Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ inspires CU production of a Baroque masterpiece

Poppea wants to be empress, and the emperor wants Poppea.

Glen Asakawa/University of Colorado

Glen Asakawa/University of Colorado

By Peter Alexander

Nero and Poppea were the amoral power couple of 60s AD imperial Rome, and they didn’t care who got in their way. They are the subjects of Claudio Monteverdi’s final operatic masterpiece, The Coronation of Poppea, based on Roman history and written in 1653 for the carnival season in Venice.

The CU Eklund Opera Program production of The Coronation of Poppea will be presented Thursday–Sunday, April 23–26, in the Music Theater of the Imig Music Building (7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday). Leigh Holman will direct, and the music director will be Nicholas Carthy.

The similarity between Nero and Poppea and the characters on a certain popular television series gave Holman an idea how to make the opera more vivid. “Coronation of Poppea is all about sex and politics and power, and if you’ve seen House of Cards, it’s the exact same thing,” she says. “It’s about a power hungry, vicious man and his power-hungry, vicious girlfriend.”

Read more at Boulder Weekly.

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Glen Asakawa/University of Colorado

Glen Asakawa/University of Colorado

The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi
CU Eklund Opera Program
Leigh Holman director, Nicholas Carthy, music director

7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, April 23–25 and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26
Music Theater, Imig Music Building
Tickets here or call: 303-492-8008.

Ars Nova Singers map a new world of music

Explorations of the the “New World Renaissance”

Ars Nova Singers

Ars Nova Singers

By Peter Alexander

“I have seen the map of the world . . . “

Those are the opening words of a lively Italian song of the late 15th century, when that statement meant something. It is even possible that Columbus’s sailors sang those words on the way to a world that was not yet on the European maps.

William Simms with theorbo

William Simms with theorbo

More than 500 year later, the same song will open a concert by Boulder’s Ars Nova Singers, “New World Renaissance,” presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Boulder and Saturday in Englewood (tickets available online: http://arsnovasingers.com). Ars Nova’s artistic director Thomas Edward Morgan will conduct the performance, which will feature guest artists Ann Marie Morgan, viola da gamba, and William Simms, theorbo (a long-necked bass lute) and Baroque guitar.

The concert will explore music that was written, or was likely performed in the New World during the 16th and 17th centuries. The featured work, Missa Ego flos campi by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, was written for performance at the cathedral in Puebla, Mexico, in the mid-17th century. The program also includes “Hanacpachap cussicuinin,” a hymn written in the Quechua language of the Incan Empire by the Franciscan priest Juan Pérez Bocanegra.

Read more at Boulder Weekly.

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apr15-ship“New World Renaissance”

Ars Nova Singers, Tom Morgan, conductor
Ann Marie Morgan, viola da gamba
William Simms, theorbo and Baroque guitar
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine St.,, Boulder
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 Hampden Blvd., Englewood
TICKETS

CU Presents offers a wide-ranging smorgasbord for 2015–16

Series will include Irish Chamber Orchestra, Indigo Girls, Twyla Tharp—and much more

Soweto Gospel Choir will be one of the colorful attractions of the 2015–16 season of CU Presents

Soweto Gospel Choir will be one of the colorful attractions of the 2015–16 season of CU Presents

By Peter Alexander

CU Presents, the series of ticketed events presented by the University of Colorado, Boulder, has announced their broad array of events for the 2016–16 season.

As in years past, the season encompasses a smorgasbord of events, from classical music and opera to popular music, jazz and gospel. Both professional touring attractions and performances by CU-based groups are included in the season. (See the full season listing below.)

Tákacs Quartet. Photo by Keith Saunders.

Tákacs Quartet. Photo by Keith Saunders.

Among the musical highlights will be the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by their “principal artistic partner” and former Tákacs quartet member Gábor Tákacs-Nagy in November, the Indigo Girls performing with the CU Symphony in March, and of course the world renowned Tákacs Quartet itself through the season. The Takacs series—divided into the Sunday afternoon Chamber Series and the Monday evening Encore Series—will feature one program by the Attacca Quartet, an award-winning ensemble formed at Juilliard in 2003. You can preview the Attacca with their CD recording, “Fellow Traveler: The Complete String Quartets of John Adams.”

