Opus Colorado

Local and National Talent to be Showcased in New Denver Philharmonic Season
August 28, 2015, 3:03 pm
Filed under: News

More than half of the scheduled guest and solo artists for the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra’s (“DPO”) 2015–16 Season are Denver locals, including Scott O’Neil, Aaron Wille, S. Mordecai Fuhrman and DPO Music Director Lawrence Golan on violin. National artists include cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Steven Lin.

The upcoming season, which debuts October 2, marks the DPO’s 68th season and Golan’s third year with the orchestra. Golan’s tenure as music director has led to three seasons of record-breaking growth with an average of 835 patrons per concert in 2014–15, an 11% increase from the then-record breaking 2013–14 season.

“We saw more than 5,000 people attend our six concerts,” DPO Board President Jon Olafson said. “To anyone who says classical music is dead—together as a community, we have proved them wrong again!”

The 2015–16 Season showcases a variety of works from the 18th to 21st centuries from familiar symphonic hits to new work, including a Colorado premiere featuring world-class musicians.

The first Friday in October takes you on a backcountry adventure with Nature’s Realm on October 2. After wowing audiences last season with his rendition of Winter, Maestro Golan picks up his violin again with Vivaldi’s Autumn.

November 20, “adventurous cellist” (New York Times) Jay Campbell performs Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, written in the ashes of the First World War. The concert titled Inextinguishable also features the Colorado premiere of Dan Locklair’s Phoenix for Orchestra.

An annual family-friendly tradition, Holiday Cheer! on December 19 has a little something for everyone. Former Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Scott O’Neil conducts.

Three popular symphonic masterpieces grace the stage February 19 at Smash Hits! Pianist Steven Lin, praised for his “sparkling virtuosity” (The Washington Post), joins the DPO for Rachmaninoff’s exciting and romantic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

DPO principal flute Aaron Wille journeys into the world of Ernest Bloch’s lyrical Suite Modale  April 8. The evening concludes with Johan De Meij’s epic Lord of the Rings Symphony based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkein. DPO Associate Conductor S. Mordecai Fuhrman conducts The One Ring.

June 3, pack your passports for the season finale Eurotrip. Travel out of the country on a musical tour of the European continent from Spain to Bohemia. This all-orchestral concert features César Franck’s French- and German-inspired Symphony in D Minor.

Season tickets for the 2015–16 Season are available at a 50 percent discount. Both season and individual concert tickets are available through the DPO’s website, http://www.denverphilharmonic.org. The 2014–15 Season featured many sold-out and standing-room-only concerts; tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and the DPO advises to purchase in advance.
Lawrence Golan, conductor and violin
Vivaldi: “Autumn” from The Four Seasons featuring Lawrence Golan, violin
Dvořák: In Nature’s Realm
Tchaikovsky: The Tempest; Fantasy-Overture, Op. 18
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
KPOF Hall (1340 Sherman Street)

Lawrence Golan, conductor
Jay Campbell, cello
Locklair: Phoenix for Orchestra (2007) Colorado premiere
Elgar: Cello Concerto featuring Jay Campbell, cello
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable”
KPOF Hall (1340 Sherman Street)

Scott O’Neil, guest conductor
Repertoire to be announced
Central Presbyterian (1660 Sherman Street)

Lawrence Golan, conductor
Steven Lin, piano
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini featuring Steven Lin, piano
Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite
Venue to be announced.

APRIL 8, 2016: THE ONE RING featuring the Lord of the Rings Symphony
S. Mordecai Fuhrman, guest conductor
Aaron Wille, flute
Berlioz: Les Franc-Juges (Judges of the Secret Court)
Bloch: Suite modale featuring Aaron Wille, flute
De Meij: Symphony No. 1 “Lord of the Rings” (Orchestrated by Henk de Vlieger) featuring Arthur Bouton, Saxophone
Venue to be announced.

Lawrence Golan, conductor
Chabrier: España
Smetana: The Moldau
Elgar: Cockaigne, Op. 40 (In London Town)
Franck: Symphony in D Minor
Venue to be announced.

