2024 Festival highlights include the return of violinist Augustin Hadelich, pianist Olga Kern, and pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton; the world premiere of a new concerto by Gabriela Lena Frank; a celebration of Bruckner’s 200th birthday; and more, all with the help of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and some of the world’s most accomplished soloists.

Single tickets for the 2024 Festival go on sale March 5

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The 2024 Festival season opens with the much-anticipated return of Alisa Weilerstein, whose music “emerges with sunlit clarity” (The Guardian); here Weilerstein performs one of the most breathtaking works for cello. Later: Mendelssohn could not shake the “festive air” of Italy while composing his Fourth Symphony, which he called “ the happiest piece I have ever done.” The program begins with a brief and evocative Masquerade; composer Anna Clyne drew inspiration from promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens and their “exotic street entertainers, dancers, fireworks,” and of course, masquerades.

$18 – $80

Family Concert: Green Eggs and Ham

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Do you like Green Eggs and Ham? Musical storytellers Really Inventive Stuff return by popular demand, this time with their fully-staged adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s classic featuring Sam-I-Am. This engaging Family Concert also includes a musical twist on three of Aesop’s most familiar fables: “The Fox and the Crow,” “The Dog and His Reflection,” and “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

$10

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The 2024 Festival season opens with the much-anticipated return of Alisa Weilerstein, whose music “emerges with sunlit clarity” (The Guardian); here Weilerstein performs one of the most breathtaking works for cello. Later: Mendelssohn could not shake the “festive air” of Italy while composing his Fourth Symphony, which he called “ the happiest piece I have ever done.” The program begins with a brief and evocative Masquerade; composer Anna Clyne drew inspiration from promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens and their “exotic street entertainers, dancers, fireworks,” and of course, masquerades.

$18 – $80

Dohnányi, Beethoven & Schumann

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The 2024 Robert Mann Chamber Music Series begins with a spotlight on the Festival’s own musicians. Dohnányi’s sextet brings together piano, string trio, clarinet, and horn, an uncommon combination which the composer uses to mischievous effect. Beethoven’s brief “Eyeglasses Duo” is so called for a friendly note between colleagues — both Beethoven and his cellist friend Nikolaus Zmeskall required spectacles — and its music is similarly conversational and good-humored. Schumann embedded some of his most aching and romantic music into his Piano Quartet, a chamber gem of contrast and delight.

$18 – $70

Rite of Spring & Gluzman Plays Prokofiev

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Famous for inciting a riot at its 1913 premiere due to its cutting-edge compositional techniques, Stravinsky’s Rite represents “the mystery and great surge of creative power of Spring.” BBC Music Magazine has praised violinist Vadim Gluzman’s performance of Prokofiev’s acerbic Second Violin Concerto as “a thing of great beauty.” This exuberant program opens with a spirited Short Ride in a Fast Machine, of which composer John Adams asks, “You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn’t?”

$18 – $80

Rite of Spring & Gluzman Plays Prokofiev

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Famous for inciting a riot at its 1913 premiere due to its cutting-edge compositional techniques, Stravinsky’s Rite represents “the mystery and great surge of creative power of Spring.” BBC Music Magazine has praised violinist Vadim Gluzman’s performance of Prokofiev’s acerbic Second Violin Concerto as “a thing of great beauty.” This exuberant program opens with a spirited Short Ride in a Fast Machine, of which composer John Adams asks, “You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn’t?”

$18 – $80

Bruckner Bicentennial: Symphony No. 4

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

“Look, how brightly the universe shines! Splendour falls on everything around…” Schoenberg’s chromatic and stunningly beautiful Transfigured Night draws inspiration from a poem about a woman harboring a dark secret and the man who loves her enough to forgive her. 2024 marks Schoenberg’s 150th birthday, as well as Bruckner’s 200th; this program continues the anniversary celebrations with some of the best-loved of Bruckner’s music, his Fourth Symphony. The hunt is on in this “Romantic” Symphony, which begins with daybreak and puts the horn section to work during its lively “Hunting of the Hare.” Music Director Peter Oundjian calls this inspired concert “the most beautiful program of the summer.”