Other musical events will include the San Francisco Jazz Collective performing a “Tribute to Michael Jackson” in October and the Soweto Gospel Choir performing a Christmas concert in December. Rising Stars of the Metropolitan Opera will perform in March, and in April composer/pianist Pablo Ziegler and violinist Lara St. John will perform tangos by Ziegler and Astor Piazzolla.

Diavolo Dance Co. Photo by Ammerpohl.

Diavolo Dance Co.

There will be dance performances by Twyla Tharp Dance, celebrating the choreographer’s 50th anniversary and appearing in Boulder for the first time since 1979; the unique Diavolo Dance Co., which bills itself as “architecture in motion”; and LA-based contemporary dance group Bodytraffic.

Next year’s schedule from the CU Eklund Opera Program will feature Macky Auditorium productions of Rossini’s comedy Cenerentola (Cinderella, sung in Italian with English surtitles); and Francis Poulenc’s haunting Dialogues of the Carmelites (sung in French with English subtitles). The spring will also see a Music Theatre production of Aaron Copland’s rarely performed Tender Land.

Series tickets will go on sale Monday (March 30) at cupresents.org.

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CU Presents
2015-16 season

Twyla Tharp/ Photo by Marc VanBorstel.

Twyla Tharp. Photo by Marc VanBorstel.

Artist Series

Twyla Tharp Dance
50th Anniversary Tour
Sunday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.

SF Jazz Collective
Tribute to Michael Jackson
Friday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Gábor Takács-Nagy, conductor
Friday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Gabor Tákacs-Nagy. Photo by Klaus Rudolph.

Gabor Tákacs-Nagy. Photo by Klaus Rudolph.

Soweto Gospel Choir
Christmas concert
Friday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Diavolo Dance Co.
Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.

Bodytraffic
Sunday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.

Rising Stars of the Metropolitan Opera
Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m.

Indigo Girls. Photo by Jeremy Cowart.

Indigo Girls. Photo by Jeremy Cowart.

Indigo Girls with the CU Symphony Orchestra
Thursday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.

Pablo Ziegler and Lara St. John
Piazzolla Central Park Concert Redux
Friday, April 15, 7:30 p.m.

Holiday Festival
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4
4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Eklund Opera Program
La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
By Gioachino Rossini
(Sung in Italian with English surtitles)
Friday, Oct. 23, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $14
Macky Auditorium

Dialogues of the Carmelites
By Francis Poulenc
(Sung in French with English surtitles)
Friday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 12, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $14
Macky Auditorium

The Tender Land
By Aaron Copland
(Sung in English)
Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 24, 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $14
Music Theatre

Takács Quartet

Attacca Quartet

Attacca Quartet

Chamber Series
4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20
4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 (The Attacca Quartet)
4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8
4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10
4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28
4 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Encore Series
7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21
7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12 (The Attacca Quartet)
7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11
7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29
7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25

Spring Swing
CU-Boulder College of Music jazz bands and ensembles
2 p.m. Sunday, April 17

Music for movement, and movement to music

Boulder Bach Festival and 3rd Law Dance/Theater collaborate on “Bach UnCaged”

Zachary Carrettin with dancers from 3rd Law Dance/Theater

Zachary Carrettin with dancers from 3rd Law Dance/Theater

By Peter Alexander

The Boulder Bach Festival (BBF) will reprise its highly successful 2014 partnership with 3rd Law Dance/Theater with a new work that combines the music of J.S. Bach with iconoclastic 20th-century American composer John Cage.

The performance, “Bach UnCaged” (7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, at the Dairy Center in Boulder), is part of the festival’s “Compass Series,” which aims to present Bach’s music in new and unexpected contexts.

The performances will feature pieces for solo strings by Bach, played by BBF music director Zachary Carrettin on electric violin; interludes drawn from the sonatas for prepared piano by Cage, played by the festival’s executive director, Marcia Schirmer; and dance by 3rd Law Dance/Theater and choreographer Katie Elliott.