The DPO hosts “More Than Music” activities before, during and after each concert. More Than Music events are free to attend for ticket holders. Visit denverphilharmonic.org for more information. The DPO encourages its patrons to tweet along with the orchestra during the concert, download its electronic program, and enjoy live music dressed up or down. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

About the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra
With its 2015–16 Season, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 68 years of providing high-quality symphonic concerts and outreach. The orchestra was founded in 1948 by Dr. Antonia Brico, the first woman to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and several other major orchestras. The orchestra quickly became known for its ambitious collaborations and performances. The DPO’s mission is to continually redefine the way our community engages with and experiences classical music.

More online at http://www.denverphilharmonic.org.

Guitarist, Masa Ito, Guest Soloist for Jefferson Symphony Season Opening Concert
August 28, 2015, 2:22 pm
Filed under: News

The Jefferson Symphony Orchestra (JSO) welcomes world-class guitarist, Masa Ito, to the stage for its season opening concert on October 10, 2015 at 7:00pm. Mr. Ito will perform the beautiful and technically challenging Para una Fiesta by Joaquin Rodrigo.

Ito has gained international recognition for his talents having won top prizes in seven major guitar competitions around the world including the Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition, the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, the Guitar Foundation of America International Guitar Competition, and the Seto Ohashi International Competition.

He has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout Japan and the United States and has been a guest performer at various guitar festivals across the country. In addition to instructing private guitar students, Ito taught for many years at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.

Rodrigo’s Para una Fiesta offers the opportunity for Ito to display his mastery of the instrument. The piece includes many quick finger finessing passages. Rodrigo’s compositions are standards in the Spanish guitar repertoire and represent some of the best known classical music in the 20th century.

Also on the program is the mesmerizing composition Senzemayá by Mexican composer Revueltas. Easily one of Revueltas’ most famous compositions, this lively piece depicts a sacrificial ritual involving a snake.

The season opening program is rounded out by a performance of Antonin Dvorak’s well-known New World Symphony. Dvorak composed the piece in 1893 during his visit to the United States. It has since become his most popular symphony and one of the most widely recognized classical compositions in general. Various themes from the symphony continue to be used today in movies, television, video games and other forms of popular culture.

The October concert kicks off the JSO’s classical concert season which includes five concerts from October to June. This year’s concert season takes audience members on a musical world tour highlighting some of the most famous composers from Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and more.

The JSO performs under leadership of Music Director and Principal Conductor Maestro William Morse who has led the orchestra since 1999. The 75-member volunteer orchestra is known for its dedicated, experienced and passionate musicians who create exceptional musical performance that keep audiences returning each season. In its 63rd season, it is Colorado’s oldest community orchestra and also one of the best regarded. The JSO’s volunteer musicians are very loyal to the group with many of its musicians having been members for more than 20 years.

The JSO relies on the support of the community through corporate and individual donations and grants from various organizations including the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) and Colorado Creative Industries. A 16-member board of directors guides the direction of the organization by contributing time, talents and financial support each season. The board also coordinates fundraising efforts which include the annual holiday silent auction.

Season and individual concert tickets may be purchased in advance at http://www.jeffsymphony.org, by calling 303-278-4237, visiting the Jefferson Symphony office at 1204 Washington Street, Golden, CO 80401, or at the door before the concert.

Season ticket prices (five concerts) are: Adults $99, Seniors (62+) $79, Student (11-21yrs old) $45, Child (10yrs old and under) $20.

Individual ticket prices are: Adult $25, Senior (62+) $20, Student (11-21yrs old) $10, Child (10yrs old and under) $5.

Concerts are held at the Green Center, Colorado School of Mines Campus, 16th and Cheyenne Streets in Golden.

