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.

 

JACK Quartet: New York Stories

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

The 2023 Robert Mann Chamber Series opens with the esteemed JACK Quartet. Hailed by The New York Times as “our leading new-music foursome,” the JACK Quartet maintains an unwavering commitment to giving voice to underheard composers. In the quartet’s New York Stories program, “Two masters of New York's downtown heyday, Philip Glass and John Zorn, bring stylistically divergent visions: a rollicking, romantic ride through a maze of patterns in Glass' epic String Quartet No. 5, and a peek into the catacombs in Manhattan's Upper West Side from John Zorn who brings medieval mystery to contemporary America. Caleb Burhans leads the listener in a healing ritual of absolution in Contritus, while Caroline Shaw pays homage to the father of the string quartet, Josef Haydn, in her Entr'acte. Morton Feldman finally reminds us of the pattern and structure all around us. New York: a city of Byzantine systems and countless ideas that defies tidy summary, but always fascinates and excites continued exploration.”

$18 – $65

John Corigliano: Living Legend

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

The Festival is honored to welcome none other than Pulitzer Prize-winning John Corigliano as 2023 composer-in-residence. Conducted by Music Director Peter Oundjian, this retrospective program examines three stages of Corigliano’s vast career, beginning with his pastoral Gazebo Dances. Corigliano penned the song cycle One Sweet Morning in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11, borrowing text from four poems of varying intensity and ultimately ending with, as he explains, “the dream of a world without war – an impossible dream, perhaps, but certainly one worth dreaming.” The tender words of these poems are performed here by the highly sought-after mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. Corigliano’s most recent work is Triathlon, written for guest saxophonist Timothy McAllister, who returns to the Chautauqua stage after dazzling Festival audiences in 2022. Triathlon demonstrates McAllister’s musical athleticism in three dynamic movements which feature in turn soprano, alto, and baritone saxophone.

$18 – $75

JFK: The Last Speech – World Premiere

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

“Our national strength matters,” said President John F. Kennedy, “but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much.” This line and others appear in the libretto of the world premiere symphony JFK: The Last Speech, inspired by the celebration of poet Robert Frost which would become President Kennedy’s final speech. Composer Adolphus Hailstork says of JFK: The Last Speech, “My writing will reflect the autumn season, the solemnity of the moment, and the unique oratorical gifts of Kennedy the president, and the profound literary gifts of Frost the poet.” This landmark program begins with two additional world premiere performances; be the first to experience new music by rising star Jordan Holloway and Pulitzer Prize-nominated CU Boulder Professor of Composition Carter Pann, each commissioned by the Festival.

JFK: The Last Speech is a project of members of the Amherst Class of 1964 through their non-profit Reunion ’64, Inc. They had the privilege of witnessing President Kennedy deliver his last major speech, October 26, 1963. The symphony joins two earlier projects, a book, and documentary of the same title.

$18 – $75

SOLD OUT: Joshua Bell + Mahler 1

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

Music Director Peter Oundjian and the Festival are pulling out all the stops for an unforgettable season finale. In the second evening of a two-part preview performance, 2023 Artist-in-Residence Joshua Bell performs selections from Elements, an unparalleled work for violin and orchestra in five movements, each written by a different acclaimed composer. In this concert, Bell performs “Air” (composed by Jennifer Higdon) and “Earth” (Kevin Puts). Oundjian continues his tradition of ending the Festival with a grand work by Mahler; in his First Symphony Mahler celebrates the pure taste of victory after a struggle, guiding listeners through daydreams and darkness before rewarding them with a heroic ending and as much blinding joy as the horns can muster.

(A co-commissioned project with five major orchestras, Elements will receive formal premieres around the world beginning in September 2023. Hear it at the Festival first!)

$18 – $80