Carrettin will play a series of solo movements by Bach, from both the solo sonatas for violin and the solo suites for cello. Between the Bach movements, Schirmer will play individual sonatas for prepared piano by Cage. The separate pieces will be preceded and linked together by improvised passages by Carrettin—some using the notes C-A-G-E. Only at the end will the music of Bach and Cage sound together.

Read more at Boulder Weekly.

Boulder Philharmonic Announces season of collaborations for 2015–16

“Reflections: The Spirit of Boulder” will offer soloists, dance, visiting composers, photography, and a great choral work

Michael Butterman. Photo by Glenn Ross

Michael Butterman. Photo by Glenn Ross

By Peter Alexander

Next year will be a season of collaborations for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Michael Butterman.

The 2015–16 season, which has just been announced, will include a broad array of collaborative work, from the usual appearances of renowned visiting soloists to the season finale, a semi-staged performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion presented in conjunction with Central City Opera, the Boulder Bach Festival, and choruses from the CU College of Music.

In between, there will be two visiting composers, a performance enhanced by the photography of John Fielder, two joint performances with Boulder Ballet, and a return of the aerial and stage performers of Cirque de la Symphonie. (Unless otherwise noted, performances mentioned below are at 7:30 p.m. in Macky Auditorium.)

Charles Wetherbee

Charles Wetherbee

Billed as “Reflections: The Spirit of Boulder” (see full schedule below), the season gets underway at 7 p.m. Sept. 13—a Sunday evening performance—with a program featuring two soloists. Charles Wetherbee, the orchestra’s concertmaster will perform The Storyteller, a piece based on Japanese folk tales that was written for him by Korine Fujiwara; and Gabriela Montero will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Gabriela Montero. Photo by Uli Weber.

Gabriela Montero. Photo by Uli Weber.

Montero is sometimes remembered for her participation in President Obama’s first inaugural, when it was notoriously too cold to play live outside and a recorded performance was substituted, but she is also renowned as a virtuoso pianist who performs to acclaim around the globe. But Butterman is looking forward to her visit for another reason.

“The thing that’s so amazing about her, and quite unique, is her ability to improvise—it’s straight out of another era,” he says. “I‘ve heard her do this a number times and it’s just remarkable— everything from what seems like perfectly worked out Bachian counterpoint to ragtime, to impressionistic, Debussy-esque sort of things.

“What’s so amazing about it is that it seems so beautifully worked out, through all these different styles.”

Charles Den;er/ Photo courtesy of Grumpy Monkey Music.

Charles Denler. Photo courtesy of Grumpy Monkey Music.

The November subscription concert (Nov. 14) will offer the world premier of a new work for piano and orchestra by Denver composer/pianist Charles David Denler, who will also play the solo part. Inspired by the nature writing of American author Henry David Thoreau, Denler’s Portraits in Seasons will be presented with projections of images selected by Colorado photographer John Fielder.

“I would describe the music as certainly tuneful, pictorial, a little bit atmospheric,” Butterman says. “I thought this would be really nice with something to look at and to read. It occurred to everybody that Fielder is so well known and is such a fine artist that we approached him with this particular proposition.”

Fielder has said that to illustrate the seasons, he will choose photographs that are more intimate in scale than many of the large-scale mountain landscapes that he is well known for.

Following the traditional Nutcracker performances over Thanksgiving weekend—this year with new scenery—and the return of the popular “Christmas with the Phil” concerts in December, January will see the orchestra sharing the stage with the Boulder Ballet for a subscription concert. Titled “Dance, American Style,” the Jan. 16 performance will feature the full ballet of Rodeo by Aaron Copland.

Filling out the program will be orchestral performances of the New England Triptych by William Schuman, Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and three excerpts from Copland’s Billy the Kid.

Anne Akiko Meyers. Photo by Molina Visuals.

Anne Akiko Meyers. Photo by Molina Visuals.

February brings a Friday concert (Feb. 12), with another acclaimed guest soloist, Anne Akiko Meyers playing Mendelssohn’s much loved Violin Concerto in E minor, and the season’s second visiting composer, in the form of an artistic residence by Missy Mazzoli.