World Tour Concert – Saturday, October 10, 2015, 7 p.m.
Revueltas, Silvestre: Senzemayá
Rodrigo, Joaquin: Concierto para una Fiesta
Guest Artist: Masa Ito, Guitar
Dvorak, Antonin: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (New World)

Augustana Arts presents Cantus: The Four Loves
August 28, 2015, 1:43 pm
Filed under: News

Saturday, September, 19, 2015

Cantus is acknowledged around the world for their programmatic versatility, artistic excellence and charismatic personality.  In this Denver appearance Cantus explores The Four Loves: romantic, familial, friendly and unconditional love through music by Josquin, Brahms, Janacek, and Libby Larson.

Augustana Arts presents Cantus at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 19 at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 East Alameda Avenue, Denver, CO.. Tickets are $35 adult; $25 senior; $15 student; $10 children age 4-17 years and are available online at http://www.augustanaarts.org or by calling 303-388-4962.

The “intellectually, emotionally and musically rich” (Star Tribune) nine-member men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is known worldwide for its trademark warmth and blend and its engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process. The Washington Post hails the ensemble’s sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to their music-making as “spontaneous grace.”

Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, as well as in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and has released 17 albums on its own self-titled label. Past performances have brought them to the stages of the Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. The 2014-2015 season sees Cantus perform twice in New York at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in Houston, Dallas, Berkeley and the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois among numerous other North American engagements.

Since 1997, Augustana Arts has been serving the community by presenting the artistry of resident performing groups, internationally renowned touring artists and accomplished locally-based ensembles of many genres. The resident groups, Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra (MSCO) and the Colorado Women’s Chorale (CWC) perform at a variety of venues in addition to the majestic Augustana Lutheran Church in Denver. Augustana Arts serves educational outreach through the City Strings program, an inspired vision to provide youngsters with great need access to high quality, small group music instruction free of cost afterschool at several metro locations.

Augustana Arts concerts and programs are made possible in part by generous support from the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, the Colorado Creative Industries, a state agency which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, the Augustana Foundation, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and several other community partners.

Augustana Arts
Cantus: The Four Loves
Saturday, September 19 @ 7:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 East Alameda Ave., Denver, CO 80246
Tickets are $35 adult; $25 senior; $15 student; $10 children ages 4 – 17 years
303-388-4962 or online at http://www.augustanaarts.org

Augustana Arts gathers the community, supports the arts and delights the spirit.
Visit our website for more details at http://www.augustanaarts.org.

Boulder Bach’s 35th Season Explores Music with Profound Depth and Stunning Virtuosity
August 28, 2015, 1:16 pm
Filed under: News

In its 2015-16 Season, the Boulder Bach Festival presents an enormous array of concerts, collaborations, and diverse educational events across the Front Range. Boulder Bach, in its 35th year, launches the inaugural season of Bach-in-Longmont in partnership with The Longmont Museum and its beautiful new concert hall, The Stewart Auditorium. Boulder Bach presents nationally and internationally-known soloists in venues from The Dairy Center for the Arts to Macky Auditorium, in a memorable season of profound music inspiring personal reflection. The new SeiSolo Education Series brings young and seasoned artists of differing backgrounds and disciplines to venues from the Nomad Playhouse to the Kaiser Permanente Education Wing of the Longmont Museum.

Main season concerts begin (October 16 and 17) in early seventeenth-century Italy, a time of radical harmonic realizations during which the improvised style was still very prevalent. Some of the most adored, riveting, and spiritually overflowing works of J.S. Bach will be presented by European and American artists. Venice On Fire electric baroque ensemble will thrill audiences at The Dairy. Chamber music of Johannes Brahms will be performed on original instruments of the romantic era, including an immaculate Érard piano from 1895, which just recently crossed the Atlantic from Amsterdam to… Boulder. Soloists on the faculty of CU Boulder will join hands in the trio sonata Musikalisches Opfer, producing other-worldly sonorities which penetrate the inner reaches of our consciousness.

