Filed under: Reviews | Tags: A Woman's Life, Angela Brown, Boulder Philharmonic, Brahms, German Requiem, James Kim, Kay Redfield Jamison, Maya Angelou, Michael Butterman, Pagtrick Mason, Richard Danielpour, Schumann
Saturday, February 23, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presented a concert with Angela Brown, who sang a song cycle for orchestra and soprano written by Richard Danielpour, and Patrick Mason, baritone, who is on the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Both Mason and Brown were soloists in the Brahms German Requiem which followed the work by Danielpour. The choir for the Brahms Requiem was the Boulder Chorale, which is under the directorship of Dr. James Kim who is on the faculty at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
The concert opened with Angela Brown singing Richard Danielpour’s work, A Woman’s Life. I will quote briefly from Angela Brown’s biography statement on her website:
“A 1997 National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions Winner, Miss Brown received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, where she studied with Ginger Beazley. She attended the Indiana University School of Music as a student in the studio of Virginia Zeani. Miss Brown received the Indiana University African American Arts Institute’s Inaugural Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award in 2006, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions made in the arts by former members of the Institute. Miss Brown is featured in ‘Nineteen Stars of Indiana,’ a book by Michael S. Maurer about nineteen, living Hoosier women with successful and inspirational life stories, released by Indiana University Press in December 2008.
“Other performances this season include Madison Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, The Trumpet Awards and Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Last season Miss Brown returned to her hometown for the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with Indianapolis Opera. She joined the Pittsburgh Symphony to sing the world premiere of the song cycle, ‘A Woman’s Life,’ written especially for her by American composer Richard Danielpour and celebrated author Dr. Maya Angelou. Angela made her debut with Hamburg Opera and Vienna State Opera as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. She reprised ‘A Woman’s Life’ with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February and sang Verdi Requiem with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Angela sang Serena in New Jersey State Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess. This summer she made appearances for a Night of Opera at The Mann Center in Philadelphia and a special gala with Cincinnati Opera.”
There may be some of you readers who are not familiar with Richard Danielpour, so I will also quote a short bio statement from his website:
“Dr. Richard Danielpour has been commissioned by many international music institutions, festivals, and artists, including soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, and Gary Graffman; the Guarneri, Emerson, and American string quartets and Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; and institutions such as the New York City and Pacific Northwest ballets, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia and Stuttgart Radio orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more.With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison he created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered to sold-out houses in Detroit, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia in 2005 and had its New York premiere at New York City Opera in 2007.
“Dr. Danielpour has received a Grammy Award, two Rockefeller Foundation grants, Charles Ives Fellowship and Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Fellowship, Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and grants and residencies from the Barlow Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and American Academy in Rome.
“In 2002 he was awarded a fellowship to the American Academy in Berlin, and he was the third composer–after Stravinsky and Copland–to be signed to an exclusive recording contract by Sony Classical.
“On the Manhattan School of Music’s composition faculty since 1993, Dr. Danielpour joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1997.”
A Woman’s Life is a song cycle which is comprised of seven of eight poems by Maya Angelou that describes events in a woman’s life from a young girl to adulthood. Some of the songs are humorous and some are full of pathos, but they are as expressive as one would expect poems by Maya Angelou to be. They are delightful.
As Angela Brown began to sing, it was apparent that her reputation of having an enormous voice and vocal power was deserved. Her voice also has an absolutely beautiful quality to it which obviously fits many operatic roles. However, I could not help but notice as she sang this song cycle, that she has a very pronounced bleat, or warble, especially on some of the high notes. Considering her excellent vocal quality, and the training that she has had while a student, one wonders if that could be trained out. In addition, I found it very difficult to understand the words that she was singing, and, therefore, I was pleased to have the words printed in the program. Many concertgoers often take it for granted that a singer will not be understood, because those who do possess good diction seem to be few and far between. But I assure you they do exist. I have also heard opera enthusiasts say that having good diction does not matter because the singers are always singing in a foreign language anyway. And, I have heard some singers say that the audience cannot understand Italian, French, or German, so why is diction all that important, especially when they come to hear a beautiful voice only? However it has always been my personal opinion that if one is singing words, whether it be opera or rap, the words should be heard if, for no other reason, than to honor the poet. It seems to me that Maya Angelou is worth honoring.
