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Colorado Symphony Season Highlights


Conductor Alastair Willis to the audience at the start of the Colorado Symphony's post-concert "talkback" on February 28, 2004: "You do know how fortunate you are to have an orchestra of this caliber in Denver."

Audience to Alastair Willis: "Yes, we know!"


We have mixed emotions about this season. Dare we call large portions of it a Festival of Warhorses? Yes, we dare! The season has four modern works - two of them on one program by Jeffrey Kahane. That is embarrassing. On the other hand, there are high points, which we note below. And we are thrilled that Marin Alsop and Peter Oundjian are joining Douglas Boyd for multiple concerts in this transition year.

Kathleen Battle!

September 18, 2010

Douglas Boyd conducts and Kathleen Battle sings. Kathleen Battle. Nuff said.

Olga Kern!!

September 24-26, 2010

After Olga Kern's stunning performances at last year's phenomenal Rachmaninoff Festival, we can't wait for her Tchaikovsky! Get those fire extinguishers ready, this will be one hot concert. Douglas Boyd conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Tchaikovsky's Waltz and Polonaise from Eugene Onegin.

Alsop Conducts Beethoven!

October 9-10, 2010

The Maestra is back! Beethoven: Overture to Egmont, Symphony No. 8, and the Triple Concerto with our dazzling concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams, our excellent principal cellist Silver Ainomae, and Alessio Bax, piano. (This is the first of two Triple Concerti. See May 20-22 for the second.)

Oundjian Goes Slavic!

October 16-17, 2010

Peter Oundjian is one of our favorite conductors and he's going to have fun at this concert. Tchaikovsky's March Slav, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the talented Lise de la Salle, Janacek's Taras Bulba (we highly recommend the Janacek), and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol. Our wonderful principal trumpet Justin Bartels is featured. (He was simply awesome in last June's Mahler 5!)

The Slavic Festival Continues

October 22-24, 2010

Alexander Polianichko, conductor. Jordan Bisch, bass, Colorado Symphony Chorus, Duain Wolfe, director. Rimsky-Korsakov's Procession of the Nobles from Mlada, Rachmaninoff's Aria from Aleko, Tchaikovsky's Suite from Swan Lake, Mussorgsky's Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov (for us, the highlight of the evening), and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Gutierrez and Martinu!

November 20-21, 2010

Horacio Gutierrez is one of our favorite pianists; he will give a compelling performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Martinu's Symphony No. 1 is fascinating: a wild scherzo and an overwhelming slow movement. The program includes Grieg's Suite from Peer Gynt.

Oundjian and Tchaikovsky!

December 3-5, 2010

The amazing Stephen Hough joins the Maestro for Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2. (He's got his work cut out for him following Olga Kern's Tchaik One! But he's good enough to hold his own.) The evening includes Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and selections from The Nutcracker.

Alsop Conducts Rachmaninoff - and Daugherty!

January 7-8, 2011

The Maestra has an intensely lyrical Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, and she loves Daughterty's work, too. This time it's Time Machine. If you love contemporary orchestral music, don't miss this! The evening starts with Brahms' Hungarian Dances. The program lists three conductors: the Maestra, Kelly Corcoran, and Mihaela Cesa-Goje, so we are are not 100 percent sure the Maestra is conducting Daugherty, but we are 100 percent sure we - and you! - will love the concert!

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

January 14-16, 2011

Matthew Halls, conductor. Jennifer Koh, violin. Bach's Suite from the Easter Oratorio and Orchestral Suite No. 4 are followed by the Four Seasons.

Labadie Conducts Mozart's Requiem!

January 28-30, 2011

This guy can conduct! Just in time for Mozart's birthday, a stunning performance of his Requiem with Shannon Mercer, soprano, Anita Krause, mezzo-soprano, James Taylor, tenor, Jeremy Galyon, bass, and the incredible Colorado Symphony Chorus directed by the incredible Duain Wolfe. The concert opens with Mozart's Overture to The Magic Flute and continues with another exquisite treat: our own Peter Cooper performing Mozart's Oboe Concerto. Ah! Heaven!

Faun, Fleisher, and Fantastique

February 26-27, 2011

Wonderful conductor, wonderful soloist, and wonderful music! Douglas Boyd conducts and Leon Fleisher performs Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. As the headline implies, the other pieces are Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique.

Sibelius' First!

March 4-5, 2011

We love Sibelius' Symphony No. 1. It's always a treat. The evening includes Liszt's Les Preludes and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Vadim Gluzman. Hannu Lintu conducts.

