Longmont Symphony 2018–19: ‘Musical Journeys,’ Beethoven cycle

Season will include Colorado premieres and two chamber orchestra concerts

By Peter Alexander May 18 at 12:40 a.m.

The Longmont Symphony Orchestra, going into its second season with new conductor Elliot Moore, is aiming high.

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Elliot Moore and the Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Moore’s first season was both financially and artistically successful. Building on that, the LSO has added a second chamber orchestra concert featuring classical-era repertoire at the Stewart Auditorium, and has included ambitious repertoire through the season (see the full listing below).

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Elliot Moore (Digital Lane photography)

“Our audience is telling us that they want more,” Moore says. “The players have proven that they are capable of playing some really fantastic pieces that are very challenging, and doing it at a very high level. We’ve certainly seen that this year.”

The theme of “musical journeys” can be interpreted in more than one way for the coming season. For example, there are a number of pieces that are inspired by or reflect specific places or scenes, including Debussy’s evocation of the sea in La Mer, Smetana’s depiction of a voyage down Bohemia’s Vltava river in The Moldau, and Samuel Barber’s nostalgic recollection of lazy summer nights in Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

But Moore is thinking in broader terms, too. The season’s second main series concert (Nov. 10) celebrates Longmont’s sister city Chino, Japan, by featuring pianist Taka Kigawa—a Juilliard-trained pianist from Chino—as soloist. The same program also celebrates the journey of musical influences across cultures: Kigawa will play Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, which was influenced by American jazz; the orchestra will play the Colorado premiere of How to Relax with Origami by Boulder-based composer Conor Abbott Brown, a piece obviously reflecting on Japanese culture; and the concert will conclude with La Mer, which was partly inspired by a famous woodcut by Japanese artist Hokusai that Debussy owned.

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Christie Conover

There are journeys around America on the season as well. The third concert (Feb. 23, 2019) includes Copland’s familiar music from Rodeo and Libby Larsen’s Cowboy Songs, along with Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the Colorado premiere of Robert Kurka’s Symphony No. 2. Soprano Christie Conover will be the soloist.

The first concert of the season will be a tribute to Leonard Bernstein—celebrating the 100thanniversary of his birth—including  a performance of his Chichester Psalms with the Longmont Chorale and boy soprano Wade Hetrick. Composers that Bernstein particularly championed will fill out the program with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

It turns out that the LSO has already embarked on a musical journey. Their “Museum Concert” in the Stewart Auditorium this past April included Beethoven’s First Symphony. Moore has now announced that was the beginning of a cycle of all nine Beethoven symphonies, to be completed over a 4- or 5-year span. The second of the coming season’s Museum Concerts, April 14, 2019, will add the Second Symphony to the cycle.

Both the Beethoven cycle and the expansion of the chamber orchestra series at the Stewart Auditorium are important parts of Moore’s vision for the orchestra. For 2018–19 there will be two Museum Concerts—Oct. 21 with music of Haydn, Mozart and Richard Danielpour; and April 14, 2019, with music of Beethoven and Shostakovich—and for the following year, three.

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Stewart Auditorium. Photo by Peter Alexander.

“Making sure that we have time to delve into the performance of the classical style” with the chamber orchestra is a part of Moore’s vision, he says. “The orchestra really responded well to learning about that style [this past year], and that will serve us well as we go forward.”

Moore acknowledges that he has not shied away from programming difficult music. “There are certainly aspects that are challenging in this season, but I don’t think it’s that much more challenging,” he says. “They are all programs that the orchestra will sound really great on, that they are able to shine.”

Mahler’s First Symphony and La Mer are two works that give the orchestra the opportunity to shine, but the greatest challenge will come with the last of the main series concerts (April 6, 2019), when Moore has programmed The Moldau, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Sharon Roffman, and notably, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.