Dubbed “the coolest thing to happen to the violin since Stradivari” by the Denver Post, Meyers is one of the leading violin soloists of her generation. Her playing has been featured on practically everything from CBS “Sunday Morning” to “The Good Wife” on television, many CDs, and countless radio broadcasts.

Missy Mazzoli. Photo by Stephen S. Taylor.

Missy Mazzoli. Photo by Stephen S. Taylor.

Missy Mazzoli may not be well known in Colorado, but she is, Butterman says, “a pretty hot composer in the New York scene in particular.” Her week-long residency will include educational activities and chamber performances, as well as the Boulder Phil’s premiere of a new version of her Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres).

The title refers, Butterman explains, not to planets but “the idea of circularity and cycles.” The title takes the 18th-century term “Sinfonia,” in reference to ideas from Baroque music and ornamentation that the composer used.

“It’s not exactly a neo-Baroque piece, but it certainly has some connections to earlier periods,” Butterman says—which led him to the other pieces on the concert program: Shostakovich’s Haydn-esque Symphony No. 9, Tchaikovsky’s Mozartiana and the classically inspired Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Boulder Philharmonic with Cirque de la Symphonie. Photo by Glenn Ross.

Boulder Philharmonic with Cirque de la Symphonie. Photo by Glenn Ross.

Cirque de la Symphonie will make its third appearance with the Boulder Philharmonic with two performances, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 2. Building off the famed Cirque du Soleil and other cirque programs, the troop presents aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen choreographed to classical music.

“What I like about them is their ability to appeal very, very broadly to an audience, but to do so while allowing us to present just great classical music,” Butterman says. Based on their previous appearances in Boulder, he says that the audience will “know the basic concept of what they’re going to see, but their repertoire will be different enough that it will be fresh and people will enjoy it.”

The success of the previous sold-out performances led the Boulder Phil to expand to two performances in 2016, adding the 2 p.m. matinee the same day as the evening concert.

Macky Auditorium

Macky Auditorium

The season-ending semi-staged performance of the St. Matthew Passion will also have two performances, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in Macky Auditorium, and at a time and place to be determined on Sunday, April 24. Although it was written as a sacred oratorio, in modern times the St. Matthew Passion has sometimes been staged. One recent notable production, directed by Peter Sellars with conductor Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, was imported into the U.S. for performances in New York City last year.

“This piece is positively operatic in its sweep and pacing,” Butterman says. “However, I don’t think its been done (in a staged performance) in Colorado.”

The idea originated with a proposal from Central City Opera for some kind of collaboration with Boulder Phil. After various ideas were discussed, the two groups, along with the Boulder Bach Festival and the CU College of Music, settled on the St. Matthew Passion.

“We’re going to do it at Macky, but we’re going to be able to use the space creatively,” Butterman says. “(Central City Opera General/Artistic Director) Pat Pearce said Central City was looking for was some kind of immersive experience, where the audience feels enveloped in the drama.

“The Bach repertoire is delicate for us, because we are not a chamber orchestra, and there is already an entity in town that has laid claim to that. So if we were ever going to tackle something like this, we had to have a reason that was unique enough and compelling enough, and this potential four-way collaboration would be just that.”

In addition to Butterman and players from the Boulder Philharmonic, the performance will feature choruses from the CU College of Music and the Bach Festival Chorus, specialized instrumentalists from the Bach Festival, and stage direction by Central City Opera. The Macky stage will be modified, similar to what the CU does every year for their Holiday Festival.

In addition to the subscription concerts, the Boulder Philharmonic will have an evening with the Boulder-based singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov (Oct. 10), Discovery Concerts for local elementary students, free “Cafe Phil” open rehearsals at the Dairy Center, and “Nature & Music” guided hikes with the cooperation of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks.

Season subscriptions packages are available here. Check the Boulder Philharmonic Web page for more information.

