Colorado Music Festival Announces 2020 Summer Season

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Colorado Music Festival Announces 2020 Summer Season

The Colorado Music Festival (CMF) in Boulder, Colorado, isn't broadly known outside the state, but it should be. This summer, under the leadership of the recently arrived Music Director Peter Oundjian, the Festival will actually present more 21st-century pieces (16, including two world premieres) than works by Beethoven (13). That reflects Oundjian's commitment to presenting the work of living composers as well as music by masters of the canon. This is the first year of the Festival's five-year commitment to commissioning new works and presenting them in Boulder.

"I believe that performing and hearing music by living composers is essential to keeping the art form alive, and to understanding the relevance of the great masterpieces of centuries past," said Oundjian. "We don't have to be afraid of new music anymore, as I learned over the 14 successful years of the New Creations Festival with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra while I was Music Director there."

The season's opening concert (performed June 25 and 26) embodies Oundjian's vision. The first half features Forestallings, a world premiere for orchestra by Hannah Lash, commissioned by the Festival, and John Adams's Absolute Jest with guest artists Takács Quartet. According to both Lash and Adams, these pieces were inspired by Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, which listeners can hear in the second half of the concert. By pairing the new and the old, Oundjian says the concert honors not only Beethoven's music in this 250th Anniversary year, but his penchant for bold innovation as well. Lash's commission also kicks off a three-year series of three generations of women composers, celebrating 100 years of the 19th Amendment.

This summer, John Adams makes his CMF debut as composer-in-residence. "I am honored to be composer-in-residence for the 2020 Colorado Music Festival," Adams says. "I deeply appreciate the Festival's enthusiasm for new and imaginative ideas and look forward to the collaboration."

On July 7, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, also making their CMF debut, performs Adams's String Quartet No. 2. On July 16, the program features Adams's City Noir as well as a piece by his son, Samuel Adams, Chamber Concerto. Both composers are planning to attend the concert.

The performance of City Noir concludes the Festival's first-ever Music of Today Series, July 14-19, with four concerts dedicated exclusively to the work of living composers (except for one Beethoven string quartet).

· The week opens on July 14 with the quartet Brooklyn Rider, which Strings magazine described as "the future of chamber music," performing five pieces composed in 2018: Caroline Shaw's Schisma; Gabriela Lena Frank's Kanto Kechua #2; Du Yun's i am my own achilles' heel, a form that would never shape; Matana Roberts's borderlands...; and Reena Esmail's Zeher (Poison). Also on the program is Beethoven's Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132.

· On July 16, the CMF Orchestra performs a World Premiere by Wang Jie, also commissioned by the Festival and part of the 19th Amendment women composers project. That evening also features John Adams's City Noir (2009) and Samuel Adams's Chamber Concerto (2017).

· The "Kaleidoscope" concert on July 17 pairs energetic and accessible contemporary music from an eclectic mix of composers with pianist Christopher Taylor, Jisu Jung on marimba and members of the CMF Orchestra. That evening's program features:

Joan Tower, Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 5 (1993)
Nico Muhly, Big Time for String Quartet and Percussion (2012)
Eric Ewazen, Northern Lights (1989)
Derek Bermel, Turning (1995)
Nebojsa Zivkovic, Trio per Uno (1995/1990)
William Bolcom, Piano Quintet No. 2 (2011)
Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert (Part IIC) (1975)
Leigh Howard Stevens, Rhythmic Caprice (1989)

· On July 19, composer-in-residence John Adams takes the stage for the first half to conduct his own Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, featuring pianist Jeremy Denk in his CMF debut, as well as Gabriella Smith's Tumblebird Contrails (2014). The second half of the program is dedicated to Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 6 (2019), a dark, introspective work that had its world premiere with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on October 18, 2019. This concert will be the first performance of the symphony since its premiere; Peter Oundjian conducts.