“I’m excited that as our final masterwork we have a work that features all the wind soloists as well as different sections throughout the entire orchestra, and shows the strength of our Longmont Symphony musicians,” Moore says.

In addition to the four main series concerts of orchestra masterworks and the two Museum Concerts, the season will include a Pops Concert, a Family Concert, the usual Nutcracker performances with Boulder Ballet, and the Candelight Concert of holiday music (see all dates below).

Six‐concert subscription packages go on sale on Monday, May 21. Call 303‐772‐5796, 10 a.m.­ to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, or 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. Fridays. The office is closed on Wednesdays.

Series package buyers receive 20% off single ticket prices. Single tickets for Main Series concerts are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and active military, $5 for students age 12–18 ($10 for the pops concert), and free for age 11 and under. Single tickets go on sale on Monday, Aug. 27 via phone and here.

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LONGMONT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
201819 SEASON
MUSICAL JOURNEYS

CONCERT IN THE PARK

Longmont Youth Symphony, Longmont chorale, Longmont Symphony
11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Thompson Park, 420 Bross Street, Longmont
Free and open to the public

MAIN SERIES CONCERTS
All concerts in Vance Brand Auditorium at Skyline High School,
600 East Mountain View Ave., Longmont
Elliot Moore, conductor

Opening Night: Happy Birthday, Lenny!
Longmont Chorale, with Wade Hartrick, boy soprano|
Shostakovich: Festive Overture
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Mahler: Symphony No. 1, “Titan”
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6

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Taka Kigawa. Ruby Washington/The New York Times

A Cultural Affair
With Taka Kigawa, piano
Conor Abbott Brown: How to Relax with Origami (Colorado Premiere)
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
Debussy: La Mer
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 

Sounds of America
With Christie Conover, soprano
Robert Kurka: Symphony No. 2 (Colorado Premiere)
Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Libby Larsen: Cowboy Songs
Copland: Rodeo
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23

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Sharon Roffman

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
With Sharon Roffman, violin
Smetana: The Moldau
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6

Pops Concert: The LSO in Space!
Celebrating 60+ years of spaceflight in the auditorium named after astronaut Vance Brand, including film music from Star Wars and E.T. as well as Holst’s The Planets and Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 

MUSEUM CONCERTS
Stewart Auditorium, Longmont Museum
Elliot Moore, conductor

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Alice Yoo

Haydn & Mozart
Longmont Symphony Chamber Orchestra
With Alice Yoo, cello
Richard Danielpour: Lacrimae Beati
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551 (“Jupiter”)
4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21

Beethoven Cycle
Longmont Symphony Chamber Orchestra
Beethoven: Overture to Egmont
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 36
4 p.m. Sunday, April 14 

HOLIDAY EVENTS

The Nutcracker with the Boulder Ballet
Elliot Moore, conductor
4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2
Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, Longmont 

Candlelight Concert
Longmont Symphony Chamber Orchestra with the Longmont Chorale Singers
Elliot Moore, conductor
Schubert: Mass in G Major
Carols from around the world
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
Westview Presbyterian Church, Longmont

FAMILY MATINEE CONCERT

Elliot Moore, conductor
With the Longmont Youth Symphony
Young Artist Competition Winner, TBA
Erik Kroncke, bass‐baritone
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 (Finale)
Michael Close: A Child’s Book of Animals (World Premiere)
4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19
Vance Brand Civic Auditorium

For more information and tickets, click here.

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Seicento appoints Amanda Balestrieri artistic director

A frequent soloist with Seicento, Balestrieri served as assistant director for the past year

By Peter Alexander May 7 at 1:40 p.m.

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Amanda Balestrieri. Photo courtesy of Seicento Baroque Ensemble

Seicento Baroque Ensemble has appointed Amanda Balestrieri as artistic director for the coming season.

No official announcement has been released, but the news appeared in the form of “A Note from our Artistic Director” on Seicento’s Web page that was signed by Balestrieri.