Collaborations this season are remarkable: Maestro Bahman Saless/Boulder Chamber Orchestra/Zachary Carrettin present Vivaldi and Piazzolla; Maestro Gary Lewis/Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra/Boulder Bach Festival Chorus present the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah; Maestro Michael Butterman/Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra/Central City Opera/CU Choruses/Boulder Bach Festival present Bach’s epic masterpiece, The St. Matthew Passion. The season closes at Ryssby Church as Boulder Bach remembers its past glory, honoring all who made it possible, in a concert hosted by Boulder Bach founder, Maestro Don Th. Jaeger. Next-generation American solo artists will usher in the future with soulful renditions of Bach’s unaccompanied works for violin and cello, as we pay homage to an art form that brings together all generations and passes the torch, so that the music can speak through a multitude of individuals:  Across Time and Across Cultures.

For detailed concert, artist, and ticketing information, visit http://www.BoulderBach.org

Dates & Details for 2015-2016 Boulder Bach Concerts and Events (35th Season)

Italian Roots, featuring Matthew Dirst, harpsichord soloist; Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano soloist; the Boulder Bach Players and Chamber Singers
October 16, 7:30pm
Stewart Auditorium of the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail, Longmont
October 17, 7:30pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine, Boulder

Seasons, featuring Zachary Carrettin, violin soloist; Boulder Chamber Orchestra, and Bahman Saless, Conductor
December 4, 7:30pm
First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce, Boulder
December 5, 7:30pm
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield

Celebration: Christmas with the Phil, featuring Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson, soprano; Abigail Nims, alto; Michael Hoffman, tenor; Ashraf Sewailam, bass; Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Boulder Bach Festival Chorus, and Gary Lewis, Conductor
December 20, 2:00pm
Mountain View United Methodist Church, 355 Ponca Pl., Boulder
December 21, 6:30pm
Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Ln., Beaver Creek
December 22, 7:30pm
Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons, Lone Tree

A Musical Offering, featuring David Korevaar, piano; Christina Jennings, flute; Harumi Rhodes, violin; Matthew Dane, viola
January 22, 7:30pm
First Congregational Church, 1128 Pine, Boulder

Venice On Fire, featuring Zachary Carrettin as violinist-leader, Venice On Fire electric baroque ensemble, and Szilvia Schranz, soprano soloist
March 18, 7:30pm
The Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut, Boulder
March 19, 7:30pm
Stewart Auditorium of the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail, Longmont

St. Matthew Passion, featuring Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Central City Opera soloists,
CU Choruses, Boulder Bach Festival Chorus, and Michael Butterman, Conductor
April 23, 7:00pm
Macky Auditorium, 285 University Ave., Boulder
April 24, 2:00pm
Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman, Denver

Romanticism Unveiled, featuring Mina Gajić, historic piano; Thomas Jöstlein, natural horn; Zachary Carrettin, romantic period violin; Amanda Balestrieri, soprano soloist
May 15, 5:00pm
Stewart Auditorium of the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail, Longmont

Reflections, featuring Michiko Theurer, violin; Robert Erhard, cello; hosted by Boulder Bach founder, Don Th. Jaeger
May 28, 5:00pm
Ryssby Church, 9000 N. 63rd, Longmont

The new, ambitious SeiSolo Education Series concerts, master classes, and Young Artist Competition information can be found at http://www.BoulderBach.org

CONCERT TICKETS can be purchased via http://www.BoulderBach.org/tickets  and   http://www.BachInLongmont.org/tickets  or by phone at (720)-507-5052.

Tickets will be sold at the door one hour prior to each performance. Credit cards, check, and cash accepted. We encourage you to purchase tickets ahead of time as some venues are intimate.


Arapahoe Philharmonic Announces 2015-2016 Concert Season
August 27, 2015, 2:05 pm
Filed under: News

September 18 Opening Performance: New World Discoveries

The Arapahoe Philharmonic (AP) celebrates the “Infinite Variety of Music” during its 2015-2016 season. The new concert season begins Friday, September 18, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. with music by Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Antonín Dvořák.