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Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
2015-2016 Season—Reflections: The Spirit of Boulder

logo2September 13, 2015 (Sunday): Opening Night
Maurice Ravel: Mother Goose Suite
Korine Fujiwara: The Storyteller, with Charles Wetherbee, violin
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.2, with Gabriela Montero, piano

October 10, 2015: Gregory Alan Isakov with the Boulder Phil
Gregory Alan Isakov, singer-songwriter, guitar

November 14, 2015: Portraits in Season
Johannes Brahms: Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), with Boulder Chorale
Charles Denler: Portraits in Season, with Charles Denler, piano; photography by John Fielder
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2

November 27 through November 29, 2015: The Nutcracker with Boulder Ballet

December 20, 2015: Christmas with the Phil, Venue TBD, Boulder
December 21, 2015: Christmas with the Phil, Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
December 22, 2015: Christmas with the Phil, Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree, with Boulder Bach Festival Chorus

January 16, 2016: Dance, American Style (with Boulder Ballet)
January 17, 2016: Dance, American Style, St. Luke’s, Highlands Ranch (without dancers)
William Schuman: New England Triptych
Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Aaron Copland: “Prairie Night,” “Waltz” and “Celebration Dance” from Billy the Kid
Aaron Copland: Rodeo (complete ballet), with Boulder Ballet

February 12, 2016 (Friday): Spheres of Influence
Missy Mazzoli: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), a Music Alive Composer Residency
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Mozartiana
Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, with Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

April 2, 2016: Cirque de la Symphonie (2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.)

April 23 & 24, 2016: Season Finale
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Semi-staged production with Central City Opera, Boulder Bach Festival & CU Choruses

A musical two-by-four helps build new matinee series at the Dairy Center

dairy-logo

Soundscape Series will offer adventurous programs

By Peter Alexander

The Dairy Center for the Arts is building a new matinee music series, and they have brought in a two-by-four.

No, not a wooden 2×4; a concert featuring two quartets. The performance, “Music for Four,” will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday (March 18) in the Dairy’s Performance Space. The program will be shared by the Boulder Bassoon Quartet, playing music from their album “From the Opposite Shore”; and the Altius String Quartet, playing music by Joseph Haydn and György Ligeti.

2015_SOUNDSCAPE_bannerThe Dairy’s intriguing and adventurous Soundscape series of monthly concerts started in January, and so far has featured programs of “Women in Classical Music” and “Jazz in Classical Music.” The current series will continue through June, then take two months off before resuming in the fall. You can learn about the remaining concerts through the Spring, featuring the Austin Piazzolla Quintet, “Classical Music Unbuttoned” and the Miami String Quartet with composer Bruce Adolphe on the Dairy Center Web page.

The 2015-16 series will be announced by June, director James Bailey says.

Bailey started the series to fill an unmet need that he saw. “I have held the belief for a long time that there are many people in the Boulder area, and in the Denver area, who either cannot go out at night, or who don’t like to go out at night,” he says.

“I’ve often thought there was a need for a good, broadly diversified, highly professional matinee series, so people who go during the day could be out before the traffic got bad. They could be home for dinner and have had a wonderful artistic experience during the early afternoon.”

Bailey, who has organized concert series in Denver at Dazzle and Lannie’s Cabaret over the past four years, was able to sell his idea to Bill Obermeier, executive director of the Dairy. Obermeier liked the idea and gave Bailey the go-ahead for the Soundscape matinee series last fall.

“I think that the key (to programming the series) is a lot of variety,” Bailey says. “In terms of the genres of music, there’s going to be a lot of modern music. But I personally believe that people will get off their sofas and come out to hear contemporary music. There is an appetite for modern music, particularly modern chamber music, that is not being met.”

Bailey said that the performers will all be professionals, from young freelancers from the various universities, to university professors, to freelance professionals who perform with the Boulder Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony and other groups around the state. Occasionally, groups who are traveling in Colorado will also be featured. The musicians will be paid modestly.

“They aren’t doing it for the money,” Bailey says. “What they are going to be able to do is perform alongside other professional musicians, doing music that they really want to do.”

Boulder Bassoon Quartet

Boulder Bassoon Quartet

Wednesday’s concert is a perfect example of Bailey’s approach. It features two young ensembles, playing music they love to perform. Members of the Boulder Bassoon Quartet are graduates of CU who met as students. Today they are freelance musicians who also perform as a quartet.