A soprano who is known for her skill performing early music, Balestrieri succeeds Kevin T. Padworksi, who was appointed director one year ago. Balestrieri has been a frequent soloist with Seicento, and has served as the group’s assistant director for the past year. She will be the group’s third artistic director.

Nancy Lillie, president of Seicento’s Board of Directors, said via email that Padworksi “resigned because unforeseen personal obligations arose and he needed to free up time to attend to them. The Seicento board understood his dilemma and we had an amicable parting.”

Balestrieri is currently out of the country and unavailable for comment. She wrote on the Seicento Web page, “I am delighted to accept the role of artistic director for Seicento Baroque Ensemble and an looking forward to a fabulous eighth season.”

In the same message, Balestrieri announced the topics for two concerts next season: “Baroque Pairings: Voices and Violins” in November and “In Your Court: A Royal Tour” in March. Both programs will be performed in Denver, Boulder and Longmont.

A native of England, Balestrieri received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in modern languages from Oxford University and studied voice in London and Milan. She sang with the Academy Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner and was a soloist in contemporary music with James Wood’s New London Chamber Choir. After moving to the U.S., Balestrieri appeared with the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin and Sir Christopher Hogwood. She has also performed with the American Bach Soloists, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Washington Bach Consort, and the New York Collegium.

She has appeared with the Colorado Symphony and most of the early music organizations in Colorado. She is currently affiliate professor of voice at Regis University in Denver, where she has directed the Regis University Collegium Musicum.

Seicento was founded by Evanne Browne, who remains with the organization as artistic director emeritus. She returned to Boulder in March to conduct a program titled “Mad Madrigals.”

CU Presents Update: Eklund Opera will present ‘West Side Story’ Oct. 26–28

By Peter Alexander May 1 at 5:40 p.m.

When first announced as part of the coming 2018–19 CU Presents season, Eklund Opera’s major fall production was listed somewhat mysteriously as Title TBA, music by Leonard Bernstein.

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Art by Janalee Robison for CU Presents

In case you haven’t guessed, the title, which can NBA (now be announced), is West Side Story. As noted previously, contractual arrangements did not allow for the title to be revealed until May 1.

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Leonard Bernstein

The production will be part of the year-long, globe-spanning celebration of of the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth. Boulder has already seen a sold-out concert performance of West Side Story presented by the Boulder Philharmonic and Central City Opera (April 28).

Later this month the Colorado Symphony will present music by Bernstein paired with one of his favorite composers, Gustav Mahler (May 25–27),  and several Bernstein works will be featured as part of this summer’s Colorado Music Festival. It is not difficult to find other Bernstein tributes at summer festivals around the country, including Bravo! Vail and the Aspen Music Festival.

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Scene from the original 1957 production of ‘West Side Story’ with Jerome Robbins’ landmark choreography

When it first appeared in 1957, West Side Story was truly genre-changing for Broadway. A New York-based updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the show did not shy away from  serious social issues or a tragic ending. Its book, lyrics, music and dance were conceived not as separate pieces but as a unified work of art, which therefore required a cast equally skilled as actors, dancers and singers. Bernstein’s music was unusually complex and difficult for both players and singers, and Jerome Robbins’ choreography set a new standard for singer-dancers.

With the combined team of Bernstein, Robbins and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story is certainly one of the most influential musicals in the history of Broadway. It has also become one of the most loved Broadway shows in history, revived by theaters and opera companies world wide. And be warned: it often sells out.

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West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book by Arthur Laurents; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on a concept by Jerome Robbins
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28
Macky Auditorium

Subscription tickets 2018–19 CU Presents performances, including West Side Story and other Eklund Opera performances, are available here.

Tickets to individual performances will be available starting Aug. 20.
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Edited 5/1 to replace generic West Side Story poster image with art created for CU Presents by Janalee Robison.

