Colorado Music Festival Announces Six-Week Summer Concert Season

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Colorado Music Festival (CMF) presents its six-week summer concert season from June 25 through August 1 at Chautauqua Auditorium (900 Baseline Rd., Boulder, CO), offering 23 diverse performances of orchestral and chamber music by the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and guest artists, alongside educational programming.

The Festival features more than 100 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, 14 guest artists, four internationally-acclaimed string quartets and five guest conductors will perform throughout the season. This year's roster of musicians includes orchestra member Byron Hitchcock who is principal violin and concertmaster with the Opera Colorado Orchestra and guest pianist Christopher Taylor, native of Boulder, Colorado.

"As we embark on the 2020 Festival, I'm thrilled to see such a collaborative, innovative and engaging season ahead," said Peter Oundjian, Colorado Music Festival music director. "This year, patrons will experience a celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday, a reimagined chamber music series, a week dedicated to orchestral music of today, and a visit from legendary composer John Adams."

In 2020, the Festival concludes a two-year exploration of Beethoven's genius in honor of the composer's landmark 250th birthday. Concerts honoring Beethoven's rich legacy include the following.

a-? Beethoven's iconic Fifth and Seventh symphonies

a-? Music Director Peter Oundjian's arrangement of Beethoven's Op. 131 String Quartet

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

a-? Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich performs Beethoven's only violin concerto

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

a-? Throughout the season, music by composers John Adams (Absolute Jest on June 25 & 26 and Adams String Quartet No. 2 on July 7), Hannah Lash ("Forestallings" world premiere commission on June 25 & 26) and Gustav Mahler (Fifth Symphony on Aug. 1) builds on and references Beethoven's work

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 series launches on June 30 with a visit from the five-time Grammy award-winning Juilliard String Quartet and continues with exciting performances by the St. Lawrence String Quartet (July 7) and Brooklyn Rider (July 14). The Festival's own musicians will perform chamber music by Brahms (July 21), Beethoven (July 28), and more, completing the inaugural season of this re-imagined series.

Music Director Peter Oundjian has designed opportunities to experience and celebrate new voices in orchestral and chamber music, including composers Hannah Lash (June 25 & 26), Samuel Adams and Wang Jie (July 16) and Gabriella Smith (July 19). The "Kaleidoscope" concert on July 17 will pair energetic and accessible contemporary music from composers such as Nico Muhly, Joan Tower and Keith Jarrett with talented soloists and members of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. On July 19, John Adams will take the stage to conduct his own "Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes." The season also includes world premieres by Hannah Lash on June 25 and 26 as well as from Wang Jie on July 16. These performances will kick off a three-year series of three generations of women composers, celebrating 100 years of the 19th Amendment.

On Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m., CMF will feature its Family Concert "The Story of Babar" in partnership with Really Inventive Stuff, animateurs and vaudeville-inspired storytellers for orchestras. This program also includes Toy Symphony, which features noisemakers, kazoos, and other toy instruments as part of the orchestra. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

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."

Chautauqua Auditorium was 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. Located at the base of Boulder's Flatirons and one of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chautauqua is considered the western representation of the cultural movement that swept the U.S. and is the only site west of the Mississippi that has been in continuous operation since its founding and with its original structures intact and used for their original purposes. The Colorado Chautauqua remains committed to its historic purpose, offering outstanding cultural and educational programs and attracting more than one million visitors each year.

For more information about CMF or to purchase tickets, visit or call 303-440-7666. For a full media kit, including details about performances and events and images, visit

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