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Red Rocks Music Festival season debuts Sept. 13

Elmira Darvarova, left, and Howard Wall

Elmira Darvarova, left, and Howard Wall

Originally Published: September 1, 2020 11:27 a.m.

The Red Rocks Music Festival will present an abbreviated 19th season on Sunday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m., at the Sedona Creative Life Center.

Granted, this is not the type of season most anticipated when plans were initially created for the year.

Our board felt that there is no better way to transcend these unprecedented times than a beautiful musical experience performed by world-class musicians.

Elmira Darvarova, a Grammy-nominated violinist and former concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera of New York and Howard Wall, French Horn, just retiring from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will perform “Music from Five Centuries.”

The program which lasts 75 minutes without intermission will include 19 short selections from the 17c- 21c. Eleven of those selections are Arizona premiers.


Grammy®-nominated recording artist, a concert violinist since the age of four, and an award- winning performer (2017 & 2018 GOLD MEDAL at the Global Music Awards), Elmira Darvarova caused a sensation, becoming the first ever (and so far only) female concertmaster in the history of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

With the MET Orchestra she toured Europe, Japan and the United States, and was heard on the MET’s live weekly international radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, CDs and laser discs on the Sony, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI labels.

As concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera she has performed with the greatest conductors of our time, including the legendary Carlos Kleiber. She studied with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School in London (on a British Council scholarship), with Josef Gingold at Indiana University in Bloomington (as one of his assistants), and with Henryk Szeryng (privately).

An award-winning artist (Gold Medal at the 2017 and 2018 Global Music Awards, the Gold Quill Award by Classic FM Radio, and the Boris Christoff Medal), and hailed by American Records Guide as a “marvelous violinist in the Heifetz tradition,” Elmira Darvarova can be heard on numerous CDs, recorded for several labels (recent releases include the world premiere recording of Vernon Duke’s violin concerto with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a CD with world-premiere recordings of chamber music by René de Castéra, named by MusicWeb International a RECORD OF THE YEAR 2015).

Several of her albums have been selected as Record of the Month by the prestigious publication MusicWeb- International.

Her CDs have won critical acclaim in such esteemed publications as The Strad Magazine, Gramophone, Fanfare, American Records Guide, BBC Music Magazine, Klassik Heute. She has appeared on the most prestigious stages of five continents (including Carnegie Hall, as soloist with orchestra), and has performed concertos with the Moscow State Symphony, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, and with numerous other orchestras.

Well-versed not only in opera, symphonic and chamber music repertoire, she performs and records in many other genres and styles, including tango, jazz, blues, folk, world music, contemporary/ electronic music, Stroh violin, and Indian Ragas. She has partnered for chamber music performances with music giants such as Janos Starker, Gary Karr, Pascal Rogé, Vassily Lobanov, with tango and jazz legends such as Octavio Brunetti, Fernando Otero and David Amram, and with the world-renowned Indian classical musician, the superstar of the Sarod: Amjad Ali Khan, with whom she recorded a trilogy of CD albums, based on traditional Indian Ragas (released in the United States, and separately, on the Indian sub-continent).

She has recorded two CD albums of Baroque music (world-premiere recordings) with the world’s most renowned double bassist Gary Karr, and she has performed with him Bottesini’s Gran Duo Concertante in the United States and Canada.

She has also recorded three CDs of music by Astor Piazzolla, two of them with the late great tango pianist and arranger Octavio Brunetti (named by the New York Philharmonic “the inheritor of Piazzolla’s mantle”), and she has performed in a duo with Octavio Brunetti at festivals in the US and Europe.

For the Naxos label she has recorded three CDs of chamber music by Franco Alfano (world-premiere recordings). Her recital at Bela Bartok’s memorial house in Budapest was broadcast live throughout Europe.

A documentary film about her life and career was shown on European television. She performs in a duo with Grammy-winner, pianist/composer Fernando Otero, and is a founding member of The New York Piano Quartet, the Delphinium Trio, the Quinteto del Fuego and the Amram Ensemble.

She is Jury President of several international chamber music competitions in Europe, and she is the President & Director of the New York Chamber Music Festival. Praised by Gramophone Magazine for her “ultra-impassioned performances,” and in The Strad for her “intoxicating tonal beauty and beguilingly sensuous phrasing” and “silky-smooth voluptuous tone”, she was featured in Gramophone Magazine with an interview about her world-premiere recording of Vernon Duke’s violin concerto (written for Heifetz in 1940), which she recorded recently with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.


A native of Pittsburgh, joined the horn section of the New York Philharmonic in

1994 (The Ruth F. and Allan J. Broder Chair), after having been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra for almost 20 years, and a former member of the Phoenix and Denver Symphony Orchestras.

He also performs and records with the All-Star Orchestra. Mr. Wall has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic in Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns in New York (1995, 2001, and 2007) as well as on New York Philharmonic tours in Europe (1996) and South America (2001).

An avid chamber musician, he appears regularly at the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series at Merkin Hall, as well as at the New York Chamber Music Festival, and performs with the Delphinium Trio, the Amram Ensemble, and in a duo with his wife, violinist Elmira Darvarova. He can be heard on the CD “Take 9”, featuring the New York Philharmonic horn section and the American Horn Quartet, as well as on former Principal Horn Philip Myers’s “New York Legends” CD.

Howard Wall recorded Poulenc’s “Elégie” for Horn and Piano with world-renowned French pianist Pascal Rogé. Mr. Wall has also recorded David Amram’s “Blues and Variations for Monk” for Solo Horn, and gave its European Premiere in Paris. Howard Wall’s most recent CD is “Phillip Ramey: Music for French Horn” (Affetto Records, 2017). Howard Wall began playing the horn at age ten and earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance at Carnegie Mellon University.

He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 19 performing Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns; he most recently performed the same work again at Carnegie Hall in 2012. Howard Wall was among the performers awarded Gold Medal and Top Honors at the 2018 Global Music Awards.

The Red Rocks Music Festival and the Sedona Creative Life Center follow City, State and the CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of our patrons.

Limited audience capacity of 50 people.

Cluster seating with distance between rows and chairs.

Arrival & Departure with masks. May take off masks while seated.

Sanitizing stations and waiver signing. If you are not feeling well, please stay at home.

If you go ...

• What: Red Rocks Music Festival presents “Music from Five Centuries”

• When: Sunday, September 13th, 3:00 pm

• Where: Sedona Creative Life Center, 333 Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona.

• Cost: $36 general admission, includes a free CD by the artists

• More Info & Ticket Purchase: redrocksmusicfestival.com; 602-402-4551