Boulder Phil sells out West Side Story 10 days in advance

Orchestra ends 60th-anniversary season on a high April 28

By Peter Alexander April 18 at 10:40 a.m.

The Boulder Philharmonic has announced that their concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story on Saturday, April 28, has sold out 10 days in advance.

westsidestoryThe orchestra’s 60th-anniversary season has already been a success at the box office, leading to a modest expansion of next year’s season. When announcing the 2018–19 season April 6, Katherine Lehman, the Boulder Phil’s executive director, observed that “We have been extremely successful with ticket sales, and we’re ending the year particularly well this year.”

The sellout of West Side Story adds success to success. “This is thrilling news for us,” Lehman says today. “We can’t imagine a better way to bring our 60th-anniversary season to a close than to share West Side Story with a sell-out crowd!”

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Michael Butterman will conduct the sold-out West Side Story in Concert with the Boulder Phil

Boulder Phil has sold out a few performance in Macky Auditorium in recent years. Besides the Sunday Nutcracker performances with Boulder Ballet, these include several performances with Cirque de la Symphonie. Another sellout was the Boulder performance of the “Nature and Music” concert in March, 2017, that was subsequently performed in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Performances by the orchestra with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukaro in 2017 and violinist Sarah Chang in 2013 both sold out the day of the performance. The current production of West Side Story marks the first time in recent years that Boulder Phil has sold out a concert 10 days in advance.

The performance, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth, is a presentation of the Boulder Phil in collaboration with Central City Opera. Boulder Phil music director Michael Butterman is conducting, with stage direction by Robert Neu, and a cast selected in audition by Butterman, Neu, and Central City Opera artistic director Pelham Pearce. The orchestra will be seated onstage, with action occurring on the front apron of the stage, and on a platform erected behind one side of the orchestra.

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San Francisco Symphony: West Side Story in Concert (photo by Stefan Cohen)

A few years ago, this performance would not have been possible. It has been popular for many years for orchestras to perform live with a screening of the film, but rights were not given for concert performances until 2014, when the San Francisco Symphony gave the first live in concert performances. Their performance was subsequently released on CD.

There have a been a few other orchestras who have performed West Side Story in concert, but the Boulder Phil is one of the first, if not the first, regional orchestra to do so.

Pops series, soloists and women composers highlight ‘18–19 Boulder Phil season

“Open Space” season opens with Star Wars and ends with “Space Oddity”

By Peter Alexander April 6 at 6 a.m.

The Boulder Philharmonic is booming.

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Conductor Michael Butterman and the Boulder Philharmonic in Macky Auditorium

That is one of the messages of the 2018–19 season, titled “Open Space,” which the orchestra is announcing today. There will be a new series of three pops concerts over the course of the season, which will run from Sept. 29 to May 5—longer than in past years. (See the entire season below.)

The additional series means more performances—six Main Series concerts, three Pops Series concerts, plus the annual Nutcracker performances with Boulder Ballet in November. And more performances means an expanding budget—a sign of the Phil’s success.

“It’s a modest expansion of what we’ve done in the past, and it reflects our desire to serve the community in a somewhat more expansive way,” Katie Lehman, the orchestra’s executive director, says.

pixarinconcert_previewThe concerts of the Pops Series will be “A Tribute to John Williams” on Sept. 29, with music from some of Williams’ most popular film scores; “Pixar in Concert,” an event with family appeal featuring music from some of Pixar Animation Studio’s films including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and others; and “The Music of David Bowie with the Boulder Phil,” an event presented by Windborne Productions featuring singer Tony Vincent that will be a combination rock concert and orchestra performance.

The pops series is not the only newsworthy part of the season. The roster of soloists will include two genuine classical superstars, starting in November with violinist Midori, who has chosen the Phil as a recipient of her Orchestra Residency Program grant. She will perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Phil Nov. 4, and perform with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras (GBYO) the following day.

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Midori. Photo by Timothy Greenfield Sanders.

