Joshua Bell + Mussorgsky’s Pictures

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

In his first appearances as 2023 artist-in-residence, the one and only Joshua Bell performs Bruch’s First Violin Concerto. The great 19th century violinist Joseph Joachim, to whom the composer dedicated this masterpiece, considered this concerto to be “the richest, most seductive” of all German violin concertos. Bruch’s Violin Concerto has become one of the most legendary works for the instrument and is an exquisite vehicle for Bell’s showmanship. The second half features Mussorgsky’s instantly recognizable Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite of musical paintings inspired by the sketches of the composer’s close friend Viktor Hartmann. The program opens with Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Carlos Simon’s Motherboxx Connection, the first movement of his Tales: A Folklore Symphony for orchestra; in Simon’s words the motherboxx is “an all-knowing entity that is aware of the multi-faceted aspects of blackness.”

$18 – $80

Joshua Bell + Mussorgsky’s Pictures

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

In his first appearances as 2023 artist-in-residence, the one and only Joshua Bell performs Bruch’s First Violin Concerto. The great 19th century violinist Joseph Joachim, to whom the composer dedicated this masterpiece, considered this concerto to be “the richest, most seductive” of all German violin concertos. Bruch’s Violin Concerto has become one of the most legendary works for the instrument and is an exquisite vehicle for Bell’s showmanship. The second half features Mussorgsky’s instantly recognizable Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite of musical paintings inspired by the sketches of the composer’s close friend Viktor Hartmann. The program opens with Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Carlos Simon’s Motherboxx Connection, the first movement of his Tales: A Folklore Symphony for orchestra; in Simon’s words the motherboxx is “an all-knowing entity that is aware of the multi-faceted aspects of blackness.”

$18 – $80

Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf + Goodnight Moon

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

What do you get when you mix a boy, a duck, a cat, a wolf — and an orchestra? You get Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev’s beloved symphonic fairytale that uses the playful story of a wolf on the prowl to introduce young listeners to the instruments of the orchestra. Entertaining actor and comedian Janae Burris narrates this timeless tale. The 2023 Festival Family Concert, conducted by Kalena Bovell and featuring vocals by Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson, also includes an upbeat suite from Bizet’s Carmen, Eric Whitacre’s musical setting of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s festive overture celebrating his African culture, Danse Nègre.

$10

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 & Symphony No. 3

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

Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is famous for being one of the most fiendishly difficult pieces ever composed for the instrument. Pianist Nicolai Lugansky, one of the preeminent Rachmaninoff interpreters of our time, performs here as part of his global tour celebrating the composer’s 150th birthday. While this program celebrates the gems that Rachmaninoff composed during his time in America, his moody and staggeringly beautiful Third Symphony also hints at the exiled composer’s homesickness for his native Russia.

$18 – $75

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 & Symphony No. 3

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

Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is famous for being one of the most fiendishly difficult pieces ever composed for the instrument. Pianist Nicolai Lugansky, one of the preeminent Rachmaninoff interpreters of our time, performs here as part of his global tour celebrating the composer’s 150th birthday. While this program celebrates the gems that Rachmaninoff composed during his time in America, his moody and staggeringly beautiful Third Symphony also hints at the exiled composer’s homesickness for his native Russia.

$18 – $75

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 & Symphonic Dances

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

In our second program celebrating the music Rachmaninoff wrote while living in America, the Orchestra performs his final composition: Symphonic Dances, a three-movement suite featuring a frantic dance, a restless waltz, and a final flourish of triumph. Lauded Rachmaninoff interpreter Nicolai Lugansky joins the Orchestra for the composer’s capricious Fourth Piano Concerto, a work of daring imagination, as well as his romantic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which proved an instant success for the composer.

$18 – $75

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

Brentano String Quartet

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

The 2023 Robert Mann Chamber Series continues with the “wonderful, selfless music-making” (The Times, London) of the Brentano String Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. The program opens with Mozart’s intriguing “Hoffmeister” String Quartet, a chamber gem of character and complexity. Two touching memorial pieces by James MacMillan follow: his brief and delicate Memento and the miniature For Sonny, rife with pizzicato nursery rhymes and harmonies of shifting tones, composed to honor the memory of a friend’s grandson. It is fitting that Brentano ends their performance with one of the last and most profound pieces by Beethoven, since the Quartet takes its name from arts patron Antonie Brentano, believed to have been Beethoven’s mysterious “Immortal Beloved.”

$18 – $65

Michael Christie Conducts Tchaikovsky 4

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

“Fate, that fatal force” is the driving theme of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, with one of the most brilliant and virtuosic finales in all of music; Music Director Emeritus Michael Christie returns to conduct this mighty symphony. 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Michelle Cann performs Ravel’s glittering Piano Concerto in G as well as Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement; The Philadelphia Inquirer declared Cann’s recent performance “exquisite in both the Liszt-like technical sparkle and probing humanity of Price’s writing.”

