Bringing the Beethoven: pianist David Korevaar

CU faculty member will stream all 32 Sonatas

By Peter Alexander March 27 at 2:40 p.m.

Some people who are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic will binge-watch old TV shows. David Korevaar plays Beethoven.

And he’s sharing it with anyone who wants to listen.

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David Korevaar. Photo by Matthew Dine.

Korevaar, the Helen and Peter Weill Faculty Fellow and a distinguished professor of piano at the CU Boulder College of Music, is planning to play all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas over 60 days. Each will be posted in turn on his YouTube channel.

A great musical legacy from the classical period, the 32 Beethoven sonatas have become one of the most important challenges pianists—and their audiences—can undertake. They cover just about his entire creative career, from the first sonatas, published in 1795, to the very last sonata, published five years before his death in 1827. As such, they document his stylistic development better than any other single genre.

As of Friday, March 27, Korevaar has posted performances of sonatas nos. 1 to 5—Op. 2 no. 1 in F minor, Op. 2 no. 2 in A major, Op. 2 no. 3 in C major, Op. 7 in E-flat major and Op. 10 no. 1 in C minor—with the remaining 27 to follow in order, through Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111.

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Beethoven, 1818. Sketch by August von Kloeber

Playing all the Beethoven sonatas is something that Korevaar had long wanted to do. In a way, the social distancing and self-isolation imposed by the pandemic provided the ideal opportunity. “Artists are finding ways to continue to be artists and for me this seemed like something that I could do at this moment, and share with people,” he says.

“I had been thinking about doing the Beethoven cycle, but I haven’t gotten to the point of really doing it. Here we are, we’re all stuck at home, and so I find myself in this situation of ‘Here is an opportunity to do this project and share it with whoever is interested.’ It’s a gift to myself and a gift to everybody else at the same time.”

One reason for doing all the sonatas one after another is that you can learn from playing or hearing a larger array of Beethoven’s works than from just the greatest hits that are played most often. This provides insight into his revolutionary place in music, Korevaar believes. “With his classic status, we accept Beethoven as normal,” he says. “We’ve normalized him.

“Beethoven, in his time, didn’t represent a norm. He represented something else, he represented something extraordinary. I hope the audience discovers just how wonderful and strange Beethoven is. Beethoven’s a verystrange composer, and a very playful composer, and those are things that really come through in these piano sonatas.”

Another point that Korevaar stresses is that Beethoven belonged to the first generation of composers for whom the piano specifically was their natural means of musical expression. Earlier composers—Mozart and Haydn and composers before them—knew a variety of keyboard instruments, harpsichords and clavichords and organs and early pianos.

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Mozio Clementi

“Beethoven is the first composer we talk about a lot in music history who was native to the piano,” Korevaar says. And while there are others of the same generation—the Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek and the Italian Muzio Clementi for example—they are largely forgotten today. “Dussek and Clementi are perpetually underrated,” Korevaar says. “They have their strengths and charms, but the truth is Beethoven is a much better composer.”

Knowing that context helps the listener understand why Beethoven’s earliest sonatas are so difficult from the very beginning. “There’s a sense of Beethoven saying ‘Look, I can do things on the piano with my two hands that even the best of the other pianists really can’t quite come up to that level’,” Korevaar says.

Korevaar admits that the sound may not be ideal on his made-from-home recordings. “Resources are limited, and the bandwidth is limited—just the quality of video that one can post off a home internet connection,” he says. “I’m recording QuickTime videos using my laptop camera and external mic. That’s all I’m doing.

“I’ve giving myself multiple shots at these things. With the few that I posted so far, I recorded them twice and then chose the one I like better. If it’s not good I’m not going to put it up. Hopefully people agree that they’re OK.”

In the end, it’s not so important to Korevaar whether a large number of people listen to his performances. “If there are people who are interested, it’s great,” he says. “And if there aren’t, I will still have done it and learned something from the process.”

