Making Classical Music in the Denver / Boulder Area More Accessible

June 5, 2024

Classical music has been celebrated for centuries, with its timeless beauty and rich cultural heritage. Yet, for many people, the world of classical music can seem intimidating or inaccessible.* However, institutions across the world are working to break down barriers and make this beautiful art form more accessible to people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds.

One institution leading this effort is the Colorado Music Festival, founded to celebrate live, Classical music in Colorado. The Colorado Music Festival and the broader Colorado music scene are opening new doors and inviting everyone to experience the magic of classical music.

Chautauqua Auditorium. Editorial credit/ Rachel Rose Boucher /

The Colorado Music Festival has been captivating audiences for over 40 years with its world-class performances and innovative programming. Each summer, the Colorado Music Festival presents a diverse program of concerts featuring renowned guest artists, talented local musicians, and the exceptional Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. From large, impressive symphonies to more intimate chamber music recitals, the Colorado Music Festival offers something for everyone, regardless of their prior knowledge or musical background.

One of the key ways the Colorado Music Festival is making classical music more approachable is through its commitment to education and outreach. The festival’s education programs provide valuable opportunities for young musicians to learn from seasoned professionals through masterclasses, workshops, and side-by-side performances.

The Colorado Music Festival and the Center for Musical Arts also reach out to the broader community with initiatives such as free concerts in public parks, school visits, and family-friendly events, ensuring that classical music is not just confined to concert halls for adults only, but is woven throughout everyday life and can reach kids of any age as well.

Family Concert: Green Eggs and Ham, July 7, 2024

The Colorado Music Festival is just one piece of the puzzle in the thriving classical music scene in the Denver/Boulder area. The Front Range is home to a wealth of classical music institutions, from the historic Ellie Caulkins Opera House to the vibrant Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. These institutions are united in their mission to democratize classical music and make it interesting and approachable for all audiences.

Founded over 70 years ago, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra has a proud tradition of excellence and innovation. This orchestra performs at fun community events such as Colorado Rockies baseball games and Oktoberfest. By breaking down the barriers of formality and tradition, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra is reaching new audiences and redefining what it means to experience classical music.

Similarly, the Colorado Symphony is playing a vital role in making classical music accessible to all ages. With a diverse repertoire that spans classical masterpieces, contemporary works, and popular film scores, the symphony appeals to a wide range of musical tastes. The Colorado Music Festival is grateful to share our Music Director, Peter Oundjian with the Colorado Symphony, where he is currently their Principal Conductor.

Peter Oundijan, the Colorado Music Festival’s Music Director

Some incredible upcoming highlights at the Colorado Symphony include performances with singer songwriter Jason Mraz, and a concert event with legendary rappers Nas and Tobe Nwigwe at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Even acoustic pop and hip-hop music can blend seamlessly with classical music, and the Colorado Symphony is participating in this blend in an amazing way.

The symphony also offers educational programs for students of all ages, including school concerts, instrument petting zoos, and youth orchestra programs, helping to raise the next generation of classical music lovers. Finally, they also host sensory friendly performances, creating a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere and providing accessible options for people with disabilities or different sensory needs.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in making classical music more accessible. Streaming platforms, social media, and digital archives allow audiences to access performances from around the world at the click of a button.

Institutions like the Colorado Music Festival and the Colorado Symphony are embracing digital innovation by live-streaming concerts, offering virtual educational resources, and engaging with audiences online, breaking down location barriers and reaching new audiences far beyond their local communities.

Additionally, for the 2024 season the Colorado Music Festival is offering its beloved pre-concert lectures virtually, so anyone anywhere can tune in to learn about the music, composers, and engaging stories related to the upcoming week’s concerts.

Watching Classical Music on a Television

Classical music institutions across the world, including the Colorado Music Festival and the broader Colorado classical music scene, are doing wonderful work to make classical music more accessible to people of all ages.

Through innovative programming, education and outreach initiatives, community engagement, participating in modern styles of live music, and digital innovation, these institutions are breaking down barriers, redefining traditions, and inviting everyone to experience the beauty and joy of classical music.

Whether you’re a seasoned concertgoer or a curious newcomer, there’s never been a better time to explore the world of classical music and discover its timeless magic in Denver, Boulder, and beyond!

*For information about physical accessibility, including wheelchair accessible seating and parking, please visit this link.

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Visiting Boulder

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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.