$18 – $80

Schubert’s Strings & Nielsen’s Winds

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The Robert Mann Chamber Music Series continues by highlighting musicians from the Festival’s own ranks. One of the most beloved works ever written for wind quintet is this music by Carl Nielsen; he composed his Wind Quintet with five friends in mind, and this warmth, as well as the personality of each instrument, shines through. Schubert’s sublime and romantic C major String Quartet is regarded as one of the greatest string quartets of any era.

$18 – $70

Olga Kern & Grieg’s Peer Gynt

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Welcome back, Festival favorite Olga Kern! Fresh off a celebration of Rachmaninoff’s 150th anniversary, Kern performs his Second Piano Concerto — a success from its inception, this memorable concerto’s themes that have been borrowed by countless films, Sinatra songs, and more. After intermission, Colorado Public Radio’s Kabin Thomas narrates the outlandish tale of Peer Gynt, a hopeless yarn-spinner who lies and sneaks his way through many misadventures and ultimately learns his lesson. Audiences will immediately recognize Grieg’s music, including the unforgettable “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “Morning Mood.” Guest conductor Rune Bergmann leads this crowd-pleasing program, which opens with Vivian Fung’s inspirational Prayer.

$18 – $85

Olga Kern & Grieg’s Peer Gynt

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Welcome back, Festival favorite Olga Kern! Fresh off a celebration of Rachmaninoff’s 150th anniversary, Kern performs his Second Piano Concerto — a success from its inception, this memorable concerto’s themes that have been borrowed by countless films, Sinatra songs, and more. After intermission, Colorado Public Radio’s Kabin Thomas narrates the outlandish tale of Peer Gynt, a hopeless yarn-spinner who lies and sneaks his way through many misadventures and ultimately learns his lesson. Audiences will immediately recognize Grieg’s music, including the unforgettable “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “Morning Mood.” Guest conductor Rune Bergmann leads this crowd-pleasing program, which opens with Vivian Fung’s inspirational Prayer.

$18 – $85

Gabriela Lena Frank’s World Premiere

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Be the first to experience a brand new concerto by Gabriela Lena Frank, heralded as one of the most significant women composers in history by the Washington Post. This exciting new work was commissioned by the Festival and will be performed by Boulder’s Grammy-winning Takács Quartet as ensemble-soloist alongside the Orchestra. After intermission, Joan Tower’s brilliant Concerto for Orchestra allows for great moments of individual virtuosity, but ultimately it is the entire Orchestra that shines. “I had imagined a long and large landscape that had a feeling of space and distance,” Tower says of her Concerto for Orchestra, in which the music “travels a long road.” This program celebrates three generations of women composers and opens with Florence Price’s Adoration, originally conceived for solo organ and performed here in its stunning arrangement for strings.

$18 – $80

Haydn, Debussy & Mendelssohn

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The Robert Mann Chamber Music Series continues with a spotlight on the Festival’s own musicians. Haydn’s String Quartets achieved a new range of expression for secular music; his String Quartet C major, Op. 20, No. 2 is a diamond from start to finish. Debussy, a master of impressionism and fantasy, creates a quintessential dreamscape in his Sonata for Flute, Harp, and Viola. Instead of treating his string octet as two individual quartets, Mendelssohn’s innovative Octet finds all eight musicians working tightly together in, as the composer requested, “symphonic orchestral style.”