Ms. Brown certainly does have a keen sense of drama as any opera performer would. She pleased and delighted the audience a great deal with her theatrical movements as she was singing each song. I was a little surprised by comments I heard those audience members make who were seated close to me: they expressed a delight with her interpretation and movements of the songs, and the fact that those movements were cute and expressive. They seemed more concerned with that aspect of her performance than they were with the text of the poem.
After the intermission, the Boulder Philharmonic combined forces with the Boulder Chorale to perform Johannes Brahms’ magnificent German Requiem, Opus 45. The Boulder Chorale is under the directorship of Dr. James Kim, who has rapidly established himself as one of the premier choral conductors in the state if not the region. I will quote very briefly from his biographical statement:
“James Kim spent two years in Stuttgart, Germany from 1997-1999 studying the music of Johann Sebastian Bach [where he studied with the renowned Helmut Rilling]. After returning to the US, the passion and dedication to promote the music of J.S. Bach to American audience on a professional level have been the focus of his musical endeavors. He is committed and most excited to bring Bach’s music vividly to the audience in Colorado.”
Joining the orchestra and chorus as soloists were Angela Brown, soprano, and Patrick Mason, baritone who is on the faculty at the CU College of Music in Boulder.
Anytime one has a large chorus performing in a large hall, it will be difficult to understand the words. However, if one listens carefully for consonants and vowels sounds, one can tell if the choir has been properly prepared. I heard the Brahms Requiem performed just a short time ago by another choir, and one could not distinguish the consonants or the vowels. I was also told that since the choir was singing in German, that it didn’t matter all that much. Well, it does. It was clear that Dr. James Kim had prepared this choir quite well, which is made up largely of those who like to sing, rather than professional musicians. Their phrases were superb, and one could hear breaks between the phrases. The orchestra, in the opening sounded quite good. They, too, had excellent phrasing, and the low strings, which began this work, sounded quite mellow and rich. As the work progressed, however, the precision of the choir begin to wane. I must say that, in this particular case, I must lay that fault at the feet of Maestro Butterman. It truly seems to me as though the choir knew what to do, but that Butterman was not asking them to do it.
In his solo, How lovely is Thy dwelling place, Patrick Mason was superb. His voice quality is one that I have long admired, and his diction is excellent. At the end of this fourth section, there is counterpoint, which the choir sings. It is quite rhythmical and it needs to have each syllable accented and the beginning of the phrase clearly defined. One could tell this is the way the choir expected to sing it, but one could also tell that the choir had been told to follow the conductor, and it was here that Maestro Butterman’s conducting became, what to my mind, was indifferent. I’m sure he did not feel indifference, but he did not give the choir the rhythmic jabs that would help them perform this in an articulate way. His gestures were very smooth and connected as if he were conducting something that was very legato, rather than lively and rhythmically accented. It should have been a little more energetic and distinct.
In the fifth movement of this work, the soprano sings And ye now therefore have sorrow. The choir was very well balanced in this movement, and, again, I was struck at the beautiful sound that Angela Brown creates. But, unfortunately, I could not understand the words that she was singing.
In movement six, For here we have no continuing city, there is a great deal of counterpoint at the end of the movement. The dynamics were not big enough, nor was the choir articulate enough, and I had the distinct feeling that, somehow, the choir was being held back because Maestro Butterman was not being articulate enough, and demanding enough to allow them to sing the way they had at rehearsal. It was as if he was being very polite with the choir out of fear of offending them by demanding too much.
