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

Takács Quartet Plays John Adams’ Absolute Jest

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

Music Director Peter Oundjian opens the 2022 Festival season with special guests: Boulder’s own Takács Quartet. This Grammy Award-winning quartet joins the orchestra for John Adams’ Absolute Jest, which samples, twists, and builds upon Beethoven’s themes, in particular his late string quartets; Adams has referred to his Jest as “Beethoven that has been passed through a hall of mirrors.” Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” was written in the “new world” of America but teeming with Bohemian folk influence as well. Composer Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers nods to a notebook entry written by Beethoven and explores “the unpredictable ways of fate” and the uncertainties of life.

$25 – $75

Takács Quartet Plays John Adams’ Absolute Jest

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

Music Director Peter Oundjian opens the 2022 Festival season with special guests: Boulder’s own Takács Quartet. This Grammy Award-winning quartet joins the orchestra for John Adams’ Absolute Jest, which samples, twists, and builds upon Beethoven’s themes, in particular his late string quartets; Adams has referred to his Jest as “Beethoven that has been passed through a hall of mirrors.” Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” was written in the “new world” of America but teeming with Bohemian folk influence as well. Composer Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers nods to a notebook entry written by Beethoven and explores “the unpredictable ways of fate” and the uncertainties of life.

$25 – $75

Family Concert: Tubby the Tuba

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

Tickets just $10! Vaudeville-inspired musical storytellers Really Inventive Stuff uses comedy, props, and interaction to refresh beloved musical classics and enchant audiences of all ages. Their imaginative Tubby the Tuba follows “the adventures of a red polka-dot yo-yo, a dapper bullfrog puppet, and a small piece of ribbon” as Tubby discovers that dreams can come true. Later, Really Inventive Stuff’s “Orchestra-ologist” introduces the instruments “with wit and a wink” as the troupe reinvents Britten’s classic Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

$10

Takács Quartet

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

Haydn, String Quartet in F Major; Coleridge-Taylor, Fantasiestücke for String Quartet; Dvořák, String Quartet No. 13 in G Major

$25 – $65

Attacca Quartet

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

J. Adams, selections from John’s Book of Alleged Dances; Flying Lotus, Clock Catcher; Remind U; Pilgrim Side Eye; Müller, Drifting Circles; Cole, Real Life; Glass, String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima”; Shaw, The Evergreen; Smith, Carrot Revolution

$25 – $65

John Adams + Timo Andres’ World Premiere

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

The legendary John Adams, 2022 composer-in-residence and co-curator of this week’s programs, shares the podium with Music Director Peter Oundjian in this can’t-miss concert, beginning with a commissioned work by Timo Andres, an exceptional composer personally selected by Adams. Adams’ own orchestral masterpiece City Noir brims with cinematic lyricism and yearning melodies. “The music should have the slightly disorienting effect of a very crowded boulevard peopled with strange characters,” says Adams, “...the kind who only come out very late on a very hot night.” John Adams’ son Samuel is a formidable composer in his own right, and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow; his lyrical and haunting Chamber Concerto gives violinist Tessa Lark an opportunity to shine.

$25 – $75

Kaleidoscope

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

Now in its second year, Kaleidoscope brings back and builds upon the theatrical elements that audiences loved: lighting, cinematography, a hint of stage magic, and an atmosphere like no other concert. Kaleidoscope is infused with bold musical color and moments of surprise, pairing energetic (and accessible) contemporary music with mesmerizing soloists. This captivating performance centers around composer-in-residence and co-curator John Adams’ own Road Movies, which shifts through empty desert landscapes and “not unfamiliar roads.” Come experience something unique.

$25 – $75

Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

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

The Festival’s focus on today’s music continues as world-renowned conductor and Festival composer-in-residence/co-curator John Adams takes the podium to lead his off-beat and grooving Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with the extraordinary Jeremy Denk at the piano — listen for a second “detuned honky-tonk piano” to add its voice. Music Director Peter Oundjian conducts the final symphony by Christopher Rouse, which The New York Times called Rouse’s Sixth “a haunting and profound farewell” true to the composer’s character: “all of Mr. Rouse — contemplative elegy, rowdy playfulness, eclectic homage — is in this score.” In her Tumblebird Contrails, composer Gabriella Smith calls to mind the Pacific Ocean and “keening gulls, pounding surf, rush of approaching waves, sizzle of sand, and sea foam in receding tide.”