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David Korevaar, playing Beethoven from home

 

Colorado Music Festival on Coronavirus

Executive Director Elizabeth McGuire: No changes yet 

By Peter Alexander March 16 a 3:15 p.m.

Elizabeth McGuire, executive director of the Colorado Music Festival, issued a statement today (March 16, 2020) concerting the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting the world. The bottom line: nothing for the summer of 2020 has been canceled—yet.

Here is McGuire’s statement in its entirety:

I am deeply saddened to witness the impact of the coronavirus on many of our own Festival musicians and peer institutions throughout the world, yet heartened to see so many individuals offering support to those impacted. Like me, many of you have undoubtedly made the decision to donate your ticket refunds. On behalf of the industry, I thank you for your kindness and consideration.

The Colorado Music Festival 2020 season is scheduled to open on June 25, over three months away. We are not making any changes to our planned program at this time, but the Board of Directors and I are paying close attention to the situation and standing by to make appropriate decisions if and when necessary. The health and well-being of our patrons, staff, musicians, and community is of primary importance to us.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2020 Colorado Music Festival:

      • We continue to prepare for our summer season at Chautauqua Auditorium.
      • Single tickets are currently on sale. We want you to purchase with confidence, so have adjusted our 2020 ticket policies to allow for full refunds of any concerts that may be subject to cancellation (excluding ticketing fees). We will continue to allow for ticket exchanges within the Festival season.
      • We have created a list of FAQs to provide answers to common questions.
      • We will keep a close eye on alerts from our local authorities regarding public gatherings, and as we get closer to concert dates will have a better grasp on potential impact on Festival activities.

My sincere hope is that our Festival can serve as a much-needed respite from this large-scale social and cultural void, in which case we will celebrate our time together even more. In the meantime, I will keep you updated about any changes.

We will send updates via email, though you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram or bookmark this page on our website. For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@comusic.org.

Elizabeth McGuire
Executive Director

Live-streamed Concerts and Operas around the World

Helpful guides from WKAR public radio at Michigan State University 

By Peter Alexander March 14 at 11:45 a.m.

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Berlin Philharmoniker

Readers of this page are referred to a very helpful list of live-streamed, and archived streaming performances that has been posted by Michigan State University Public Radio station WKAR. You can find this helpful list here.

The musical riches from the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall are remarkable, and in addition there are many live performances from around the world that you can enjoy from home.

Latest Coronavirus Cancellations

List of classical music events in the Boulder area canceled due to health concerns

By Peter Alexander Updated March 13 at 4:56 p.m.

I will maintain a list of events that have been canceled in the classical music community of Boulder County and nearby at this Web page, and as they come to my attention. The most recent cancellations and announcements will always be at the top, but all events will be maintained on this one page. I will include all of the classical music organizations usually covered here, and any others in the associated music community. As only one person, I cannot vouch for up-to-the-second accuracy, but I will do my best. Nor can I attempt to cover jazz, pop or folk music events, musical theater or dance. I appreciate your understanding, and hope that you all stay safe and healthy.

Longmont Symphony, April 4

The Longmont Symphony has released the following statement, concerning the cancellation of their concert planned for April 4:

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, community and staff, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors has cancelled the April 4 Concert, A Fanfare for All, featuring percussionist Cameron Leach. At this time, there is no plan to reschedule this concert for a future date.
All patrons currently holding tickets for this concert are asked to consider the cost of their ticket as a donation to help defray the financial loss we will incur. All donors will receive a donation letter from the Longmont Symphony Orchestra. Those who do not wish to make a donation should call the office (303-772-5796) for a refund.
We will continue to monitor the status of the virus locally, as well as statewide, and will not hesitate to issue more news releases as prudent. As of this announcement, the May 9 Pops Concert, LSO at the Movies!, has not been cancelled.
Thank you for your continued support of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra during this challenging time for our community.

Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette

The Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette has closed, tentatively until mid-April. The following announcement went out last night (March 12 at 8 p.m.):

As of this evening, there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Boulder County, which has led Boulder Valley School District to close. We follow BVSD’s lead when it comes to school closures, so the following is effective immediately:

    • All building activities are suspended
    • Individual lessons will take place online only
    • All other groups and classes will be put on hold until further notice (tentatively mid-April)

 

Longs Peak Barbershop Chorus April 18

The Longs Peak Barbershop Chorus of Longmont has canceled its planned spring show, scheduled for April 18. In addition, all rehearsals have been canceled until further notice.

Seicento Baroque Ensemble March 13 & 15

Seicento Baroque Ensemble has canceled performances of its planned program of French Baroque music and dance, “Airs & Graces,” planned for Denver and Longmont March 13 and 15 respectively. The following announcement appears on their Web page:

Dear Patrons,

In response to the growing concerns over COVID-19 our venues (Regis and Stewart Auditorium) have made the difficult decision to cancel the performances this weekend. In order to ensure the safety of our patrons and musicians and to aid in containing the spread of the virus we have decided to cancel our corresponding events, the family concert and the dance workshop.

We hope that you might consider your ticket purchase a tax deductible donation to the organization to help us recuperate costs. If you prefer a refund we certainly understand.

We deeply appreciate your support, if you have any questions please feel free contact us.

Boulder Chamber Orchestra remainder of season

The Boulder Chamber Orchestra has canceled the remainder of their  2019-20 season, including concerts in April and May.  The board has issued the following statement:

It is with a profound sense of loss and sadness that the BCO Board of Trustees has decided to cancel the remainder of the 2019–20 season, including the April 18 concert and the May 7 Mini Chamber Concert. We are extremely mindful of the health of our patrons, musicians, and guests and given the current state of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, we believe it is in the best interests of the organization to cancel the upcoming concerts.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this situation my cause any season pass holders and are asking for your understanding while we consider the possibility of moving the scheduled concert to next fall. If we are unable to logistically make such a move work with the scheduling,, we would like to offer our season pass holders two options: one, to be reimbursed $25.00 for the concert (which will require the season pass holders to contact our office via email or U.S. Mail to request a refund in writing in the next thirty days) or two, to invite all season pass holders to our 2020–21 house party in the fall for no charge. . . . If you do not contact us for a refund or to attend the house party, the organization will send you a charitable donation form for a $25 donation.

The entire Board of Trustees would like to thank our loyal patrons and season pas holders for our continued support

Boulder Concert Band March 14 (date corrected)

The Boulder Concert Band has canceled its concert, “Americans We—A Panorama of American Music” scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at the First Congregational Church in Boulder.

A member of the band’s board of directors commented:

We certainly wanted the ’show to go on,’ but the safety of our band members, volunteers, and audience is paramount during this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, so we have cancelled our March 14 concert.

We’re closely monitoring the communications from public health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) cases, and following the recommended guidelines, so stay tuned about our May season finale concert.

Boulder Chorale cancels concerts March 14 & 15

Boulder Chorale has announced the cancellation of “A World in Harmony,” a pair of concerts scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, at the First United Methodists Church in Boulder.

The complete statement from Boulder Chorale is now available:

With the changes to the COVID-19 situation in Colorado over the past 12 hours, we have made the tough decision to cancel our upcoming A World in Harmony concerts this weekend.  We are committed to supporting the efforts of local officials to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19 in our area by limiting large group gatherings.  The health and well-being of our audience members, singers, staff, and the larger surrounding community is of utmost importance at this time.

We hope to reschedule this performance when it is safe to do so, and we will keep you informed as we have more information.

For all ticket holders, your ticket is valid for a rescheduled performance of this program. If you prefer you may donate the value of your ticket to the Boulder Chorale or request a refund by emailing sing@boulderchorale.org.

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this rapidly changing situation.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Email will be answered as quickly as possible.
We look forward to gathering together again in harmony and community soon when the threat of COVID-19 has safely passed.  Until then, stay healthy and safe.

Pro Musical Colorado concerts March 20–22

Colorado Pro Music Chamber Orchestra has joined a growing list of music organizations in the bOulder area who have canceled planned performances due to the coronavirus/COVD-19.

