CMF’s mid-summer mini-fest puts the focus on French music

Artist-in-residence Benedetto Lupo will play both Ravel piano concertos in one evening

By Peter Alexander

The mid-summer mini-festival, happily restored to the Colorado Music Festival season, this year will fill Chautauqua Auditorium with the sounds of French music — Ravel, Debussy and others less familiar.


Pianist Benedetto Lupo will be artist-in-residence for the CMF French Music mini-festival.

This is a welcome opportunity for Boulder audiences. The orchestral repertoire is so dominated by German and Russian composers that we can easily forget that France too had a vital musical culture.

The choice is also unsurprising: French music is the natural home of Jean-Marie Zeitouni, the CMF’s music director. “This is a repertoire with which I have intimate affinities,” he says. “I grew up with the Montreal Symphony playing Ravel and Debussy, so I have a special love for it.”

In addition to Zeitouni’s affinity for the repertoire, the other factor in the programming was the availability of pianist Benedetto Lupo. Although he is Italian, Lupo says he “always had an interest” in French music. He studied with Aldo Ciccolini, another Italian who was renowned for his performances of French music.

Lupo will be the CMF artist-in-residence during the mini-festival week and will be part of all four concerts — a Festival Orchestra concert July 20, an abbreviated repeat for “Fresh Fridays” July 21, a solo and chamber concert July 21 and a CMF Chamber Orchestra concert July 25.

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

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Colorado Music Festival
French Mini-Festival
All performances in Chautauqua Auditorium

Festival Orchestra, Jean Marie Zeitouni, conductor, with Benedetto Lupo, piano
7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 20

Fresh Friday performance
Festival Orchestra, Jean Marie Zeitouni, conductor, with Benedetto Lupo, piano
6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21

Benedetto Lupo, piano, with Joseph Meyer, violin; Elizabeth Jaffe, viola; and Aaron Merritt, cello.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22

Fauré’s French Soirée
CMF Chamber Orchestra, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor
Benedetto Lupo, piano; Calin Lupano, violin; Catherine Turner, horn; Vivian Cumplido Wilson, flute.


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