Dvořák traveled to the new world and brought America’s native music to life, marrying spirituals to European concert music. Dvorak’s 9th symphony, one of the most popular and tuneful symphonies in the repertoire, is heard on the program along with two lesser-known works by English masters Samuel Barber and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Barber’s “student” Overture to The School for Scandal, though his first piece for full orchestra, already shows the skill and craft of a genius, perfectly portraying the scandalous exploits of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s Lady Sneerwell. Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, a celebration of goodness, hope and love, rounds out the program as we feature baritone Tom Kittle in his Arapahoe Philharmonic debut.

Maestro Devin Patrick Hughes will lead a pre-concert talk on the program beginning at 6:45 p.m. We will also present a regular feature, the Classic Children’s Corner, at 7:10 p.m. in the lobby, offering a casual introduction of classical music to the next generation of arts advocates.

All performances take place at Mission Hills Church, 620 South Park Drive in Littleton. Tickets are $30 (adults), $25 (seniors), and $5 (students/children) and are available online at http://www.arapahoe-phil.org, by phone at 303-781-1892 or at the door. Season ticket packages are available at a significant discount.

THE FULL 2015-2016 SEASON:
All concerts at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Hills Church unless otherwise noted.

The Arapahoe Philharmonic is grateful for its sponsors: Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, and Universal Music Company.

Friday, September 18, 2015 | New World Discoveries
Samuel Barber: Overture to The School for Scandal
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs, Tom Kittle, baritone
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 (From the New World)

This concert is sponsored by Parkplace Denver Brookdale Senior Living.

Saturday, October 10, 2015 (Not part of the season subscription package.)
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (Arapahoe Philharmonic)
Morten Lauridsen: Sure on This Shining Night (Cherry Creek Chorale)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Choral)
Cherry Creek Chorale
Tiffany Blake, soprano
Sarah Barber, mezzo-soprano
Jason Baldwin, tenor
Steven Taylor, baritone

This performance opens the new Scottish Rite Classical Music Concert Series.
Denver Consistory
1370 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203
Tickets and information: http://www.srconcerts.org

Friday, November 6, 2015 | Tales from the North
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: “1812” Overture
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
With the Winner of the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5

Silent Auction beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, December 11, 2015 | Holiday Fireworks
George Frideric Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
Anatol Liadov: Eight Russian Folk Songs
Otto Nicolai: Overture from The Merry Wives of Windsor
Sergei Prokofiev: Overture on Hebrew Themes
Chip Davis: Stille Nacht
Arthur Harris: Adeste Fidelis
Holiday Sing-Along

Friday, February 12, 2016 | Celestial Waters
Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto
Gregory Walker, violin
Claude Debussy: La Mer (The Sea)

Monday, February 15, 2016 (Not part of the season subscription package.)
Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto
Gregory Walker, violin
Claude Debussy: La Mer (The Sea)

Encore performance at the
King Center at Auraria Campus
855 Lawrence Way
Denver, CO 80204
Box office: 303-556-2296

Friday, March 18, 2016 | Fate’s Celebration
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
T. Gordon Parks Collegiate Concerto Competition Winner

Friday, May 13, 2016 | Sacred Structures
Edgar Girtain: World Premiere Commission
Winner of the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition and AP Composer-in-Residence through the 2015-2016 season.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Romantic)

Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, 2016 (Not part of the season subscription package.)
Lars-Erik Larsson: God in Disguise
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem
Cherry Creek Chorale

Bethany Lutheran Church
4500 E. Hampden Blvd.
Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113
Tickets and information at http://www.cherrycreekchorale.com.

About Tom Kittle
Baritone Tom Kittle is known for his versatile vocal ability and strong stage presence. He received his bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. A prolific performer of opera, classical, and musical theater, Tom has played the following roles on stage: Schaunard in La Bohème; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte; Valentin in Faust; Escamillo in Carmen; Peter, the father, in Hänsel und Gretel; Belcore in L’elisir d’amore; Major-General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance; Curly in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! ; and the title role in Mozart’s operatic masterpiece Don Giovanni. He will travel to Germany this fall for six weeks of auditions with agents and opera houses.