A program titled “Composing Climate” was scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22 in Longmont, Denver and Boulder, respectively. However, in light of other cancelations occurring in the area—including  all performances on the CU campus (see previous posts)—the decision has been made to cancel those concerts as well.

All Spring 2020 performances on the CU Campus

CU Presents and the University of Colorado, Boulder. have just announced the cancellation of all Spring 2020 College of Music events. Their statement specifies that:

This includes Eklund Opera, Artist Series, Takacs Quartet, ensemble performances and all other events. We will be in touch with ticketholders soon regarding next steps.

Please note that this includes the Eklund Opera production of  The Marriage of Figaro (scheduled for March 13–15) and the performance by the Kronos Quartet (March 19) previously covered in Boulder Weekly and on this blog. All faculty recitals and ensemble concerts of the College of Music are also included in the campus-wide cancellation.

The following is also posted on the CU Presents Web page:

We are currently working with the university to understand the impact this has on our events and will update patrons with more information as soon as possible. . . . CU Presents is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at our events. We are actively monitoring the global coronavirus or COVID-19 situation and would like to point you to updates and resources from the University of Colorado Boulder and Boulder County Health.

Boulder Phil concerts March 21 and 22

The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra has canceled their performances with Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance scheduled for March 21 in Boulder and March 22 at the Pinnacle Performing Arts Complex in Denver.

This cancellation was brought about by the university-wide shut down of public events on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The Boulder Phil released the following statement:

We regret to report that the Boulder Phil will be unable to proceed with concerts scheduled for March 21 at Macky Auditorium and March 22 at Pinnacle Performing Arts Center. CU announced today the suspension of all campus classes and gatherings, and we are supporting public health and safety by suspending our concerts until the virus threat has passed. We hope these preventative measures will be effective as our community does its part to protect our citizens.
We view this change as a postponement, and we will reschedule the concert if at all possible. We will keep you informed of developments as we have information.
For all ticket holders, your tickets is valid for a rescheduled performance of this program, or for exchange to a future concert. If you prefer you may donate the value of your ticket to the Phil, or request a refund, by calling the box office, 303-449-1343 starting Monday.

Longmont Chorale cancels all spring performances

The Longmont Chorale has cancelled the remained of their scheduled performances of the 2019–20 season, including concerts planned for March, April and May.

Bob Balsman, president of Longmont Chorale, Inc., released the following statement:

Dear Longmont Chorale audience members,

Due to new CDC guidelines regarding those in vulnerable age groups and/or having underlying health issues being urged to avoid large public gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to end our season, effective immediately. This includes the Viva Voce concert in April.

Please read the update posted on Thursday, 3/06/2020 on the CDC website here.

As much as we all love singing together and for our audience, we need to follow the recommendation to avoid large gatherings to protect everyone’s health.

Please watch our website, social media, and your email for more information.

We hope you will follow the practices listed by health authorities like the CDC and WHO. Stay well, and we’ll be in touch again soon.

BREAKING: FURTHER CANCELLATIONS

Colorado Pro Musica joins list of groups who have canceled performances

By Peter Alexander March 20 at 6:05 p.m.

Colorado Pro Music Chamber Orchestra has joined a growing list of music organizations in the bOulder area who have canceled planned performances due to the coronavirus/COVD-19.

A program titled “Composing Climate” was scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22 in Longmont, Denver and Boulder, respectively. However, in light of other cancelations occurring in the area—including  all performances on the CU campus (see previous posts)—the decision has been made to cancel those concerts as well.

I will keep an ongoing list of known cancellations on the blog, as they come in. People who are holding tickets to canceled events are advised to check the Web pages of the presenting organizations to find out about their policies in this situation.

UPDATE: Cancellations of CU Performances; statement from Boulder Phil

Eklund Opera, Takács Quartet are included in the latest round of cancelations

By Peter Alexander March 11 at 3:57 p.m.

