World premiere, Berlioz’s fever dream and Liszt’s evocation of doom
Devin Patrick Hughes wants to be a doorman for classical music.
The conductor of the Boulder Symphony has a mission to break down barriers that might keep people from coming to symphony concerts. “We believe that classical music speaks to everybody,” he says for both himself and the orchestra.
“You need a doorman, somebody standing there showing you in, welcoming you into an environment that’s comfortable,” he says. “We feature local composers and performers as much as possible. I think those things help show people the door in.”
That mission is evident in the Boulder Symphony’s next concert, “Day of Reckoning,” to be performed Saturday, April 8. The soloist will be Cody Garrison, a local pianist who will be making his first concerto appearance with an orchestra. There will be the world premiere of As Lightening Flashes by Elizabeth Anne Comninellis, a recent University of Colorado Boulder graduate. And her score includes a solo for concertmaster Yin-Feng Keynes Chen, another CU graduate who lives in the Boulder area.
Hughes has chosen a particularly accessible program for classical newbies: Berlioz’s Romantic fever-dream, Symphonie Fantastique, which he says “has everything;” Liszt’s fiery Todtentanz (Dance of Death) for piano and orchestra; and Comninellis’s new work, which Hughes expects to be “a big smash with our audience.”
The concert will be “just an incredible experience, especially for people that think classical music is hoity-toity,” Hughes says.
And if it’s your first visit to the symphony, he’s ready to hold the door for you.
Read more in Boulder Weekly.
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Day of Reckoning
Boulder Symphony, Devin Patrick Hughes, conductor
Cody Garrison, piano
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Elizabeth Anne Comninellis: As Lightening Flashes (world premiere)
7 p.m. Saturday, April 8
First Presbyterian Church, 1820 15th St., Boulder