Tom excels in concert performance and has sung Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s Cantata 140 with the Lamont Chorale; and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with both the Boulder Symphony Orchestra and Aurora Symphony. Tom has also competed and placed in several competitions: first place in the 2013 Denver Lyric Opera Guild’s annual vocal competition, the Young Artist Encouragement award in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and fifth place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild’s 2012 competition.

About the Arapahoe Philharmonic
Founded in 1953, the Arapahoe Philharmonic is among the longest established, continuously operating musical resources in Colorado. After thriving under just two conductors between 1953 and 2012, T. Gordon Parks and Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr., we welcomed the exciting new conductor Devin Patrick Hughes to the podium in the 2013-2014 season. The orchestra’s musicians are primarily volunteers playing for the love of music, with a core of compensated section principals who provide technical leadership and support the excellence of performance.

Concerts in our home of Mission Hills Church in Littleton feature repertoire spanning the centuries, from the great masters to composers of the current day. The Philharmonic is invested in future generations, presenting annual children’s concerts, sponsoring outreach to schools, and presenting three collegiate-level competitions, the T. Gordon Parks Memorial Collegiate Concerto Competition and the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Collegiate Conducting and Composition Competitions.

About the Music Director
Devin Patrick Hughes was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Arapahoe Philharmonic in summer of 2013. He had previously held conducting posts with the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, Denver Contemporary Chamber Players, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Denver Young Artists Orchestra and Lamont Symphony Orchestra. He is also currently Music Director of the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. Hughes was the only American selected with eleven other finalists in the Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition in Parma, Italy. More information may be found at http://www.devinpatrickhughes.com.

The Colorado Ballet: Enthusiasm, Joy and Artistry

Colorado Ballet opened its season this Saturday, August 22, with its usual performance entitled An Evening Under The Stars at the Arvada Center. It is always an exciting performance because it is so obvious that the dancers have been looking forward to the new season, and their enthusiasm for their art is supremely in evidence. There seems to be no question that they missed dancing in front of a Denver audience during the summer break. The performance at the Arvada Center is always a preview usually comprised of several short works and perhaps a movement or two from larger ballets.

The Saturday performance opened with a work entitled Pirates of the Caribbean which was choreographed by Colorado Ballet’s own Ballet Mistress, Sandra Brown. The choreography in this work was absolutely superb, and it seemed very difficult because of the energy required to perform it. It was a pas de deux which was danced by Asuka Sasaki and Francisco Estevez. It was fast-paced, and the rhythms were very difficult, but Sasaki and Estevez certainly used it to demonstrate their incredible dancing ability. It may be my enthusiasm for the opening season, but it seemed that everyone in the Colorado Ballet, no matter whether they were Principles, Soloists, or members of the Corps, just keep getting better and better. And believe me, by making that comment, I do not mean to say that they needed the improvement. Artistic Director Gil Boggs has wrought so many changes in this organization since he has been in his present position that it is astounding, and one of his accomplishments can certainly be codified as inspiring the already excellent dancers to new heights. He has made sure that the dancers hired are of the ilk that constantly work on self-improvement, and it is astounding to me to have such a fine ballet company in Colorado.

One of the performances Saturday evening that literally took my breath away was the pas de deux from La Sylphide which will be the official season opener of the Colorado Ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Theater from October 2 to October 11. The pas de deux was danced by Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov, and again, the choreography, which was done by August Bournonville was remarkably difficult. It required that Maria Mosina dance using a step known as the bourée. This is where the dancer is on her toes and takes a “stuttering” step across the stage. To me, this has always been one of the most difficult steps that a solo dancer can do because it is incredibly rapid. In this instance, Mosina had to make use of this step for a great length of time, and I was totally convinced that if the choreographer had asked her, she could dance that step for at least six hours without a break. Mosina and Tyukov danced incredibly well together, and they are such artists, and possessed of such great skill, that their grace as a duo is absolutely enthralling.