$25 – $75

Sibelius’ Second Symphony + Violinist Randall Goosby

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

“ Goosby plays like an angel with nothing to prove,” claims the L.A. Times. The youngest recipient ever to win the Sphinx Concerto Competition and an artist dedicated to the dynamic music of Black composers, violinist Randall Goosby joins the Festival to perform a scintillating work by Saint-Saëns and Florence Price’s sweeping Second Violin Concerto, lost to history until 2009. These showpieces are introduced by an orchestral work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the arresting and achingly romantic Ballade that made the young composer an overnight sensation. The “energetic yet graceful” Ryan Bancroft (The Guardian), conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, joins the Festival to lead Sibelius’ sonorous Second Symphony; Sibelius once said of its first movement, “It is as if the Almighty had thrown down the pieces of a mosaic for heaven’s floor and asked me to put them together.”

$25 – $75

Sibelius’ Second Symphony + Violinist Randall Goosby

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

“ Goosby plays like an angel with nothing to prove,” claims the L.A. Times.  The youngest recipient ever to win the Sphinx Concerto Competition and an artist dedicated to the dynamic music of Black composers, violinist Randall Goosby joins the Festival to perform a scintillating work by Saint-Saëns and Florence Price’s sweeping Second Violin Concerto, lost to history until 2009. These showpieces are introduced by an orchestral work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the arresting and achingly romantic Ballade that made the young composer an overnight sensation. The “energetic yet graceful” Ryan Bancroft (The Guardian), conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, joins the Festival to lead Sibelius’ sonorous Second Symphony; Sibelius once said of its first movement, “It is as if the Almighty had thrown down the pieces of a mosaic for heaven’s floor and asked me to put them together.”

$25 – $75

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 (previously Simone Dinnerstein)

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

“If you want to hear perfection, this is it,” says Music Director Peter Oundjian of Mozart’s final concerto, performed here by pianist Albert Cano Smit. Mozart is at his most majestic and most beautiful in his Symphony No. 39. Ryan Bancroft conducts this all-Mozart program, which begins with a dark and intense serenade for winds.

$25 – $75

Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet

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

Mozart, Flute Quartet in D Major; Perkinson, Movement for String Trio; Dvořák, Terzetto in C Major; Brahms, Clarinet Quintet in B Minor

$25 – $65

Prokofiev 5 + Gabriela Montero Plays Tchaikovsky

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

Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov); Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1; Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5

$25 – $75

Prokofiev 5 + Gabriela Montero Plays Tchaikovsky

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

Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov); Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1; Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5

$25 – $75

A Midsummer Night’s Dream with John de Lancie

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

Principal Guest Conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducts a special Midsummer Night’s Dream. This performance pairs Mendelssohn’s lush score, which includes the instantly recognizable “Wedding March,” with a dramatic reading by actor John de Lancie (American Shakespeare Festival, TV’s Star Trek The Next Generation) to summon Shakespeare’s fairies, royalty, and fools in love. Mendelssohn penned Midsummer’s overture at age 17; Bizet was the same age when he wrote his Symphony in C, a surprisingly mature work, effervescent and full of contrasts. The program opens with a brand new orchestral arrangement of Jessie Montgomery’s vivid Starburst, which is, in her words, “a play on imagery of rapidly changing musical colors.”

$25 – $75

Danish String Quartet

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

Purcell, Chaconne in G Minor (arr. Britten); Folk Music from the British Isles (arr. Danish String Quartet); Schubert, String Quartet 14 in D Minor

$25 – $65

Stravinsky’s Firebird + Clarinet Star Anthony McGill

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

The New York Times has praised clarinetist Anthony McGill for “his trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character”; McGill’s musical charisma is a perfect match for Weber’s First Clarinet Concerto, which showcases the full range of the instrument. After intermission enjoy another gem for clarinet, the brief Rhapsody by Debussy — then listen for Debussy’s influence on an absolute icon: Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, a dramatic fairytale featuring a heroic prince, an evil sorcerer, and a powerful fire spirit. This fresh and thrilling concert opens with a world premiere commission by rising star composer Wang Jie, inspired by poet Su Dongpo’s reflections on China’s Mount Lu and her own experiences climbing Colorado’s Eldorado Canyon.

$25 – $75

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

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

Leave it to Mahler to give us harrowing funeral marches shot through with blinding rays of hope. That is his epic Fifth Symphony: a masterpiece which, while not expressly telling a story, still whispers Mahler’s secrets about tragedy, joy, and love. Music Director Peter Oundjian closes the 2022 Festival with this dramatic journey through life, death, and everything in between. The Festival is honored to give the Colorado premiere of a co-commissioned fanfare by jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

$25 – $75

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.