Colorado Music Festival Announces 2023 Summer Concert Season Of Orchestral And Chamber Music

The festival welcomes Joshua Bell as artist-in-residence & premieres a symphony about JFK.

By: Jan. 26, 2023
Colorado Music Festival Announces 2023 Summer Concert Season Of Orchestral And Chamber Music
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Colorado Music Festival will present its 2023 summer concert season from June 29 through August 6 at Chautauqua Auditorium (900 Baseline Rd., Boulder, Colo.), offering 20 diverse performances of orchestral and chamber music by the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and guest artists, alongside educational programming.

The Festival features world-class musicians from around the country who arrive in Boulder to perform as the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra under the direction of Peter Oundjian. Additionally, 12 guest artists, two internationally acclaimed string quartets, and four guest conductors will perform throughout the season.

"A festival is a celebration of creativity, and we are so fortunate to bring to you some of the greatest performers alive today, including artist-in-residence Joshua Bell, along with the extraordinary talents of eight of today's brilliant composers," said Peter Oundjian, music director. "It is such a thrill to hear today's voices alongside - and interacting with - groundbreaking voices from the past, giving us a unique window into centuries of the greatest in creativity."

Tickets to the 2023 Festival will be available for purchase on the CMF website beginning March 7.

Festival highlights include the following.

  • World-renowned violinist Joshua Bell is CMF's 2023 artist-in-residence. Bell opens the Festival on June 29 and 30 with Bruch's First Violin Concerto, then returns to close the season on August 3 and 6 with a two-part preview performance of "Elements," a new work featuring five movements, each written by one of today's top composers (Jake Heggie, Jennifer Higdon, Edgar Meyer, Jessie Montgomery, and Kevin Puts).

  • Pulitzer Prize-, Academy Award-, and five-time Grammy-winning composer John Corigliano is CMF's 2023 composer-in-residence. Corigliano will be present on July 13 for a celebration of his vast career.

  • July 16 is the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork's "JFK: The Last Speech." This new symphony was inspired by the final public address of President Kennedy, which was a celebration of the poet Robert Frost. Composer Adolphus Hailstork says of this new work, "My writing will reflect the autumn season, the solemnity of the moment, and the unique oratorical gifts of Kennedy the president, and the profound literary gifts of Frost the poet." "JFK: The Last Speech" is a project of members of the Amherst Class of 1964 through their non-profit Reunion '64, Inc. They had the privilege of witnessing President Kennedy deliver his last major speech on Oct. 26, 1963.

  • World premieres on July 16 from composers Jordan Holloway and Carter Pann, both commissioned by CMF. Holloway's premiere will celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Colorado Chautauqua, which takes place in 2023.

  • The Festival celebrates Rachmaninoff's 150th birthday with two full programs of his most iconic work composed during his time in America. Lauded Rachmaninoff interpreter Nicolai Lugansky joins the Orchestra for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, Symphony No. 3, Piano Concerto No. 4 and Symphonic Dances.

  • The Robert Mann Chamber Music Series returns for its third year; the JACK Quartet (July 11) and Brentano String Quartets (July 18) make their CMF debuts.

  • The 2023 season includes a diverse group of musicians and composers, including Michelle Cann, Nicolai Lugansky, Timothy McAllister, Johannes Moser, and Grace Park.

On Sunday, July 2 at 10:30 a.m., CMF will feature its Family Concert "Peter and the Wolf + Goodnight Moon," conducted by Kalena Bovell and featuring soprano Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson and narrator Janae Burris. Along with Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," a beloved symphonic fairytale that introduces young listeners to the instruments of the orchestra, this program also features Eric Whitacre's musical setting of the children's classic "Goodnight Moon," Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's festive "Danse Nègre," and Georges Bizet's "Carmen" Suite No. 1. The tickets, on sale March 7, are $10.

"Not only does the 2023 season promise to be artistically stunning, I know our audiences will appreciate the way the programming weaves so many diverse, timely, and relevant voices into the fabric of classical music," said Festival executive director Elizabeth McGuire. "I'm very proud of what we are presenting."

New for 2023, CMF is offering $10 tickets for youth (ages 18 and under) and students (with current school identification). For more information, visit

For more information about CMF, or to purchase tickets beginning March 7, visit or call the Chautauqua box office at 303-440-7666.

Colorado Music Festival concerts take place at Chautauqua Auditorium, which was built in 1898. Located at the base of Boulder's Flatirons and one of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chautauqua remains committed to its historic purpose.

About Colorado Music Festival

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Music Festival (CMF) presents a summer season of classical music concerts performed by professional musicians from around the world at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. Guest artists from Europe, Asia, South America and the U.S. join more than 100 all-star musicians, who comprise the CMF Orchestra, in performances that inspire and engage concertgoers of all ages. Under the music direction of Peter Oundjian, the CMF thrills audiences of more than 20,000 each season with programming that embraces the most beloved classical music repertoire, while integrating world music and the works of exciting modern composers. For more information about CMF, or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Chautauqua box office at 303-440-7666.


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