Also new this year is the Robert Mann Chamber Music Series, named for Robert Mann, composer, conductor, founding first violin of the Juilliard String Quartet and friend and mentor to CMF Music Director Peter Oundjian. The Tuesday evening series features three quartets making their CMF debuts, beginning on June 30 with the group that carries on Mann's legacy, the Juilliard String Quartet performing Beethoven, Britten and Brahms. The St. Lawrence String Quartet performs Haydn, Debussy and John Adams's String Quartet No. 2 (2014). Brooklyn Rider appears on July 14, performing five pieces of music written in 2018 (see above). The Festival's own musicians present the last two concerts in the series - on July 21 (Mozart and Brahms) and July 28 (Beethoven).

To honor Beethoven's genius during this landmark 250th birthday, the Festival concludes its two-year exploration of Beethoven with programs throughout the season:

· Beethoven's iconic Fifth and Seventh symphonies

· Oundjian's arrangement of Beethoven's Op. 131 String Quartet

· A cycle of all five of Beethoven's piano concertos, performed by the Festival Orchestra and award-winning young pianist Jan Lisiecki over the span of three concerts

· Beethoven's only violin concerto, performed by Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich

· Six of Beethoven's chamber music treasures as well as his overtures to Fidelio and Coriolan

Several major International Artists will be performing at the Festival this summer with exciting programs. Guitarist Sharon Isbin performs a program featuring Ravel's Alborada del gracioso; Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez; Chris Brubeck's Affinity, written for Isbin (2016); and Copland's Buckaroo Holiday (July 2-3).

The phenomenal twin piano duo of Christina and Michelle Naughton, making their CMF debut in an all-Mozart program, including the rarely heard Concerto for Two Pianos (June 28); pianist Conrad Tao making his CMF debut in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (July 5); Jeremy Denk makes his CMF debut on a program with John Adams conducting (July 19); and a remarkable young pianist, Jan Lisiecki, making his CMF debut with all five of Beethoven's piano concertos (July 23, 24, 26).

All concerts take place in the historic Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, built in 1898 as the tabernacle for the recently established Colorado Chautauqua, a settlement that arose out of the Chautauqua education movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the auditorium is known locally for its electrifying acoustics, providing a unique listening experience in the unsurpassed landscape of Boulder's Flatirons in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

COLORADO MUSIC FESTIVAL
Schedule, June 25 - August 1

Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 PM
Friday, June 26 at 7:30 PM

OPENING NIGHT: TODAY'S COMPOSERS, INSPIRED BY BEETHOVEN
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Takács Quartet
Hannah Lash: Forestallings (WORLD PREMIERE / Festival Commission)
John Adams: Absolute Jest (2012)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Sunday, June 28 at 7:30 PM

MOZART FOR TWO PIANOS
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Christina and Michelle Naughton, Piano Duo
Mozart: Così fan tutte Overture, K. 588
Mozart, Concerto for Two Pianos No. 10, K. 365 (316a), E-flat Major
Mozart, Magic Flute Overture, K. 620
Mozart, Symphony No. 36, K. 425, C Major "Linz"

Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 PM

Robert Mann CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Juilliard String Quartet
Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1
Britten: String Quartet No. 3
Brahms: String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2

Thursday, July 2 at 7:30 PM

Friday, July 3 at 7:30 PM
GUITAR MASTERS: ISBIN, BRUBECK & RODRIGO
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Andrew Grams, Conductor
Sharon Isbin, Guitar
Maurice Ravel: Alborada del gracioso
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Chris Brubeck: Affinity (2016)
Aaron Copland: Buckaroo Holiday
Aaron Copland: Our Town Suite
Aaron Copland: Party Scene and The Promise of Living from The Tender Land Suite
Aaron Copland: Hoe-Down from Rodeo

Sunday, July 5 at 7:30 PM

CONRAD TAO PERFORMS MOZART
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Gemma New, Conductor
Conrad Tao, Piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Chaconne and Pas seul from Idomeneo: Ballet Music, K. 367
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, A Major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40, K. 550, G Minor

Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30 PM

Robert Mann CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Joseph Haydn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
John Adams: String Quartet No. 2, "Second Quartet" (2014)
Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10

Thursday, July 9 at 7:30 PM

Friday, July 10 at 7:30 PM
RUSSIAN MASTERS: TCHAIKOVSKY AND PROKOFIEV
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Principal Guest Conductor
Nareh Arghamanyan, Piano
Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23, TH55, B-flat Minor
Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5, Op. 100, B-flat Major