Another performance Saturday evening that must be mentioned was an excerpt from the ballet Don Quixote. The music is by Ludwig Minkus, and the choreography was composed by Marius Petipa. There was a pas de deux which was danced by the ever graceful Sharon Wehner, and a new face in Colorado Ballet, Yosvani Ramos. In addition to Wehner and Ramos, Shelby Dyer and Asuka Sasaki danced the roles of flower girls. All four of these individuals are absolutely superb artists, and Yosvani Ramos will certainly be an exciting addition to Colorado Ballet. His agility and strength were something to behold, and even though he is new to the organization, it was obvious that Sharon Wehner felt extremely comfortable because she was able to rely on his ability and artistry as a partner. They made incredible partners on the stage. And, of course, Shelby Dyer and Asuka Sasaki were beautiful to watch.

Before the excerpt from Don Quixote, there was a three-part “suite” entitled Piazzolla, after the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). It was Piazzolla who helped to establish the tango as a major artistic dance in the 20th century. This marvelous work was choreographed by another of Colorado Ballet’s marvelous Ballet Mistresses, Lorita Travaglia. There were three sections to this sweet: Friendship, Love, and Passion. The dancers in this suite were Emily Speed and Kevin Gaël Thomas, Morgan Buchanan and Francisco Estevez, and another new face, Mackenzie Dessens and Kevin Wilson, and Sean Omandam was linked with Sarah Tryon who is yet another new face. I might add that Francisco Estevez has been elevated to the rank of Soloist. In this performance of the first portion of the three-part Suite, these “new faces” clearly demonstrated why Gil Boggs added them to the company. They are remarkable dancers, and another factor that is most important, at least to my observation, these new dancers fit so well in the company because they easily demonstrated their artistry. Tracy Jones and Kevin Hale danced together in Love and Dana Benton and Christopher Moulton were paired in the third part of the suite, Passion. The choreography by Lorita Travaglia seemed to me to be incredibly difficult, however, keep in mind that she is closely connected with all the dancers in the company because she is a Ballet Mistress. Therefore, she knows their abilities and the abilities of ballet artists in general. This knowledge, and her closeness with the dancers on stage allowed her to create an incredibly appealing dance suite. In addition, it was clear that those who danced Piazzolla were reveling in its inherent artistic choreography.

In this article, I have mentioned the word “artistry” several times. That is only easy to do when those involved possess so much of it as evidenced by their performances. Another example of excellent choreography comes, again, from within the organization, and that was demonstrated Saturday evening by the work entitled Lost in Dreamland, with choreography by Kevin Gaël Thomas. The music by William Hill seemed to be a slow tango which was complicated and distorted by the self-same slowness of the tempo. It was danced by Dana Benton and Kevin Gaël Thomas and it was absolutely thrilling to watch. The costumes were done by Colorado Ballet’s own Shirin Lankarani. This was a very forceful piece because of its difficult choreography. It left me wondering how dancers can memorize the incredibly complicated movements that they must complete. Musicians have notes in front of them that they can rely upon and which they learn. They play – or sing – those notes on their instrument. But those in ballet, while they have charts sketching out the choreography, must then translate the charts into movements in the air. That has always seemed immensely difficult to me. Benton and Thomas are enormously skilled artists, and they are breathtaking when they dance together.

The last work on the program was premiered by the Colorado Ballet on February 22, 2013. The music was by Poul Ruders who is a Danish composer (born in 1949) who wrote a concerto for several instruments, so that one can almost sectional-ize his Concerto in Pieces by the instruments that are playing in each section. The choreography was done by Val Caniparoli. I have written about this ballet in the past, and I stated that not only was the rhythm incredibly complicated, but the tempo seemed very fast. Two of the dancers that appeared Saturday night, Asuka Sasaki and Domenico Luciano, have danced this before. New to me in this ballet on Saturday were Morgan Buchanan, Luis Valdes, Shelby Dyer, and Kevin Hale. It requires great ability from the dancers, and I was left wondering who recorded the music by Ruders. The choreography by Caniparoli was specifically done for the Colorado Ballet, so I don’t know if the Colorado Ballet Orchestra recorded the music for the Saturday performance or not, but it was exceedingly well done.