While in Boulder Midori will present master classes and participate in neighborhood outreach activities, school events, civic presentations, and the Boulder Phil’s annual gala Nov. 3. The Nov. 5 concert by the GBYO will include the world premiere of a work for violin and string orchestra by CU assoc. prof. of composition Daniel Kellogg.

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson will return to Boulder for the first time in many years to perform Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto with the Phil on Jan. 19. Ohlsson, who rose to fame when he won the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, played at the Colorado Music Festival several times in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Other soloists during the season will be soprano Mary Wilson, singing Samuel Barber’s nostalgic Knoxville, Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s elegiac Fourth Symphony with the orchestra Feb. 9; and cellist Astrid Schween of the Juilliard String Quartet and the Juilliard School faculty, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto March 2.

amadeus-webThe main series will conclude with a collaboration with the CU Department of Theatre and Dance, with the orchestra playing onstage during a performance of Peter Schaffer’s play Amadeus April 27. While the Phil has done performances with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in the past, this will be the first theatrical collaboration in several years.

Michael Butterman, the Boulder Phil’s music director, explains that the performance will include virtually the entire play, with extended musical interludes. “The play indicates places where music is to be played,” he says. “At the beginnings and ends of the two acts we have more extended pieces, so it becomes about 50-50 in terms of play and concert.”

New for the 2018–­19 season will be the Encore Concert, a community engagement event that gives amateur musicians the opportunity to play side by side with members of the Boulder Phil. The performance will be Sunday, Sept. 30, in Macky Auditorium. (The full schedule of activities will be announced later.)

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Boulder native Kristin Kuster

The season will notably include five pieces by living composers, three of them women: Circuits by Cindy McTee and Celestial Suite by James Stephenson Oct. 13 and 14; Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds by Tan Dun Nov. 4; Starburst by Jessie Montgomery Feb. 9; and Dune Acres by Boulder native Kristin Kuster March 2.

The number of women composers is particularly noteworthy. The world of classical music has been heavily criticized for the male-dominated repertoire in the year of #MeToo and #Time’sUp. Specifically, the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra together had a total of zero women composers—in seasons far longer than that of the Boulder Phil—and the New York Philharmonic included only one. (One of many articles on this issue can be seen here.)

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Michael Butterman

Butterman identified a couple of other “subthemes” to the season. “There’s some substantial stuff for the orchestra to dig into,” he said, speaking of large orchestral works that will appeal to the traditional classical audience. These include Holst’s Planets Oct. 13 and 14; Brahms Third Symphony Nov. 4; Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony Jan. 19 and 20; and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony Feb. 9.

The world of technology shows up in various ways, including McTee’s Circuits. Tan Dun’s Secret of the Wind and Birds calls for both orchestra and audience to play previously downloaded musical passages on their cell phones—“hopefully in a way that is intentional,” Butterman says. In a similar vein, the pops concert “Pixar in Concert” celebrates the world of computer animation.

The theme of “Open Spaces” continues the Boulder Phil’s history of seasonal themes around the community’s relationship to the outdoors, and it implies the extension of that vision into outer space. Thus, the first program of the season, the pops program on Sept. 29, includes Williams’ music from Star Wars and E.T., and the final program May 5 includes Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

The Main Series opens Oct. 13 and 14 with “Infinite Space,” a concert featuring Stephenson’s Celestial Suite and Holst’s Planets. The rest of the season is sprinkled with pieces that suggest either “Open Spaces” or outer space, including Alexander Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia Jan. 19 and 20; and Montgomery’s Starburst and Mahler’s vision of heaven in the Fourth Symphony, Feb. 9.

But the most significant aspect of the upcoming season is the way recent success has led to an expanded presence for the orchestra. “We have been extremely successful with ticket sales, and we’re ending the year particularly well this year,” Lehman says.

