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music; he is currently Dean and Director of Music at the Juilliard School. Hristova also solos in Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, a favorite of virtuoso violinists with its homage to Scottish folk melodies. The concert concludes with Brahms' Symphony No. 1, written after the composer overcame his reluctance to become a symphonist in Beethoven's footsteps.

"Jaime has been the greatest mentor, role model, and friend David and I could have possibly imagined in our lives," says Hristova. "He is not only one of the greatest musicians I know, but one of the greatest people, and he builds love and community everywhere he goes. He is a huge source of inspiration for me, and David and I are both so honored to be a part of his final VSO concert, in a place that has been a musical home to him for many years. Thank you, Jaime!"

Bulgarian-American violinist Bella Hristova has won international acclaim for her "expressive nuance and rich tone" (New York Times) and "impressive power and control" (Washington Post). A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, she has won numerous awards, including First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and First Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and she is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

"Our Vermont community is coming together with musical accolades for someone who has been generous, inspiring, and deeply loved by all," says VSO Executive Director Elise Brunelle. "Whether you attended concerts when Jaime brought Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Sharon Isbin or Leon Fleisher to Vermont, or when Jaime conducted our statewide Made in Vermont concerts, you know what a gift we have in Jaime. The concert on May 6 will be a fitting tribute to a wonderful and talented friend and artistic leader."

Performing for over six decades before audiences across the globe, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. At age eleven, Laredo made his orchestral debut as a violinist with the San Francisco Symphony, inspiring one critic to write: 'In the 1920's it was Yehudi Menuhin; in the 1930's it was Isaac Stern; and last night it was Jaime Laredo.' At the age of seventeen, Jaime Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, launching his rise to international prominence.

For fifteen years, Laredo was violist of the piano quartet consisting of pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Isaac Stern, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, his close colleagues. Along with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, and pianist Joseph Kalichstein, he was a founding member of the award-winning Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which debuted at the inauguration of U. S. President Jimmy Carter and continues to perform today.

Laredo has conducted and performed with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. Abroad, he has performed with the London Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which he led on two American tours and in their Hong Kong Festival debut. Laredo has recorded close to one hundred discs, received the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize, and has been awarded seven Grammy nominations.

In demand worldwide as a conductor and a soloist, Laredo held the position of Music Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra from 2000 - 2021 and has been Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. 2023 marks the eleventh year of Laredo's tenure on the violin faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Born in Bolivia, Laredo and Robinson reside in Guilford, VT and Cleveland, OH.  


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