All of the use of the word “artistry” in the above paragraphs lead to one conclusion: the Colorado Ballet – and by that, I mean the entire organization – is an exceptional congregation of artists and staff. The enthusiasm and the dedication displayed in this amalgam of sections from ballets at Saturday’s preview concert simply made one look forward to their coming season with excitement. To you readers who have never attended the Colorado Ballet, I promise you that my use of the word “artistry” was not flippant or used in exaggeration. To those of you who have attended at least one of their performances, you know that I do not aggrandize the standing of this organization.

August 19, 2015, 2:30 pm
Filed under: News

Once again Boulder Chamber Orchestra will bring you a star-studded season filled with music from the tame as well as the wild!

Below are the 2015-2016 concert lineup highlights. All concerts begin at 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted.

“Spook Symphony”
October 30, 2015
First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
October 31, 2015
Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80226

Mina Gajić, Piano
• Benjamin Britten: Young Apollo
• Franz Liszt:  Malediction
• Bernard Herman: Music to Psycho
• Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C-minor, K. 546
• Carl Nielsen: Little Suite for Strings , Op. 1

“The Seasons”
December 4, 2015
First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, Co 80302
December 5, 2015
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield CO, 80020

Zachary Carrettin, Violin
• Antonio Vivaldi: Autumn and Winter from the Four Seasons
• Astor Piazzola: Spring and Summer from Four Seasons in Buenos Aires

“Gift of Music”
December 19, 2015
Boulder-Seventh Day Adventist, 345 Mapleton Ave Boulder, CO 80304
December 20, 2015
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield, CO 80020

Jennifer Kampani, Soprano and Cobus Du Toit, Flute
• Jean Sibelius: Rakastava
• Holiday Selections
• J.S. Bach: Cantata No. 209
• Schubert: Salve Regina: D676
• John Rutter: Suite Antique

“Symphonic Ball”
December 31, 2015
Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80226
A special New Year’s Celebration at the Lakewood Cultural Center

“Valentine’s Eve” – A Mini Chamber Concert
February 14, 2016
Grace Lutheran Church, 1001 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302
Featuring: Opus TwoWilliam Terwilliger, violin and Andrew Cooperstock, piano
• Brahms: Sonata in G Major
• Bernstein/Stern: Four Moments from Candide
• Bernstein: Penaforte Suite from West Side Story
• Gershwin/Stern: Suite from Crazy Girl

“Mini Chamber Concert”
March 12, 2016
Grace Lutheran Church, 1001 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302
March 13, 2016
Grace Lutheran Church 1001 13th Street Boulder, CO 80302
A night of Chamber Music with BCO musicians

“Mini Chamber Concert”
April 1, 2016
Grace Lutheran Church, 1001 13th Street Boulder, CO 80302
April 2, 2016
Anthem Ranch, 4118 San Luis Way, Broomfield, CO 80023

Featuring: Gloriosa Trio: Yoonie Han, Piano; Jennifer Carsillo, Violin; Kevin Bate, Cello
• Astor Piazzolla: Oblivion, La Muerte del Angel
• Joaquin Turina: Piano Trio No. 2 in B minor, Op. 76.
• Ludwig Van Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke”

“Virtuosity & Grace”
April 15, 2016
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd,. Broomfield, CO 80020
April 16, 2016
Seventh Day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Ave., Boulder, CO 80304

Soheil Nasseri, Piano
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G-minor, K. 550
• Johannes Brahms Concerto: for Piano No. 2, Op. 83.

“Mother Nature”
May 6, 2016
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield, CO 80020
May 8, 2016
Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Ave., Boulder, CO 80304

Chloe Trevor, Violin
• Gabriel Faure: Pavane Op. 50
• Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major,  Op. 35.
• Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, in F, Op. 68, “Pastoral”

For additional information on the upcoming season visit http://www.boulderchamberorchestra.org

About the Boulder Chamber Orchestra
The Boulder Chamber Orchestra (BCO) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 committed to providing exceptional chamber music programming, education, and outreach, as well as an outlet for talented local artists in the Front Range Community.


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