“It’s an unusual type of group,” Bailey says. “(But) they are brilliant performers, and they’re a lot of fun. They play music that is alive, it’s exciting, and in the performances that I’ve heard, they stole the show.”

opposite-shore-album-coverThe quartet will play two works that they commissioned, a quartet that American bassoonist/composer Paul Hanson wrote while living in Japan, and one that Japanese composer Rica Narimoto wrote while living in New York City. Both are on the quartet’s debut album, “From the Opposite Shore.”

Brian Jack, one of the members of the quartet, explains that Hanson is a virtuoso bassoonist and composer whom they really wanted to work with. “He’s not only a classical musician, he’s a jazz musician and a funk bassoonist, an electric bassoonist,” he says. “He’s an amazing pioneer with the instrument.

“He went to Japan because he was invited by Cirque de Soleil to create his own role at the new production in Tokyo. So the guy’s music is very worldly and eclectic and of super high quality. And his quartet is all about his time in Japan.”

The Japanese composer, Narimoto, spent several months on a grant living in New York, so the quartet members asked her to write a piece about her time there. “Her piece is quite different from what we got from Paul Hanson, but they are both really high quality,” Jack says. “Her musical language is modern, but it’s written in a way that really captures all these experiences that everybody has had, (such as) running through sudden rain and hearing subway announcements.”

Altius String Quartet. Photo by  Jon Hess.

Altius String Quartet. Photo by Jon Hess.

The Altius String Quartet is the graduate string quartet-in-residence in the CU College of Music. They are mentored by the renowned Takács String Quartet, but they also perform widely as a professional quartet in their own right. They are resident quartet of the Western Slope Concert Series in Grand Junction and have coached chamber music and performed at Music in the Mountains Conservatory in Durango.

“This is a young group that has already won a number of competitions,” Bailey says. “They are really, really good. And they are going to perform what I think is one of the best string quartets of the 20th century: the Ligeti String Quartet, ‘Metamorphoses Nocturnes’. That is just an amazingly good piece of music.”

The Hungarian composer György Ligeti composed his First String Quartet, titled “Metamorphoses Nocturnes,” in 1953–54, but his music was banned at the time by the Communist regime in Hungary. It was not performed until 1958, after Ligeti had moved to the west. In addition, Altius will play a movement from a string quartet by Joseph Haydn, and both groups will show their lighter side by playing arrangements of rock music.

With a program that will appeal to Boulder’s adventurous audience, this is a concert to be relished. And Bailey is sure that you will hear about both groups in the future.

“This is one of those instances where we’re going to be able to say, ‘Wow, I heard those guys when they were (getting started)’,” Bailey says. “In fact sometimes, I joke that I really want to book both of these groups as much as I can now, because some day I won’t be able to afford them!”

Tickets for Wednesday’s Soundscape performance are available here.

Silent film and oratorio comprise Pro Musica Colorado program

Performance “merges two fabulous works of art”

By Peter Alexander

Renée Jeanne Falconetti as Joan in The Passion of Joan of Arc. Photo courtesy of Alliance Artist Management.

Renée Jeanne Falconetti as Joan in The Passion of Joan of Arc. Photo courtesy of Alliance Artist Management.

Cynthia Katsarelis has conducted many concerts, but her next program with the Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra is unique and exciting in many ways.

“It’s fab,” she says. “It’s just fab!”

She is referring to Voices of Light by Richard Einhorn, which Pro Musica Colorado will perform with a screening of the 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. An oratorio for small orchestra, chorus and soloists, Voices of Light was composed in 1994 specifically to accompany Dreyer’s film, which is considered one of the greatest silent films ever made.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, in St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, and Saturday, March 14, in First United Methodist Church, Boulder. Soloists appearing with Pro Musica and the St. John’s Cathedral Choir will be soprano Ashley Hoffman, alto Marjorie Bunday, tenor Steven Soph and bass David Farwig.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a masterpiece,” Katsarelis says. “The acting by Renée Jeanne Falconetti [as Joan] is just amazing.”

Read more at Boulder Weekly.