Saturday, July 11 at 11:00 AM

FAMILY CONCERT: The Story of Babar
Christopher Dragon, Conductor
Really Inventive Stuff
Georges Bizet: Les Toreadors from Carmen Suite No. 1
Leopold Mozart: Toy Symphony in C Major (formerly attributed to Joseph Haydn)
Francis Poulenc: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant

Sunday, July 12 at 7:30 PM

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Principal Guest Conductor
Angelo Xiang Yu, violin
György Ligeti: Concert Românesc (1951)
Maurice Ravel: Tzigane, Rapsodie de concert for Violin and Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances No. 1 and 6
Pablo de Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 Gypsy Airs
Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21 and 61

Tuesday, July 14 at 7:30 PM

MUSIC OF TODAY
Robert Mann CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Brooklyn Rider
Caroline Shaw: Schisma (2018)
Gabriela Lena Frank: Kanto Kechua #2 (2018)
Du Yun: i am my own achilles' heel, a form that would never shape (2018)
Matana Roberts: borderlands... (2018)
Reena Esmail: Zeher (Poison) (2018)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132

Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 PM

MUSIC OF TODAY
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Tessa Lark, violin
Wang Jie, composer
Samuel Adams, composer
Timothy McAllister, saxophone
Wang Jie: World premiere (Colorado Music Festival commission) (2020)
Samuel Adams: Chamber Concerto (2017)
John Adams: City Noir (2009)

Friday, July 17 at 7:30 PM

MUSIC OF TODAY
KALEIDOSCOPE: MUHLY, TOWER AND JARRETT
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra Brass, Strings & Percussion
Christopher Taylor, piano
Jisu Jung, marimba
Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 5 (1993)
Nico Muhly: Big Time for String Quartet and Percussion (2012)
Eric Ewazen: Northern Lights (1989)
Derek Bermel: Turning (1995)
Nebojsa Zivkovic: Trio per Uno (1995/1990)
William Bolcom: Piano Quintet No. 2 (2011)
Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert (Part IIC) (1975)
Leigh Howard Stevens: Rhythmic Caprice (1989)

Sunday, July 19 at 7:30 PM

MUSIC OF TODAY
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
John Adams, Conductor
Jeremy Denk, Piano
Gabriella Smith: Tumblebird Contrails (2014)
John Adams: Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? (2019)
Christopher Rouse: Symphony No. 6 (2019)


Tuesday, July 21 at 7:30 PM

Robert Mann CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra Members
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quintet No. 4 in G Minor, K. 516
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111

Thursday, July 23 at 7:30 PM

BEETHOVEN'S PIANO CONCERTOS: No. 1 and 2
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Jan Lisiecki, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio Overture, Op. 72c
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 19, B-flat Major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15, C Major

Friday, July 24 at 7:30 PM

BEETHOVEN'S PIANO CONCERTOS: No. 3 and 4
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Jan Lisiecki, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37, C Minor
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58, G Major

Sunday, July 26 at 7:30 PM

BEETHOVEN'S PIANO CONCERTOS: No. 5
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Jan Lisiecki, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131, C-sharp Minor (arr. Peter Oundjian)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 73, E-flat Major Emperor

Tuesday, July 28 at 7:30 PM

Robert Mann CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra Members
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16
Ludwig van Beethoven: Septet in E-flat, Op. 20

Thursday, July 30 at 7:30 PM

HADELICH PLAYS BEETHOVEN'S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61, D Major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Op. 67, C Minor

Saturday, August 1 at 7:30 PM

FESTIVAL FINALE
Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5, C-sharp Minor

To purchase tickets, visit https://coloradomusicfestival.org/festival/.

The community is invited to attend a number of Colorado Music Festival rehearsals for free. For more information, visit https://coloradomusicfestival.org/open-rehearsals/.

During the 2020 season, the Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts will launch the Festival Fellows program, hosting a total of eight aspiring professional musicians to serve as Festival Fellows in Boulder, CO. Up to four of the fellows will be selected by the Sphinx Organization, an organization with the goal of addressing "the social issue of underrepresentation of people of color in classical music."

For more information about CMF or to purchase tickets, visit ColoradoMusicFestival.org or call 303-440-7666.


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