She stresses that the expansion not only gives more choices to the public, it benefits the orchestra’s musicians as well. “We are very interested in building the loyalty of our core orchestra, our most talented, exciting musicians, and to that end we want to be able to offer them more work,” she says. “We want to offer them more projects that they have more input into, because the best orchestra is going to be the one that wants to be on the stage.

“For us, building the loyalty of musicians that we really love to have with us means giving them what they want.”

The bottom line, she says, is responding to what both the musicians and the public want and will respond to: “We are in the process of doing a careful job of listening to our people and our city, and thinking about ways that we can move into the future.”

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Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra 2018-19 Season-at-a-Glance
Except as noted all concerts are in Macky Auditorium on the CU campus.

 

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John Williams

A Tribute to John Williams—Pops Series
Michael Butterman, conductor
Program includes music from Star Wars, E.T., Jaws, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Schindler’s List
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Encore Concert (Community Side-by-Side)­­
Michael Butterman and members of the Boulder Philharmonic with amateur musicians.
Sunday, September 30, time TBA

CINDY MCTEE (OP 3) MAR 25, 09

Cindy McTee

Infinite Space­—Main Series
Michael Butterman, conductor
Cindy McTee: Circuits
James Stephenson: Celestial Suite
Gustav Holst: The Planets with women’s chorus
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
2 p.m. Sunday, October 14 (Pinnacle PAC, 1001 W. 84th Avenue, Denver, without video)

Midori Plays Sibelius—Main Series
Michael Butterman, conductor, with Midori, violin
Tan Dun: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.

The Nutcracker with Boulder Ballet
Gary Lewis, conductor
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71
2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, Saturday, Nov. 24,  and Sunday, Nov. 25
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24

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Garrick Ohlsson. Photo by Dario Acosta

Ohlsson Plays Rachmaninoff—Main Series
Alexander Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1
Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19
2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 (Pinnacle PAC)

The Heavenly Life—Main Series
Michael Butterman, conductor, with Mary Wilson, soprano
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
Samuel Barber: Knoxville, Summer of 1915
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Saturday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.

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Astrid Schween. Photo by Steve Sherman.

Elgar & Beethoven—Main Series
Michael Butterman, conductor, with Astrid Schween, cello
Kristin Kuster: Dune Acres
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2

Pixar in Concert—Pops Series
Gary Lewis, conductor
Program includes music from Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23

Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus—Main Series
Michael Butterman, conductor
Directed by Bud Coleman, with the CU Department of Theatre & Dance and choir
Music from Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony, “Haffner” Symphony, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Gran Partita, Requiem, and more
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27

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Tony Vincent in ‘The Music of David Bowie’

The Music of David Bowie with the Boulder Phil—Pops Series
Brent Havens, conductor, with Tony Vincent, vocalist
David Bowie hits including Space Oddity, Changes, Under Pressure, Heroes, Fame, and China Girl
7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Tickets and more information: Five- and six-concert main series packages are on sale now. New subscribers save 50% off single ticket prices. Pops series subscribers receive 10% off three concerts. Click here or call 303-449-1343.

Single tickets go on sale June 4, 2018.

 

CU Presents Artists Series 2018–19 features Venice Baroque, Sarah Chang, Tafelmusik

Dates announced for Takács Quartet, Eklund Opera performances, other events

By Peter Alexander April 1 at 11:40 p.m.

CU Presents has announced its 2018–19 season of music, dance and theater, including significant classical music performances by guest artists and CU organizations.

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Venice Baroque Orchestra

The return of the Venice Baroque Orchestra to Macky Auditorium  will lead off the schedule of classical guest artists Nov. 2. Violinist Sarah Chang will present a solo recital Nov. 16, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto-based historical-performance group, will present “The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House” March 4.

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Sarah Chang. Photo by Colin Bell for EMI

There is also good news for those interested in world music. The Silkroad Ensemble, founded 20 years ago by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will perform in Macky Jan. 31, and the remarkable Japanese drumming ensemble Kodo is scheduled for Feb. 16.