CU Presents and the University of Colorado, Boulder. have just announced the cancellation of all Spring 2020 College of Music events. Their statement specifies that:

This includes Eklund Opera, Artist Series, Takacs Quartet, ensemble performances and all other events. We will be in touch with ticketholders soon regarding next steps.

Please note that this includes the Eklund Opera production of  The Marriage of Figaro (scheduled for March 13–15) and the performance by the Kronos Quartet (March 19) previously covered in Boulder Weekly and on this blog.

The following is also posted on the CU Presents Web page:

We are currently working with the university to understand the impact this has on our events and will update patrons with more information as soon as possible. . . . CU Presents is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at our events. We are actively monitoring the global coronavirus or COVID-19 situation and would like to point you to updates and resources from the University of Colorado Boulder and Boulder County Health.

The Boulder Philharmonic has sent a statement to its patrons and ticket buyers concerning the cancelation of its upcoming concerts March 21 and 22. This information will be shortly available on the Boulder Phil Web page.  Here is the message that has been sent to patrons:

We regret to report that the Boulder Phil will be unable to proceed with concerts scheduled for March 21 at Macky Auditorium and March 22 at Pinnacle Performing Arts Center. CU announced today the suspension of all campus classes and gatherings, and we are supporting public health and safety by suspending our concerts until the virus threat has passed. We hope these preventative measures will be effective as our community does its part to protect our citizens.
We view this change as a postponement, and we will reschedule the concert if at all possible. We will keep you informed of developments as we have information.
For all ticket holders, your tickets is valid for a rescheduled performance of this program, or for exchange to a future concert. If you prefer you may donate the value of your ticket to the Phil, or request a refund, by calling the box office, 303-449-1343 starting Monday.
___________________
NOTE: As much as possible, I will attempt to keep updates concerning cancellations due to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 current on the Web page. Anyone with further information is encouraged to contact this site at alex.peterm@gmail.com.

BREAKING: Boulder Phil March concerts are canceled

Events and classes on CU Campus postponed or canceled

By Peter Alexander March 11 at 1:05 p.m.

Updated at 1:25 p.m.

The Office of the Chancellor at University of Colorado Boulder today made an announcement about campus classes and events. The full ramifications of this announcement for CU Presents and other events is not yet certain. Here are pertinent parts of the announcement form the Office of the Chancellor:

Today, I am announcing several campus actions to help limit COVID-19 risk on our campus. We will continue to fulfill our mission by ensuring that students are able to meet their educational requirements and faculty are able to continue their research and scholarship, and the campus will remain open to allow that to occur. We will continue to operate campus facilities, including residence halls, dining halls, the University Libraries, student recreation centers, the Center for Community, Wardenburg Health Center and the University Memorial Center. But, as local, national and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, we are proactively taking steps to protect the campus and the community.

. . . . .

Effective immediately, multi-day university-sponsored gatherings or those with more than 150 attendees are suspended until further guidance is issued. Event sponsors may request their events still be held and can request exemptions via the campus events exception form.

We will be providing further guidance and direction about how to implement each of these decisions in the coming days. Please continue to reference the latest information at colorado.edu/coronavirus.

Seicento presents music and dance of the French Baroque NOW CANCELED

This performance has now been canceled

By Peter Alexander March 11 at 12 noon

Would you want to see West Side Story without the dancing?

Amanda Balestrieri, director of the Seicento Baroque Ensemble in Boulder, says that’s the effect of hearing French Baroque music without dance. “If you have the music without the dance, it’s not complete,” she says. “It would be like going to see musical theater without the dance and chorus numbers.”

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Seicento Baroque Ensemble

To illustrate that point, Seicento has brought in a French Baroque singer/dancer, Elena Mullins, for their next concert. “Airs and Graces” will be performed in Denver Friday and in Longmont Sunday (March 13 and 15). The program will include numbers for Mullins as well as solo vocal pieces and full choral numbers with orchestra.