There were many instances in this performance of the Brahms where the orchestra just sounded absolutely sensational. The violins were absolutely superb. But I walked away from this performance, wondering if Maestro Butterman, and I am sure this is not the case, was uncomfortable conducting both a choir and an orchestra. I have been such a fan of the Boulder Philharmonic, and I hesitate to say that this was really a bad performance, but there were so many items, phrasing, lack of energy and drive, and even dynamic contrast, that should have been better.
The other item that I feel I must comment on are the program notes for the Requiem. The Boulder Philharmonic subscribes to program notes from Orpheus Music Prose & Craig Doolin. I would strongly urge the Boulder Philharmonic board to have the program notes checked, because there was a glaring error concerning Robert Schuman. The program notes state that Robert Schuman “… attempted suicide by jumping into the wintry Rhine River during an episode of mental illness brought on by advanced syphilis.” Schuman certainly did attempt suicide in that manner, but he definitely did not have syphilis. Robert Schuman came from a family that had recurrent attacks of depression, and this can be determined from reading the letters from his parents. His sister committed suicide, as did a cousin on his father’s side. One of Robert Schumann’s sons went insane in his early 20s. Another of his sons became a morphine addict. All of the evidence points against syphilis because there was never any record that he received treatment for syphilis, which involved rubbing mercury into the skin. In addition, Clara Schuman never suffered from this highly contagious disease, nor did any of their seven children. After reading all of the letters and understanding his family background, it becomes clear that Robert Schuman was manic-depressive and schizophrenic. He worked in very intensive bursts, and then for periods of time, worked not at all. In a letter to his friend, Felix Mendelssohn, he describes his recovery from a bout of depression, where he describes terrifying thoughts and a nervous collapse. He did try to commit suicide by jumping into the river, but he was rescued and placed in an insane asylum at Endenich. It was there that he died in 1856 by starving himself to death. I would urge the board to read a book by Kay Redfield Jamison entitled Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.
There were moments of this performance that were absolutely exquisite, but there were also moments that were not. Every performer or performing group has moments that are far less successful than the standard they have established. This was one of those moments.
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: Boulder Philharmonic, Christopher Tyalor, Jeffrey Nytch, Michael Butterman, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Serge Prokofiev
The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra gave its opening performance Saturday evening at their usual venue of Macky Auditorium in Boulder. Opening nights are always exciting, but I must say that this was one of the finest performances, if not the finest, that I have ever heard the Boulder Philharmonic give. The entire performance was full of an emotion and accuracy that is rare even for this superb orchestra.
Maestro Butterman opened the evening’s program with a work entitled Acclamations by Jeffrey Nytch. Nytch is on the faculty at CU in Boulder, and I will quote from his website:
“Jeffrey Nytch has built a diverse career as a composer, teacher, performer, arts administrator, and consultant. He has also run a small business, co-founded a non-profit service organization in Houston, performed a wide range of repertoire as a vocalist, and served five years as Managing Director of The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (“PNME”), one of the nation’s premiere new music ensembles. In 2009 he joined the faculty of The University of Colorado-Boulder, where he serves as Director of The Entrepreneurship Center for Music. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and Masters and Doctoral degrees from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Since then, his compositions have been performed throughout the United States and Europe by many major artists, and he has released several recordings on the MMC and Koch International Labels. In addition to teaching, composing and performing, he maintains a career as an organizational and programming consultant to music schools and arts groups.”
Acclamations was commissioned to be used as an opening work for concerts: in short, a concert overture or fanfare. Therefore, it is truly an exciting work, and was well-chosen for the program because it came before the Prokofiev piano concerto. To my ear, the niche the work seemed to fill was neoclassical, but keep in mind; this was the first hearing of this piece for me. It was certainly a tonal piece without, necessarily, being tonally centered. There were some exciting themes followed by lyrical sections from the strings, woodwinds, and brass which were accompanied by a kind of ostinato from the rest of the orchestra. There was a great deal of percussion emphasizing the rhythms of the rest of the orchestra, and it all culminated in an exciting flourish at the end. It very definitely served the commission’s purpose. There were many points in this work which were quite deceptive in their difficulty. But, the Boulder Phil performed this piece so well that the difficult rhythms and entrances made the piece sound much easier than it truly is.
