Behind the Music

Curious to hear the stories behind the fantastic music being performed at the Colorado Music Festival? Join us for our popular pre-concert lectures, which are now virtual so you can watch from anywhere at any time. For each week of the Festival, a different guest speaker will provide insights into that week’s repertoire and composers and discuss their own connection to the pieces. You’ll hear stories, observations, and commentary in short videos you can access online before you head to the concert. Behind the Music is a free service.

2023 Behind the Music Videos

Bruch, Bell, and Mussorgsky

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Dr. Max Wolpert, a faculty member at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses the program for opening concerts: Joshua Bell + Mussorgsky’s Pictures.

Peter and the Wolf: The Conductor

Conductor Kalena Bovell leads Peter and the Wolf, Goodnight Moon, and more at the Festival’s Family Concert.

Peter and the Wolf: The Narrator

Denver-based comedian, actor, and entertainer Janae Burris discusses how she will approach narrating Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at the Festival’s Family Concert.

Peter and the Wolf: The Characters

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Emily Bowman, Artistic Director at the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, explores Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with help from friends at the GBYO.

Rachmaninoff & the Dies Irae

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Susan Olenwine, a faculty member at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses the music of Rachmaninoff. The Festival is celebrating the composer’s 150th birthday with three incredible concerts on July 6, 7, and 9.

Oundjian Interviews Corigliano

Music Director Peter Oundjian interviews 2023 composer-in-residence John Corigliano about the Festival’s July 13 program, John Corigliano: Living Legend.

John Corigliano: Living Legend

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Deborah Schmit-Lobis, a faculty member at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses composer-in-residence John Corigliano.

Composer Jordan Holloway

Jordan M. Holloway is the composer of 2023’s Flatiron Escapades, which celebrates the Chautauqua Association’s 125th anniversary. In this interview, Holloway discusses composition, the beauty of Chautauqua Park, and more. Hear Flatiron Escapades on July 16.

Ravel & Price: Piano Concertos

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Brian Hickman, piano faculty member at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses Ravel and Price’s Piano Concertos, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.

Cellist Johannes Moser

Cellist Johannes Moser has a special message for 2023 Festival guests! Moser returns to Chautauqua Auditorium to play Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, a piece he has loved for decades, on July 27 & 28 with the Festival Orchestra and conductor (and dear friend of Moser’s) Eun Sun Kim. 

Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1

Cellist Anne Brennand discusses themes and background for the Cello Concerto No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich, performed on July 27 and 28 by Johannes Moser and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.

Elements: Kevin Puts’ “Earth”

On August 3 & 6, 2023, violinist Joshua Bell will give a unique preview performance of a new work he has commissioned: Elements. In Elements, each of the 5 movements has been written by a different acclaimed composer. Hear Kevin Puts discuss his “Earth” movement.

Elements: Jake Heggie’s “Fire”

On August 3 & 6, 2023, violinist Joshua Bell will give a unique preview performance of a new work he has commissioned: Elements. In Elements, each of the 5 movements has been written by a different acclaimed composer. Hear Jake Heggie discuss his “Fire” movement.

Elements: Jessie Montgomery’s “Space”

On August 3 & 6, 2023, violinist Joshua Bell will give a unique preview performance of a new work he has commissioned: Elements. In Elements, each of the 5 movements has been written by a different acclaimed composer. Hear Jessie Montgomery discuss her “Space” movement.

Elements: Edgar Meyer’s “Water”

On August 3 & 6, 2023, violinist Joshua Bell will give a unique preview performance of a new work he has commissioned: Elements. In Elements, each of the 5 movements has been written by a different acclaimed composer. Hear Edgar Meyer discuss his “Water” movement.

Elements: Jennifer Higdon’s “Air”

On August 3 & 6, 2023, violinist Joshua Bell will give a unique preview performance of a new work he has commissioned: Elements. In Elements, each of the 5 movements has been written by a different acclaimed composer. Hear Jennifer Higdon discuss her “Air” movement.

Debussy’s La Mer

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Tamara Meneghini, Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at CU Boulder, discusses Debussy’s La Mer.

2022 Behind the Music Videos

Takács Quartet + Absolute Jest

In this Behind the Music episode, Education Director Kathy Kucsan discusses John Adams’ Absolute Jest (for orchestra + string quartet) with two members of the Takács Quartet, Harumi Rhodes and Richard O’Neill. 

Beethoven’s 5 Piano Concertos

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Brian Hickman, a piano faculty member at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses Beethoven’s cycle of 5 piano concertos.

Ryan Bancroft, Randall Goosby, Florence Price, and more

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Emily Bowman, principal violist at the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and artistic director at the Greater Boulder Youth Symphony, discusses many facets of the Festival concerts titled Sibelius’ Second Symphony + Violinist Randall Goosby.

Pianist Gabriela Montero & Improvisation

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Susan Olenwine, piano faculty at the Center for Musical Arts, discusses pianist Gabriela Montero’s rare improvisatory skills.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Tamara Meneghini, Professor of Theater at UC Boulder, describes the stories taking place in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

In this Behind the Music episode, special guest Elliot Moore, Music Director of the Longmont Symphony, discusses Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Interview: Composer Wang Jie & Music Director Peter Oundjian

In this discussion between composer Wang Jie and Festival Music Director Peter Oundjian, we learn about Jie’s creative process, hear a brief sample of her world premiere, and more.

Pianist Jan Lisiecki Performs Beethoven’s Cadenzas (2020)

Recorded in 2020 as part of our Virtual Festival, this hour includes conversation between Music Director Peter Oundjian and pianist Jan Lisiecki about the cadenzas that accompany Beethoven’s piano concertos, as well as engaging performances by Lisiecki.

Plan Your Festival Visit

 

Visiting Boulder

The Festival performs in beautiful Boulder, Colorado — a breathtaking location full of nature, culture, cuisine, art, and more.

Learn About Our Educational Programs

 

Festival Fellows

Meet the Festival Fellows: eight aspiring professional musicians who receive coaching and performance opportunities through the Festival and its guest artists.

Center for Musical Arts

This excellent community music school is also the educational arm of our organization.