Schubert's Unfinished!

March 11-12, 2011

The Unfinished used to be a warhorse. How times have changed. Now it's an uncommon treat. The program includes Haydn's Symphony No. 26 Lamentatione, Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Joseph Moog, and Strauss' Death and Transfiguration. Gilbert Varga conducts.

Oundjian Conducts Vaughn William's Fourth!!

March 18-19, 2011

The Maestro gave us a wonderful Vaughn Williams Fifth a couple years ago. Oh my! This promises to be a stunner! The concert includes Rossini's Overture to La Scala di seta, Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the brilliant Augustin Hadelich (Oundjian - like Alsop and Kahane - always gives us impressive Beethoven), and Vaughn Williams' ever-popular Fantasia on Greensleeves.

Carmina Burana

April 2-3, 2011

Antoni Wit conducts Orff's perennial favorite, with Lisette Oropesa, soprano, Nicholas Phan, tenor, Hyung Yun, bass, the Colorado Symphony Chorus, and the Colorado Children's Chorale.

Turina, Falla, and Ravel

April 8-10, 2011

Juanjo Mena conducts Turina's Danzas Fantasticas, Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain with pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, and Ravel's Suites No. 1 and 2 from Daphnis and Chloe.

Associates' Night!

April 15-16, 2011

Our talented associate conductor Scott O'Neil teams up with our talented associate concertmaster Claude Sim for Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Bach's Chaconne from Partita No. 2, orchestrated by Joachim Raff. (Frankly, we would rather hear the original version - the peak of the solo violin literature - but we admit we are curious about the orchestration in a "Can it possibly work?" sort of way.) O'Neil also conducts Brahms' Symphony No. 3.

Wagner's Good Friday and Mendelssohn's Midsummer's Night!!

April 22-23, 2011

This is a rare treat! No, not the Mendelssohn; it's a treat, but like much of the 2010-2011 season, hardly rare. The Good Friday Spell is one of the great, magical moments in Wagner. The Prelude to Parsifal is fantastic, too. Both are conducted by Andrew Grams. Katherine Whyte, soprano, and the Colorado Children's Chorale (and actors!) join him and our wonderful musicians for the Dream.

Itzak Perlman

April 27, 2011

Scott O'Neil conducts a program to be announced.

Firebird and Crouching Tiger Separated by the Steppes of Central Asia

May 14-15, 2011

This is the second of three opportunities in the 2010-2011 season to hear contemporary orchestral music. Don't miss it! Scott Yoo conducts and Betti Xiang plays erhu (no, our fingers didn't go spastic on us, that's a real instrument) in Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger Concerto. Yoo also conducts Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia and Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.

Kahane!!!

May 20-22, 2011

He's back! We can't miss this one. The Maestro conducts Copland's Suite from Appalachian Spring, Kenji Bunch's Piano Concerto (a U.S. Premiere) with Monica Ohuchi, Edgar Meyer's Triple Concerto with Bela Fleck on banjo, Zakir Hussain on tabla, and Meyer on bass, and Gershwin's An American in Paris. If you haven't been counting, that's half of the modern works in the 2010-2011 season. Let's make sure folks know we like modern music in Denver!

Alsop!!! Mahler 9!!!

May 27-28, 2011

As music director of the Colorado Symphony, Marin Alsop performed Mahler's Symphonies 1 through 7. Several of those performances are among the best live performances of any music we have ever heard. (We can't get that devastating Sixth out of our mind.) This concert - like Kahane's Mahler 5 at the end of the 2009-2010 season - will be legendary. Miss it at your peril!

Wagner's Act One of Die Walkure!!!

June 11-12, 2011

If you heard the Colorado Symphony perform The Flying Dutchman at the Ellie a few years ago, you know we have a Wagner orchestra of the highest caliber! While we can't help wishing for an Opera Colorado Ring, this is the closest we're likely to get in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, Act One of The Valkyrie is an incredible experience even without the two amazing acts that follow it. ("Wintersturme wichen dem Wonnemond" is dazzling!) Christian Arming conducts, with Amber Wagner, soprano (Sieglinde), Simon O'Neill, tenor (Siegmund), and Kristinn Sigmundsson, baritone (Hunding). Other Wagner selections are the Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin and - with the Colorado Symphony Chorus - the Spinning Chorus from The Flying Dutchman, and the Prelude and "Wach auf" from Die Meistersinger.

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