Peter Oundjian Appointed Music Director Of Colorado Music Festival; 2019 Concert Season Announced
The Colorado Music Festival today announced the appointment of conductor Peter Oundjian as its next Music Director. He is the fourth person to hold this title in the 42-year history of the festival, which is held for six weeks each year at the Colorado Chautauqua, a National Historic Landmark at the foot of the rugged Flatirons. Mr. Oundjian led the 2018 festival as Artistic Advisor, and his appointment as Music Director was announced along with the festival's 2019 season, which runs from June 27 to August 3 and explores the legacy of Beethoven.
After such a fulfilling experience in Boulder last summer, I am thrilled and honored to now join CMF as Music Director, said Mr. Oundjian, who recently concluded his 14-year tenure as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2004 18) as well as his six-year tenure as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (2012 18). There is a magical, frontier atmosphere to the festival that I find incredibly refreshing and invigorating, whether I'm outdoors amidst the natural beauty or on stage with the orchestra inside the festival's historic, 'Old West'-era auditorium with its magnificent acoustics. This special energy drives the musicians too, and the experience is all the more focused and intense given the short, but precious window of time that we're together over the summer. After leading a number of orchestras year-round as Music Director, this is an exciting change of pace!
Executive Director Elizabeth McGuire said, Working with Peter is not only a great honor given his tremendous musical accomplishments, but also a great joy due to his lively and energetic spirit. We are very pleased to officially welcome him as Music Director and to usher in a new era of artistic excellence.
Board President Stephen Trainor said, We're delighted to have Peter Oundjian joining us as Music Director. His ability to engage orchestra, audience, and community is second to none, and we're excited to have the opportunity to work with him to bring the festival's unique character to an ever-wider audience."
This year, CMF presents a special concert series that traces Beethoven's influence from the 19th century to the present day. Programs explore Beethoven's path to the later Romantics, such as Verdi, Respighi, and Rachmaninoff; his radical premonitions of Modernism; his impact on the Neoclassicism of Stravinsky and Prokofiev; and his influence on the Minimalist textures and techniques of Philip Glass. The festival concludes with Mahler's Symphony No. 3, a work deeply indebted to Beethoven; the final movement of Mahler's symphony famously evokes the slow movement of Beethoven's last complete work, his String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135.
In addition to presenting these performances, the festival welcomes author, composer, and noted Beethoven scholar Jan Swafford for an evening of discussion about Beethoven. Mr. Swafford is the author of Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph (2014), selected as Editor's Choice in The New York Times' Book Review.
Additional 2019 highlights include performances of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and Roman Carnival Overture to mark the 150th anniversary of his death; recent works by Vivian Fung and Osvaldo Golijov; a pair of all-Mozart programs spanning the composer's symphonic, concerto, and operatic works; and the pre-concert series Talks Under the Tent.
Mr. Oundjian said:
After last year's Bernstein focus, I thought that this season should take a longer historical view, and who better to tie together the past 250 years than Beethoven, whose lines of influence reach to every corner of the repertoire after him. So often we think of Beethoven purely in terms of the late Classical and early Romantic, but you can spot his fingerprints almost everywhere you look. We hope that by getting out in front of the worldwide Beethoven anniversary celebrations in 2020, our audiences will come to these performances with fresh ears and a spirit of adventure!
Moreover, I'm thrilled to be programming works by three amazing composers of our own era. In Toronto, I worked hard to give today's composers a more prominent orchestral voice, and that's a mission I am also bringing now to CMF.
Among the works conducted by Mr. Oundjian this season are Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Grosse Fuge, and Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral); Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and Roman Carnival Overture; Copland's An Outdoor Overture; Vivian Fung's Dust Devils; Mahler's Symphony No. 3; Mozart's Divertimento, K. 136 and Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter); Respighi's Pines of Rome; Rossini's La gazza ladra Overture; Strauss's Wind Serenade; Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture; Verdi's La forza del destino Overture. He also conducts a variety of concertos, listed below with their guest soloists.
All orchestral programs are performed by the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, which comprises top musicians from orchestras around the country. Members of the orchestra also perform on the festival's chamber music programs.