Several local singers will perform as soloists. Tenor Alex King and bass Allen Adair will take roles in scenes from French opera and a cantata. Soprano Kendall Baldwin, a senior at Fairview High School in Boulder, will perform alongside 5th-grade students from Escuale Bilingüe Pioneer in Lafayette.

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Costume design for King Louis XIV as the Sun

Dance and music were closely related throughout the Baroque era, but especially so in France. Entertainment at the French court, including opera, featured extensive dance as well as singing, performed by professionals as well as members of the court, including the king. The dances were highly refined, with many moves and gestures that conveyed coded meanings to the audiences, and eventually led to the development of classical ballet.

Today Baroque music from Germany and Italy has eclipsed French music of the period, which has become more and more of a specialized field. Even less well known than French Baroque music is the dance that went with it.. “This is an esoteric corner of an esoteric art,” Balestrieri says.

As far as Balestrieri knows, this will be first time in the Boulder area that French Baroque music has been performed together with authentic dances. She wanted to showcase the two together, for both Seicento members and the audience. “I wanted this to be an encompassing concert,” she says.

“I wanted the choir to have the experience of the music. I wanted the dancer to give that element for people to understand the visual side, and also the fact that it was combined with singing and music.”

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Elena Mullins

Like performers at the French court, Mullins is both a singer and a dancer. She will appear in the first piece on the program, singing La Musique (the allegorical character of music) in an excerpt from Les arts flourissants (The flourishing arts), a chamber opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

She will then appear as a dancer, performing a series of standardized Baroque dances, in Les caractères de la dance by Jean-Féry Rebel. “‘The Characters of the dance’ was a famous piece from the time that was supposed to show you all the different dance styles,” Balestrieri says. It includes a courante, menuet, bourrée, sarabande and gavotte, among other courtly dances that also found their way into the instrumental music of the period.

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Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lully by Paul Mignard

The rest of the program will feature examples of French Baroque music, performed without choreography. There will be several excerpts from the opera Bellérophon by Jean-Baptiste Lully, who was composer and music director to the court of King Louis XIV, as we’ll as a dancer. One particularly entertaining scene features a trio of sorcerers with a chorus of sorcerers and sorceresses. “It’s really clever, very hard for the chorus,” Balestrieri says.

To open the second half of the program, Balestrieri will sing two airs de cours (courtly airs) about the pain and pleasure of love. Baldwin and the 5th-grade students will sing Plaisir d’amour by Jean-Paul Égide Martini, a song that has been popular for more than two centuries, and that became the basis of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t help falling in love with you.”

“The other piece I’m excited about is the cantata by Montéclair called The Triumph of Love,” Balestrieri says. The cantata features three singers—a narrator with Bacchus and Cupid, the gods of wine and of love.

“The scene is a hillside where Bacchus commands his grape pickers,” Balestrieri explains. “He’s in control, and then Cupid flies in and interferes by making everybody fall in love and languish. He has a fight with Bacchus, [until] Bacchus falls in love and accepts love in his court. They agree to cooperate, and then we sing, ‘Just grab a bottle of wine and rekindle the fires of love.’ I love it—it’s so fantastically French!”

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Amanda Balestrieri

Balestrieri wanted to include the children in the performance as a way of spreading knowledge of the French Baroque as well as enriching their education. “The kids who do this don’t yet know how fabulous this is,” she says. “But when they come in and they see this dancer in costume and they hear this music, they will never, ever forget it. And that is important, because you never know who is going to be smitten with this art.”

But the combination of music and dance is not an easy thing pull off. It requires not only specialists in the French Baroque style, it requires dedicated performers who can learn complex music, and it requires a specialist in both the singing and the dance of the French court. Even in major cities, opportunities to see and hear an authentic music and dance performance of this repertoire are rare.

“We have something that will not appear here again anytime soon,” Balestrieri says. “If people want to see it, now’s the time to come!”