Following the Nytch, Boulder native, Christopher Taylor performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto Nr. 3 in C Major, Opus 26.
“The past few years have seen Christopher Taylor emerge as one of the nation’s foremost musicians. Audiences and critics, alike, hail the intensity and artistry he brings to the works of masters ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Boulez and Bolcom; The Washington Post, for instance, deems Mr. Taylor ‘one of the most impressive young pianists on the horizon today,’ and The New York Times termed a recent performance ‘astonishing.’
“Numerous awards have confirmed Mr. Taylor’s high standing in the musical world. He was named an American Pianists’ Association Fellow for 2000, before which he received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1996 and the Bronze Medal in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where he was the first American to receive such high recognition in 12 years. In 1990 he took first prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, and also became one of the first recipients of the Irving Gilmore Young Artists’ Award.
“In recent seasons Mr. Taylor has concertized around the globe, performing throughout Europe and in Korea, the Philippines, and the Caribbean. At home in the U.S., he has appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Boston Pops, and has toured with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. As a soloist, he has performed in such venues as New York’s Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls, Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia and Aspen festivals, and dozens of others. His first recording released by Jonathan Digital in 2000 featured works by present-day American composers William Bolcom and Derek Bermel. His most recent recording, Liszt’s Twelve Transcendental Etudes, was released in 2003 on the Liszt Digital label.
“Mr. Taylor owes much of his success to several outstanding teachers, including Russell Sherman, Maria Curcio-Diamand, Francisco Aybar, and Julie Bees. In addition to performing, he is currently Paul Collins Associate Professor of Piano Performance at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He pursues a variety of other interests, including mathematics, in which field he received a summa cum laude degree from Harvard University in 1992; philosophy (he has recently published an article in the Oxford Free Will Handbook coauthored with the leading scholar Daniel Dennett); computing (one project being to create a compiler for a new programming language); linguistics; and biking, which is his primary means of commuting. Mr. Taylor lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife, musicologist Denise Pilmer Taylor, and two daughters.”
Prokofiev finished the third piano Concerto in 1921 on the coast of Brittany, though he had written a few sketches for it as early as 1913. He dedicated it to his close friend and Russian symbolist poet, Konstantin Balmont. Musicologists have often said that the relationship between Prokofiev and Balmont was not very close, but that was because Balmont was not interested in returning to Russia as Prokofiev was. Balmont had criticized life in the new Communist Russia quite heavily, and since Prokofiev had every intention of returning to his native land, he had to disassociate himself from those who were critical of the new regime. Prokofiev was certainly not a communist: he simply loved Russia. In 1921, he clarified his position and friendship by stating, “Soon after, Balmont turned his pen against the suffering homeland, and we parted company.” It is interesting to note that Rachmaninoff, who provided much pianistic competition for Prokofiev, was also a friend of Balmont. And, in fact, Balmont translated another symbolist poet’s work, Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Bells, from English to Russian, and Rachmaninoff used the Russian version in his four movement choral symphony with the same name.