Boulder audiences have long relished the world-renowned Takács Quartet. With new second violinist Harumi Rhodes, they will present two performances each of five programs September through April. The Carpe Diem Quartet, featuring CU assistant prof. and Boulder Philharmonic concertmaster Charles Wetherbee as first violinist, will appear on another pair of concerts on the Takács series in November.

Finally, the Eklund opera program will feature two Macky Auditorium productions—a work celebrating the Leonard Bernstein centennial Oct. 26–28, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin March 15–17—and Benjamin Britten’s setting of Henry James’s creepy ghost story Turn of the Screw in the Imig Music Building Music Theatre April 25–28.

The full listing of classical music events is below. Season ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. Monday, April 2, and single tickets will be available beginning Aug. 20. A listing of all CU Presents events, including theater and dance, popular attractions, and Holiday performances, can be found at the CU Presents Web page.

Tickets are available here,  or by phone at 303-942-8008.

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CU Presents Classical Guest Artists 2018–19
Performances in Macky Auditorium

Venice Baroque Orchestra
With Anna Fusek, recorder
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2

Sarah Chang, violin
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16

Tafelmusik
“The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House”
7:30 p.m. Monday, March 4

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Tafelmusik. Photo by Sian Richards.

Takács Quartet
Sundays sold out by subscription; Mondays have limited availability
All performances in Grusin Music Hall

4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23
7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept 24

4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28
7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29

Sunday, Nov. 25, 4 p.m. (featuring the Carpe Diem String Quartet)
7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 (featuring the Carpe Diem String Quartet)

4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13
7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14

4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10,
7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11

4 p.m. Sunday, April 28
7:30 p.m. Monday, April 29

Eklund Opera Program

Title TBA*
Music by Leonard Bernstein
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28
Macky Auditorium
*Due to contractual obligations, the title of this production will not be announced until May 1, 2018

Eugene Onegin
By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16
2 p.m. Sunday, March 17
Macky Auditorium

The Turn of the Screw
By Benjamin Britten
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25; Friday, April 26; and Saturday, April 27
2 p.m. Sunday, April 28
Music Theatre, Imig Music Building

World Music Events

Silkroad Ensemble
7:30 p.m.. Thursday, Jan. 31
Macky Auditorium

Kodo
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Macky Auditorium

Eklund Opera, guest director Garfein selected semifinalist for national award

The American Prize in Stage Direction honors CU’s 2017 Magic Flute

By Peter Alexander March 28 at 2:20 p.m.

Magic_Flute_PR103GA

Michael Hoffman and Katia Kotcherguina in the CU Eklund Opera production of The Magic Flute (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

The American Prize recently announced 13 semi-finalists for the 2017–18 prize for stage directors, including Herschel Garfein for his direction of the CU Eklund Opera’s production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, performed in Macky Auditorium March 17–18, 2017.

The American Prize is a series of national competitions in the performing arts that was founded in 2009. Every year awards are given in 16 categories, including composition, soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, theater companies and stage directors.

The winners represent the best performance in each category, as determined by the judges. The panel of judges in the opera categories includes soprano Sharon Sweet and mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, both artists who have performed at opera houses around the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Winners will receive a modest cash prize and award certificate.

Garfein

Herschel Garfein

Garfein is a stage director, opera librettist and two-time Grammy Award-winning composer. He teaches music composition and script analysis at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development of New York University, where he has won an NYU Teaching Excellence Award.

In addition to his stage direction, Garfein also adapted the English dialog for The Magic Flute. He has written librettos for Sister Carrie and Elmer Gantry with composer Robert Aldridge, and both music and libretto for an operatic adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead that was presented as part of the CU New Opera Workshop (CU NOW) program.

Read more about The American Prize on their Web page.  The full list of semi-finalists may be seen here.

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization based in Danbury, Conn.