$18 – $70

Awadagin Pratt + Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Celebrated pianist Awadagin Pratt makes his Festival debut with music old and new, beginning with Bach’s nimble Keyboard Concerto in A major. Pratt then performs a piece he commissioned from lauded composer Jessie Montgomery; her Rounds is inspired by an epic poem by T.S. Eliot and the opposing forces that appear in nature — “action and reaction, dark and light, stagnant and swift.” In Eastern folklore, the princess Scheherazade told the cruel Sultan 1,001 stories in order to save her own life; Rimsky-Korsakov borrows Scheherazade’s tales of royalty, festivals, sea voyages, and more in his richly orchestrated fantasy.

$18 – $80

Awadagin Pratt + Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Celebrated pianist Awadagin Pratt makes his Festival debut with music old and new, beginning with Bach’s nimble Keyboard Concerto in A major. Pratt then performs a piece he commissioned from lauded composer Jessie Montgomery; her Rounds is inspired by an epic poem by T.S. Eliot and the opposing forces that appear in nature — “action and reaction, dark and light, stagnant and swift.” In Eastern folklore, the princess Scheherazade told the cruel Sultan 1,001 stories in order to save her own life; Rimsky-Korsakov borrows Scheherazade’s tales of royalty, festivals, sea voyages, and more in his richly orchestrated fantasy.

$18 – $80

Mozart: Duo Pianos, Haffner & A Little Night Music

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

The Washington Post declares that twin sister pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton “have to be heard to be believed”; the Festival is honored to welcome these audience favorites for an all-Mozart program. Following the charming serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik (“A Little Night Music”), the Naughtons perform the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, written for Mozart to play with his beloved sister Nannerl. After intermission is Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, a staggering work of intensity and invention.

$18 – $80

Danish String Quartet

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

“Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did,” says the Danish String Quartet, a highly sought-after ensemble of energetic musicians who met each other at music camp as teenagers. The Quartet returns to the Robert Mann Chamber Music Series with a varied program including work by Haydn, Stravinsky, and Mozart, as well as Shostakovich’s profound String Quartet No. 3 and three Irish folk melodies by Celtic harper and composer Turlough O’Carolan.

$18 – $70

Augustin Hadelich & Dvořák 7

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Augustin Hadelich, one of the greatest violinists of all time, returns to perform Tchaikovsky’s unparalleled Violin Concerto. The deeply patriotic Dvořák wished to use his music to recognize the struggle and oppression of his fellow Czechs; he wrote of this urgent Seventh Symphony, “What is in my mind is Love, God, and my Fatherland." Kevin Puts’ Two Mountain Scenes, composed “with the impressive backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in mind” and beginning with “the sonic illusion of a single trumpet reverberating across the valley,” opens this wondrous program.

$18 – $85

Augustin Hadelich & Dvořák 7

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Augustin Hadelich, one of the greatest violinists of all time, returns to perform Tchaikovsky’s unparalleled Violin Concerto. The deeply patriotic Dvořák wished to use his music to recognize the struggle and oppression of his fellow Czechs; he wrote of this urgent Seventh Symphony, “What is in my mind is Love, God, and my Fatherland." Kevin Puts’ Two Mountain Scenes, composed “with the impressive backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in mind” and beginning with “the sonic illusion of a single trumpet reverberating across the valley,” opens this wondrous program.

$18 – $85

Mahler 4 & Ravel’s Shéhérazade

Chautauqua Auditorium 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO, United States

Music Director Peter Oundjian continues his tradition of ending the season with glorious music by Mahler. The composer built his Fourth Symphony around his own song “The Heavenly Life,” which borrows text from a Bavarian folk poem. “The angelic voices gladden our senses,” the poem proclaims, “so that everything awakens for joy.” Mahler’s sunniest symphony invokes bells, harp, and woodwinds; in keeping with the lightness of the work, Mahler insisted the soprano perform “with childlike, cheerful expression;” soprano Karina Gauvin joins the Festival in this role. This final concert of the season includes Ravel’s colorful twist on the Shéhérazade tales — again featuring Gauvin’s “glowing, flexible tone” (Opera News) — and the overture to Strauss’ most famous and farcical operetta, Die Fledermaus.

$18 – $80

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.