Saturday evening, there was no doubt that the orchestra was as excited to do this concerto as was Christopher Taylor. There is always a certain amount of give-and-take between soloist and conductor as to tempos and nuance, but there was no question that Butterman and Taylor were in very close agreement. They followed each other with constant eye contact, yet there was never any indication that either musician was being cautious. This means that Butterman was giving Taylor the freedom he needed to make this an absolutely electrifying piece of music, and it was certainly that and more. You readers must realize that Prokofiev was an amazing piano virtuoso himself, and if he had not felt the need to be a composer first and foremost, his career as a pianist would have been a little more illustrious. His Piano Concerto Nr. 3 is among the most difficult concertos written, but Taylor had absolutely no problem whatsoever, and neither did the orchestra. This excellent match is what made the Saturday performance so terrific. Prokofiev’s orchestral writing is very difficult as well, because one can never predict where he will go next, but I must say that Saturday night, it seemed as though the orchestra members had all grown up playing Prokofiev. The woodwind section was absolutely beyond compare, as were the cellos, and when I say that, I do not mean to detract from the rest of the orchestra. Both Taylor and the orchestra played with incredible energy and rhythmic pulse. Christopher Taylor demonstrated his remarkable finger work which simply cannot be done unless one is totally relaxed muscularly.
In the second movement, Prokofiev – and Taylor – continue to breathe new life into this form. The second movement is a theme and variations whose initial ideas were generated by Prokofiev in 1913. One of the reasons that I admired this performance so much was the selection of tempos. This second movement, which begins with a very graceful theme, was taken a little faster than previous performances, even on recordings that I have heard. It allowed the themes to proceed with a certain amount of grace, rather than sounding stodgy. That tempo also allowed some of the faster variations to sound sarcastic, and even a little acerbic, in the traditional Prokofiev-ian manner (how many of you readers were aware that Prokofiev wrote a piece in 1912 entitled Sarcasms?) There is no doubt in my mind that Christopher Taylor has a marvelous sense of how Prokofiev should be played. And, once again, there was a marvelous communication between Butterman and Taylor, but I assure you that Taylor’s requests of Butterman were so consistent and so musical, that neither artist would have been uncomfortable even if there was no communication whatsoever. That is called artistic reliability.
The third movement was simply astonishing on Taylor’s part and on the orchestra’s part. To say that the piano part and the orchestra part are virtuosic is simply an understatement. But, it was also quite obvious that everyone on the stage was up to the task because they shared the same musical excitement in the understanding of each other’s artistry. One was on the edge of one’s seat in this movement, not because of wondering if the artists were going to make it, but because of acknowledging what wonderful music was being made, and that they were witnessing a combination of musical understanding among pianist, conductor, and orchestra. The orchestra was breathtaking, and always in tune, and always with Taylor.
It is my understanding that Robert Cloutier is the piano technician for the Boulder Philharmonic, and that he takes care of the Steinway on the Macky stage. I can only wish that he had enough time to take care of the pianos at Boettcher Hall. The piano at Macky sounded absolutely sensational in its voicing and in its tune.
The performance of the Prokofiev was full of enthusiasm and artistry from everyone concerned. While that may sound like an obvious statement, I have heard performances of this work, which is incredibly difficult, where the artistry was missing. Not so with Christopher Taylor, for he is world-class.
Following the Prokofiev, the Boulder Phil performed the Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony. In a letter to the Russian pianist and composer Sergei Taneyev, Tchaikovsky wrote, and I quote, “I should not wish for symphonic works to come from my pen which express nothing in which consist of empty playing with chords, rhythms, and modulations. Should a symphony not express those things for which there are not words but which need to be expressed?” It seems unnecessary that Tchaikovsky should have written such words, for in listening to this symphony it is clear where his aesthetics lie. There are so many elements in this symphony of ballet writing, particularly in the first movement where the themes are shared by clarinet, flute, and piccolo, and then answered by the cellos that one can close one’s eyes and imagine dancers onstage. That is one of the reasons Tchaikovsky’s ballet music is so often performed at symphony concerts: it fits in either genre. Even so, the mood of the Fourth Symphony is one of extroversion, and stylistically it is miles ahead (and only three years) from his Third Symphony. From the very beginning, one cannot help but devote one’s entire attention to the music that is being made. The tempos that Maestro Butterman took were perfect, and the enthusiasm that the orchestra demonstrated in the first two compositions of this concert was fully intact – and lasted the entire duration of this lengthy work.