# # # # #

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Airs and Graces: Song & Dance in the French Baroque
Seicento Baroque Ensemble, Amanda Balestrieri conductor
With guest artists Elena Mullins, Baroque dancer and soprano; Alex King, tenor; Allen Adair, bass; Kendall Baldwin, soprano; students from Escuela Bilingüe Pioneer; and instrumental ensemble

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, Claver Recital Hall, Regis University, Denver
3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, Stewart Auditorium, Longmont Museum, Longmont

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Excerpts from Les arts florissants
Jean-Féry Rebel: Lex caractères de la danse: Fantasie
Jean-Baptiste Lully: Excerpts from Bellérophon
Jean-Paul Égide Martini: Plaisir d’amous
Michel Pignolet de Montéclair: Le triomphe de l’Amour

Tickets

Boulder Phil announces 2020–21 Season

High drama from Hollywood to Peter Schaefer’s Amadeus to Wagner’s Ring Cycle

By Peter Alexander March 9 at  3 p.m.

The Boulder Philharmonic’s recently announced 2020–21 season will feature a full production of Peter Schaeffer’s Tony-winning play Amadeus, with live actors and orchestra; the return to Boulder of popular soloists Rachel Barton Pine (violin) and Jake Shimabukuro (ukulele); and two new works that were co-commissioned by the Boulder Phil.

Boulder Philharmonic in Macky

Boulder Philharmonic

Other highlights of the season will include concert music by Hollywood composers, an orchestral compilation of the most popular music from Richard Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungen, and a quirky 10-minute mashup of all nine Beethoven symphonies by Dutch composer Louis Andriessen.

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Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times”

The orchestra’s 63rd season opens Oct. 3 with “From Vienna to Hollywood,” a concert featuring music by Charlie Chaplin, written for the film Modern Times; a violin concerto by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, a transplanted Austrian composer of film and concert music who lived in United States in the 1930, ‘40s and ‘50s, performed by violinist Philippe Quint; and Brahms’s First Symphony.

The remainder of the season comprises five further main season concerts, including the live performance of Amadeus Jan. 23, 2021, plus the annual performances of Nutcracker with Boulder Ballet Nov. 27 and 29, and “Jake Shimabukuro & the Boulder Phil” Feb. 6. (See the full listing of concerts and dates, below.)

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Rachel Barton Pine

The first of the two co-commissions will be performed Feb. 3, as part of a program titled “Ravishing Rachmaninoff.” Rachel Barton Pine, who was last in Boulder in 2014, will play the new Violin Concerto written for her by jazz pianist/arranger Billy Childs, which was commissioned by a number of orchestras around the country. The concerto is one of several projects Pine has undertaken to amplify African-American voices in classical music.

The season’s other new piece, Drew Hemenger’s Ozymandias, was initiated by the Boulder Phil and commissioned together with the Rogue Valley Symphony of Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass, Ore. A musical response to climate change, Ozymandias will feature tenor Matthew Plenk, faculty member at the University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Festival Chorus.

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Scenic design from the 1876 first performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle

Ozymandias will be part of a program titled “Epic Tales,” although it might as well have been titled “Downfalls.” In addition to Hemenger’s score about climate change, the concert will include two other works that illustrate tales about bad choices that lead to bad results: Richard Strauss’ epic tone poem Don Juan, whose protagonist ends up in hell; and a 45-minute compilation of orchestral highlights from Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which ends with Brunnhilde’s fiery immolation and the collapse of Valhalla.

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Michael Butterman

The selection includes the most popular excerpts from Wagner’s four-opera cycle, presented in order: “The Entry of the Gods into Valhalla,” “The Ride of the Valkyries,” “Magic Fire Music,” “Forest Murmurs,” “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” and “Brunnhilde’s Immolation Scene.” “It runs about 45 minutes, so we’ve cut out about 14 hours,” writes Boulder Phil music director Michael Butterman by email.

“Come to think of it, “ he adds, “We’re doing a lot of distilling this season: Mozart’s life in one evening, all of The Ring Cycle in 45 minutes; and Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies in 10 minutes.”