Guest artists during the 2019 festival include Natasha Paremski performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, conducted by Mr. Oundjian; James Ehnes in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, also conducted by Mr. Oundjian; Jon Kimura Parker performing Gershwin's Piano Concerto under Mr. Oundjian; Mr. Kimura Parker with pianist Coco Ma, ensemble Really Inventive Stuff, and Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Conductor Earl Lee in a Family Concert comprising Saint-Sa ns's Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf; CMF Principal Guest Conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducting Faur 's Pell as et M lisande Suite, Brahms's Concerto for Violin and Violoncello featuring Jan Vogler and Mira Wang, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture, and Roussel's Bacchus et Ariane, Suite No. 2; Mr. Zeitouni conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements, and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring Lilya Zilberstein; conductor David Danzmayr leading performances of Osvaldo Golijov's Sidereus, Grieg's Piano Concerto featuring Gabriela Montero, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 (Path tique); Mr. Danzmayr conducting Mozart's Symphony No. 32, Violin Concerto No. 5 (Turkish) featuring Stefan Jackiw, Don Giovanni Overture, and Symphony No. 38 (Prague); under Mr. Oundjian, Kian Soltani performing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, J rg Widmann in Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, and Robert McDuffie performing in Philip Glass's Violin Concerto No. 1; and mezzo soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme, the St. Martin's Festival Singers, and the Boulder Children's Chorale joining Mr. Oundjian and the orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 3.
In July, the festival presents four performances by the CMF Chamber Players. The programs, which are performed on consecutive Tuesdays, include Brahms's Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano and Dvo k's Piano Quintet No. 2 on July 2; Mozart's String Trio for Two Violins and Cello, K. 266, Boccherini's String Trio No. 5, and Dvo k's String Quintet No. 2 on July 9; Bax's Quintet for Harp and String Quartet, Ravel's Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet, and Brahms's String Sextet No. 1 on July 16; and Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio on July 23.
Talks Under the Tent
At 6:30 p.m. prior to each Thursday and Friday concert, CMF presents a pre-concert talk with a local musical expert as part of its Talks Under the Tent series. Guest speakers range from scholars to journalists and radio personalities, and can also include CMF musicians themselves. Each talk takes place under the tent adjacent to the north side of the auditorium.
Conductor Peter Oundjian, the newly appointed Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival (CMF) and Conductor Emeritus of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), has been privileged to share his love of music with audiences for over five decades.
From 2004 to 2018, Mr. Oundjian was Music Director of the TSO, which he reinvigorated with recordings, tours, and innovative programming. His tenure led to extensive audience growth and a heightened global profile for the orchestra through performances at major venues including Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus. From 2012 to 2018, he was also Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), with which he led tours in China, the U.S., and Europe; recordings for Chandos and Sony; and a 2018 BBC Proms performance of Britten's War Requiem.
Born in Toronto and raised in Surrey, England, Mr. Oundjian began his career as a violinist, studying at the Royal College of Music, then at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian, Itzhak Perlman, and Dorothy DeLay. In 1981, he became first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet and performed with the group for the next 14 years in concert halls and festivals around the world, and on over 35 albums, including several that received Grammy nominations.
After stepping away from the violin in 1995 due to focal dystonia in his left hand, Mr. Oundjian turned his focus to reigniting his passion for conducting. In addition to the above positions, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2006 10), Artistic Director of the Caramoor International Music Festival (1997 2007), Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Mozart Festival (2003 05), and Music Director of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta (1998 2002), and has guest conducted major orchestras in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Symphonies, as well as orchestras around the world, including the Sydney and NHK Symphonies, L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Tonhalle-Orchester Z rich. A visiting professor at the Yale School of Music since 1981, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Yale Philharmonia in 2016.
Mr. Oundjian's 2018-19 season includes debuts with the Indianapolis and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and return engagements with the Atlanta, Baltimore, Colorado, New World, St. Louis, and Utah Symphonies, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Additionally, his recent recordings with the TSO and RSNO have been nominated for Grammy, JUNO, and BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2019.
For more information, visit opus3artists.com/artists/peter-oundjian.
Launched in 1977 by Viennese conductor and violinist Giora Bernstein, the Colorado Music Festival annually presents a six-week summer concert season at Boulder's historic Chautauqua Auditorium. Each season features diverse programs of orchestral and chamber music performed by the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and guest artists, including a specially themed concert series whose topic varies from year to year. The festival also includes educational events, including the pre-concert series Talks Under the Tent.
The 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. The auditorium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
In 2009, the Colorado Music Festival merged with the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts. Today, the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts combines a world-class summer music festival and a comprehensive community music school under one organizational umbrella that enriches the lives of tens of thousands of people annually through performance and education.
Based in nearby Lafayette, Colorado, the Center for Musical Arts has blossomed into one of the region's leading centers for music education and current offerings include a broad spectrum of music education opportunities and performances for more than 550 students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.