The second movement, again, demonstrated what a sensational woodwind section the Boulder Phil has: the oboe was excellent, the clarinet was excellent, and to my way of thinking, this was the most satisfying movement in the genuinely superb performance of this symphony.
The third movement, which is entitled, Scherzo: pizzicato ostinato was astounding to me because I have never heard pizzicato played with such a wide dynamic range. Where Tchaikovsky marks the pizzicato pianissimo, it truly was pianissimo, and I stress that everyone was playing in tune. I realize that I am speaking of the Boulder Philharmonic, which is a professional orchestra, but many years ago I heard the Cincinnati Symphony perform this piece, and not only did they not have the dynamic range, they were also out of tune. I assure you that the Boulder Phil outplayed the Cincinnati Symphony.
I know that in many of the paragraphs above, I have commented on the tempos that Maestro Butterman took throughout this program, and, again, I must mention the tempo that he took in the last movement of the Tchaikovsky. It was simply perfect. I was also impressed in this movement by the guest concertmaster, Rachel Segal. The entire violin section, and it is a pity that I could not read their minds, seemed intent on proving to her that they could play this piece. No one was lackadaisical in their approach, indeed, the entire orchestra was working very hard.
Every year I have commented on how I think the Boulder Philharmonic has improved, and I stress they were not bad to begin with. Saturday night they were truly outstanding in every way, and I am sure they could have competed against many major orchestras in the United States with this performance and won. In so many respects, this was an outstanding performance of all three compositions. Maestro Butterman seems so very composed on the podium, but one could recognize that his mind is working furiously. He has the enviable ability to “see” what is in front of his “mind’s ear,” and he knows how to communicate this very skillfully and artistically to all of those in front of him. What a joy!
Filed under: News | Tags: Boulder Philharmonic, Christopher Taylor, Jennifer Koh, Michael Butterman, Sarah Chang
The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra as a very inviting season ahead of it for 2012-2013. There will be two world-class violinists Sarah Chang and Jennifer Koh.
Jennifer Koh won the International Tchaikovsky Competition and has performed throughout the world with all of the major orchestras. The wife of pianist Benjamin Hochman, who performed in Boulder this season, Ms. Koh studied at Oberlin College and at the Curtis Institute.
Sarah Chang debuted with the New York Philharmonic at the age of eight, and has performed throughout the world with leading conductors and orchestras. She is also an avid chamber music performer, and has performed with leading artists throughout the world.
In addition to these two fine violinists, Colorado’s own Christopher Taylor will perform the Prokofiev third piano Concerto with the Boulder Philharmonic next season. A winner of the bronze medal in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Mister Taylor also won first place in the William Kapell Piano Competition. He is now Professor of Piano at the University of Wisconsin School of Music.
I would suggest that everyone gets their tickets early, because these outstanding artists are just the tip of the iceberg for what is going to be a truly exciting and extremely varied season.
I will now quote directly from the press release:
“The upcoming season marks Michael Butterman’s seventh season as music director of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, a strong tenure reflected by a significant increase in subscribers and single ticket sales. Season subscriptions are at a seven-year high for the 2011-2012 season, up 39% from 2009-2010 season.
“As a local and a fully-professional orchestra, the Boulder Phil strives to embrace and reflect all the natural beauty, the depth of culture, and the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Boulder so unique,” says Butterman. “Our concerts are designed to connect the Boulder Phil with the local community and the audience with a variety of music and artists. Each concert has something familiar and something new for our audiences to explore.”
“Highlights of the upcoming season include Sarah Chang performing Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, Jennifer Koh performing Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, and Christopher Taylor performing Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Guest trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling joins the Boulder Phil to salute Louis Armstrong, and the popular Cirque de la Symphonie returns to present its synthesis of highly choreographed athletic artistry and well-known symphonic blockbusters. In an evening focused on life’s reflections, noted Met Opera soprano Angela Brown performs Danielpour’s A Woman’s Life, based on poems by Maya Angelou, and the Boulder Chorale and baritone Patrick Mason, voice professor at CU-Boulder’s College of Music, join the Boulder Phil to perform A German Requiem, by Johannes Brahms.