The “Season Finale” will take place May 2, 2021, with Andriessen’s 10-minute mashup of all nine Beethoven symphonies, The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven; Beethoven’s full, unexpurgated Third Symphony, the “Eroica”; and new Takacs Quartet member Richard O’Neill playing William Walton’s Viola Concerto.

Richard O'Neill Music Stand

Violist Richard O’Neill

“Our goal is to create programs and experiences that resonate with the artistic and intellectual pulse of our audience,” Butterman writes. “A work about our changing planet, a hybrid concert-play, a quirky condensation of Beethoven’s symphonies in 10 minutes—these are experiences that I believe Boulderites will enjoy.”

Additional events in the 2020-2021 season include concerts at Boulder Public Library, “Events of Note” featuring guest artists in intimate venues, pre-concert talks with Butterman, the #nophilter Happy Hour series with a string quartet of Boulder Phil musicians playing pop, rock, and metal, and the continuation of the “Nature & Music” guided hikes with Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks naturalist Dave Sutherland.

Subscription packages are now available,. For more information, call 303-449-1343 or click here. Single tickets will go on sale June 1.

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Boulder Philharmonic: 2020–21 Season
(All performances in Macky Auditorium unless otherwise indicated)

B.Phil

“From Vienna to Hollywood”
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, Pinnacle PAC
Michael Butterman, conductor
Philippe Quint, violin

Charlie Chaplin: “Smile” from the film Modern Times
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, pp. 68

“Royal Fireworks!”
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, Pinnacle PAC
7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 (note early start time)
Michael Butterman, conductor

Francis Poulenc: Suite française
Kurt Weill: Suite from The Threepenny Opera
Gounod: Petite Symphonie
Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
With Boulder Ballet
Gary Lewis, conductor
2 & 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27
2 p. m Sunday, Nov. 29

Amadeus by Peter Schafer
With CU Department of Theater and Dance, Boulder Chamber Chorale
Michael Butterman, conductor
Bud Coleman, Director
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23

Jake Shimabukuro & the Boulder Phil
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6
Program TBA

“Ravishing Rachmaninoff”
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Michael Butterman, conductor
Rachel Barton Pine, violin

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Vocalise
Billy Childs: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, op. 27

“Epic Tales: Music to Honor the Earth”
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20
Michael Butterman, conductor
Matthew Plenk, tenor, and the CU Festival Chorus

Richard Strauss: Don Juan
Drew Hemenger: Ozymandias: To Sell a Planet
Richard Wagner: The Symphonic Ring

“Season Finale: Eroica”
7 p.m. Sunday, May 2 (note early start time)
Michael Butterman, conductor
Richard O’Neill, viola

Louis Andriessen: The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven
William Walton: Viola Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (“Eroica”)

Longmont Chorale cancels spring performances

COVID-19 Coronavirus cancelations have come to Boulder County

By Peter Alexander March 7 at 10 a.m.

The Longmont Chorale has cancelled the remained of their scheduled performances of the 2019–20 season, including concerts planned for March, April and May.

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Longmont Chorale

Bob Balsman, president of Longmont Chorale, Inc., released the following statement:

Dear Longmont Chorale audience members,

Due to new CDC guidelines regarding those in vulnerable age groups and/or having underlying health issues being urged to avoid large public gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to end our season, effective immediately. This includes the Viva Voce concert in April.

Please read the update posted on Thursday, 3/06/2020 on the CDC website here.

As much as we all love singing together and for our audience, we need to follow the recommendation to avoid large gatherings to protect everyone’s health.

Please watch our website, social media, and your email for more information.

We hope you will follow the practices listed by health authorities like the CDC and WHO. Stay well, and we’ll be in touch again soon.

At this time, the Longmont Chorale is the first musical organization in this areas whose cancellations has come to my attention. At least one other organization is trying to arrange live streaming for a planned performance, so that at-risk persons can enjoy the music without going out, but nothing has been announced at this time.

I will try to  watch for any further announcements or cancellations from groups in this area in response to the spreading Coronavirus outbreak.