$18 – $75

Michael Christie Conducts Tchaikovsky 4

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

“Fate, that fatal force” is the driving theme of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, with one of the most brilliant and virtuosic finales in all of music; Music Director Emeritus Michael Christie returns to conduct this mighty symphony. 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Michelle Cann performs Ravel’s glittering Piano Concerto in G as well as Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement; The Philadelphia Inquirer declared Cann’s recent performance “exquisite in both the Liszt-like technical sparkle and probing humanity of Price’s writing.”

$18 – $75

All Mozart: “Linz” & Violin Concerto No. 3

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

This concert was created with Mozart fans in mind! Guest conductor François López-Ferrer begins with the delightful overture to Mozart’s tongue-in-cheek opera Impresario, followed by his ornate and impressive Third Violin Concerto, performed here by the “fresh, different and exhilarating” (San Francisco Chronicle) violinist Grace Park. The orchestral arrangement of his solemn Adagio and Fugue follows intermission, and the concert culminates with Mozart’s inventive Symphony No. 36, the “Linz,” which he composed in only four days after a surprise request while visiting the Austrian town of the same name.

$18 – $75

Brahms, Britten & Poulenc

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. Britten’s Phantasy Quartet begins with a march and proceeds with lively pastoral charm. Poulenc is a composer known for his aesthetic of irrepressible good humor; he called his jaunty but complex Sextet “an homage to the wind instruments I have loved from the moment I began composing.” Brahms’ sophisticated Second String Sextet is rich with nostalgia, but sweeps all sadness away in its warm, bright finale.

$18 – $65

Brahms 2 + Shostakovich

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

Despite the distant threat of rain – “the necessary shadow,” as the composer called it – Brahms’ Second Symphony is a sunny and idyllic work beloved for its rambunctious joy and its balance with that hint of cloud. Eun Sun Kim, a conductor of “assured technical command, subtlety and imagination” (New York Times), leads this program, which opens memorably with the “electro-acoustic soundworld” of Mason Bates’ Rhapsody of Steve Jobs. Gramophone calls Johannes Moser “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists,” and there is no finer showcase of Moser’s musical prowess than Shostakovich’s boisterous and demanding First Cello Concerto.

$18 – $75

Brahms 2 + Shostakovich

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

Despite the distant threat of rain – “the necessary shadow,” as the composer called it – Brahms’ Second Symphony is a sunny and idyllic work beloved for its rambunctious joy and its balance with that hint of cloud. Eun Sun Kim, a conductor of “assured technical command, subtlety and imagination” (New York Times), leads this program, which opens memorably with the “electro-acoustic soundworld” of Mason Bates’ Rhapsody of Steve Jobs. Gramophone calls Johannes Moser “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists,” and there is no finer showcase of Moser’s musical prowess than Shostakovich’s boisterous and demanding First Cello Concerto.

$18 – $75

Schumann’s Piano Concerto

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

Internationally renowned guest conductor Hannu Lintu joins the Festival for a program beginning with the “concerto for birds and orchestra” Cantus Arcticus by Lintu’s countryman, Finland’s Einojuhani Rautavaara. One of Schumann’s most enduring works is his Piano Concerto, which creates a thrilling collaboration, rather than a tension, between the piano and orchestra. "After bringing a soft touch to opening statement, Yun displayed a robust, muscular sound in the cadenza that complemented the tug-of-war that occurs between soloist and orchestra in this work," says Bachtrack of guest pianist Tony Siqi Yun. Rounding out the program is Haydn’s Symphony No. 96, one of his famed London symphonies, which earned its nickname “Miracle” when a chandelier fell during its premiere and — by a miracle! — killed no one.

$18 – $75

Beethoven, Debussy & Dvořák

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

The final concert of the 2023 Robert Mann Chamber Music Series highlights the Festival’s own musicians. Though it was composed on the early side of his career, Beethoven’s energetic String Trio in C Minor gives a decisive glimpse into the intensity of expression the composer would eventually be renowned for. In Debussy’s sparkling Danses — commissioned to showcase the rich capabilities of the harp — his first dance explores the ethereal (the “sacred”) and gradually becomes a swirling, earthly waltz (the “profane,” or secular). Dvořák composed his famous Second Piano Quintet during a happy period in his life; that contentment shines through in this treasured jewel of chamber repertoire.

$18 – $65

Joshua Bell + Debussy’s La Mer

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

In the first 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 “Fire” (composed by Jake Heggie); “Water” (Edgar Meyer); and “Ether” (Jessie Montgomery). The program closes with a beloved favorite by Debussy; the musical brushstrokes of La Mer create Impressionistic sketches of the sea.

(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

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

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