“The 2012-2013 season reflects Boulder Phil’s engagement in the Boulder community with the popular Discovery Concerts featuring Michael Butterman and the orchestra performing for Boulder elementary school students, the annual Young Artists Concerto Competition in partnership with the Parlando School for the Arts, and repeat performances in Lakewood and Highlands Ranch. For information on the upcoming season, subscriptions, and individual tickets, visit www.boulderphil.org.
Saturday, September 15, 2012, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Sunday, September 16, 2012, 3 pm, Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood Christopher Taylor, piano Jeffrey Nytch—Acclamations Sergei Prokoviev—Piano Concerto No. 3 Piotr Tchaikovsky—Symphony No. 4
Saturday, October 6, 2012, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Byron Stripling, trumpet “Music of New Orleans: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong”
Friday, Nov. 23, 4 pm; Saturday, Nov. 24, 2 & 7 pm; Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 2 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Boulder Ballet / Boulder Children’s Chorale / Richard Oldberg, conductor Piotr Tchaikovsky—The Nutcracker
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Sarah Chang, violin Samuel Barber—Violin Concerto Anton Bruckner—Symphony No. 4
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Angela Brown, soprano / Patrick Mason, baritone / Boulder Chorale Richard Danielpour—A Woman’s Life Johannes Brahms—A German Requiem
Saturday, March 23, 2013, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Cirque de la Symphonie Selections to include works by Antonín Dvořák, Rimsky-Korsakov, John Williams, and others.
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 7:30 pm, Macky Auditorium, Boulder Jennifer Koh, violin Claude Debussy—Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun” Einojuhani Rautavaara—Cantus Arcticus Jean Sibelius—Finlandia Igor Stravinsky—Four Norwegian Moods Jean Sibelius—Violin Concerto
Additional repeat performance at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch to be announced.
“About Michael Butterman, Music Director Michael Butterman is making his mark as a model for today’s conductors and is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and audience and community engagement. He is in his seventh season as music director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and also for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and is in his 13th season as principal conductor for education and outreach for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the only position of its kind in the United States. He is also the resident conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
“About the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra Under the vision and leadership of Music Director Michael Butterman, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrating its 55th season of providing outstanding orchestral music in our community. The Boulder Phil is a critically acclaimed professional orchestra, presenting performances nine months out of the year and employing a core of 72 of our region’s most highly trained musicians.
“Voted “Best Classical Music” two years running by the readers of Boulder Weekly, the Boulder Phil’s main performance venue is Macky Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus, a historic concert hall which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. The Boulder Phil’s main concert series—broadcast across the state on Colorado Public Radio—features a dynamic mix of masterpieces and promising new works, highlighting both accomplished and emerging guest artists with a special emphasis on Boulder’s own creative community.
“The orchestra’s broad reach in the community includes special events such as the annual co-production of The Nutcracker with the Boulder Ballet as well as performances in Arvada, Beaver Creek, Highlands Ranch, and Lakewood. The Boulder Phil also works to inspire the next generation of music-lovers through its Discovery Concerts reaching 4th and 5th grade students across three counties.
“Founded in 1958, the Boulder Phil became a fully professional ensemble under the leadership of Theodore Kuchar, who began his tenure as music director in 1996. Michael Butterman was named music director in 2006, bringing a strong emphasis on education and outreach, as well as a creative approach to programming that includes a focus on collaborations with other local artists. Under his direction, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra reflects and fosters all that makes Boulder special―its creativity, spirit, beauty and quest for knowledge. By connecting people to orchestral music, the Boulder Phil strives to be an essential part of our community’s cultural fabric.”