Event Listings



Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons
2017/18 Classics
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Angelo Xiang Yu, violin

VIVALDI The Four Seasons for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 8
BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
RESPIGHI The Pines of Rome

Take a tour of the Italian countryside with Vivaldi’s perennial The Four Seasons and Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, a “surround sound” frolic that takes the audience to breathtaking heights. These narrative pieces paint a fanciful portrait of Italy’s light and land, with one-to-watch violinist Angelo Xiang Yu debuting in Denver to carry you through the Seasons as featured soloist. Glimpse into the lively tradition of Roman Carnival, as told by Berlioz.

Sat 1/20/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons
Sun 1/21/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons


Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé
2017/18 Classics
Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Jessica Rivera, soprano
Colorado Symphony Chorus, Duain Wolfe, director

DEBUSSY Syrinx
DEBUSSY Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Five Images After Sappho
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (complete ballet)

Music Director Brett Mitchell leads a night of le charme romantique just in time for Valentine’s Day! French masters divine beautiful music from Greek myths as the Colorado Symphony Chorus revels in Ravel’s romantic, virtuosic ballet Daphnis et Chloé, while Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun tells the risqué tale of a thwarted, woodland tryst. Soprano Jessica Rivera, deemed “rapturous” by the LA Times, lends her exquisite voice to Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images After Sappho, inspired by the ancient Greek poet’s enigmatic and incomplete writings. Be still, our coeurs.

Fri 2/2/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé
Sat 2/3/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé
Sun 2/4/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé


John Williams: An American Journey

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Justin Bartels, trumpet
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin
Jason Shafer, clarinet

WILLIAMS Summon the Heros (1996 Summer Games in Atlanta)
WILLIAMS Theme from JFK
WILLIAMS "Viktor's Tale" from The Terminal
WILLIAMS Three Pieces from Schindler's List
WILLIAMS Soundings
WILLIAMS Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984 Summer Games in L.A.)
WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars
"Astroid Field"
"Luke and Leia"
"The Rebellion is Reborn"
WILLIAMS Happy Birthday Variations
WILLIAMS Selections from American Journey

The illustrious career of composer John Williams has taken us to a galaxy far, far away and captured our imagination beyond measure. Celebrate his birthday week with us as we take you on a journey through compositions you may find familiar and others that will be brand new to your ears.

Williams composed the soundtracks to some of the world’s most treasured films and is also well-known as a prolific composer for music beyond the borders of the silver screen. This evening showcases the profound effect these scores have on our listening experience. Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams performs the “Three Pieces” from Schindler’s List, and additional soloists on the program include the Colorado Symphony’s own Principal Clarinet Jason Shafer performing “Viktor’s Tale” from The Terminal and Principal Trumpet Justin Bartels performing the Theme from J.F.K.

Fri 2/9/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall John Williams: An American Journey
Sat 2/10/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall John Williams: An American Journey


Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano

RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky’s primal The Rite of Spring is renowned for inciting a riot at its 1913 Paris debut. The causes are still debated—was it the eccentric asymmetry of the music or Nijinsky’s shocking choreography—and the escalation often exaggerated (objects may have been thrown at the musicians, and a bald man’s head was allegedly drummed upon). Nonetheless, this can’t-miss master work radically changed twentieth-century composition. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by Kirill Gerstein, completes a program of distinctly Russian flair conducted by Music Director Brett Mitchell.

Fri 2/16/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
Sat 2/17/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
Sun 2/18/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring


LISTEN/HEAR 102 — Anything But Innocent: The Hard-Core Romantics

Christopher Dragon, conductor
Austin Fisher, cello

BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
MUSSORGSKY A Night on Bald Mountain
DVORÁK Silent Woods
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
TCHAIKOVSKY No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique:” III. Allegro molto vivace

Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon and Assistant Principal Cello Austin Fisher undress the overpowering sounds of Beethoven, Wagner, and more masters of the mesmerizing Romantic period.

→ We’re pleased to introduce LISTEN/HEAR, casual sessions of live performance threaded with thoughtful talk-throughs to help you understand and truly hear symphonic music. This new series of four concerts throughout the season will take you on a journey through the evolution of symphonic music from its modest beginnings to the powerhouse ensemble you see it as today! If you were a fan of Inside the Score, this is a must-see!

Thu 2/22/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall LISTEN/HEAR 102 — Anything But Innocent: The Hard-Core Romantics


Red Carpet Rewind: Celebration of the Music of the Academy Awards

Christopher Dragon, conductor
Devin DeSantis, vocalist
Claude Sim, violin

Lights, Camera, ACTION! The sounds from the silver screen fill the concert hall in this special evening centered around the celebration of the greatest works of film. We honor the scores that were nominated or won Academy Awards® in this red carpet affair that features our very own Colorado Symphony Associate Concertmaster Claude Sim performing The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra. Devin DeSantis also returns to perform, assuring that by the end of the evening, you’ll be seeing stars.

Sat 2/24/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Red Carpet Rewind: Celebration of the Music of the Academy Awards


Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

KILAR Orawa
LUTOSLAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 23

Denver favorite Olga Kern, whose extraordinary talent and star power has captivated critics around the world, returns to Boettcher Concert Hall for an incomparable performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Brett Mitchell leads the Colorado Symphony through works by two Polish composers who could very nearly steal the stage from the Russian great. Lutoslawski’s capricious Concerto for Orchestra illuminates every section of the Symphony, creating an orchestra of soloists. Its big sound and contrasting moods are set off by the driving energy of Kilar’s Orawa, which creates lush layers using strings.

Fri 3/2/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern
Sat 3/3/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern
Sun 3/4/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern


Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5

Andrew Litton, conductor
Zhang Zuo, piano

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor"
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 11 in G major, Op. 103, "The Year 1905"

Roll over Beethoven: the Colorado Symphony has corralled electrifying pianist Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) to perform the composer’s vigorous and demanding Piano Concerto No. 5. Zee Zee, dubbed “full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth” by Chinese Gramophone, is just the firebrand to live up to the wiles of the majestic “Emperor” concerto. Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Litton will lead the orchestra in Shostakovich’s massive, volatile Symphony No. 11 — a powerful piece full of moody contrasts — for a night of explosive and energizing masterworks.

Fri 3/16/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5
Sat 3/17/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5
Sun 3/18/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5


Copland’s Rodeo Conducted by Andrew Litton

Andrew Litton, conductor
Alban Gerhardt, cello

COPLAND Rodeo: Ballet in One Act
BARBER Cello Concerto, Op. 22
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Andrew Litton concludes his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor with the Colorado Symphony in a program worthy of his prolific and esteemed career. Maestro Litton revisits Copland’s rollicking piece of Americana Rodeo: Ballet in One Act, which Litton recorded and released with the Symphony and was named one of Colorado’s best classical albums of 2016. Masterful cellist Alban Gerhardt joins Litton onstage for a rare performance of Barber’s exceptionally challenging Cello Concerto, while Brahms’ rustic, energetic Symphony No. 2 — the Symphony that put him on the map — is the crown jewel of this concert. Bravo, Maestro Litton!

Fri 4/6/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Copland’s Rodeo Conducted by Andrew Litton
Sat 4/7/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Copland’s Rodeo Conducted by Andrew Litton
Sun 4/8/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Copland’s Rodeo Conducted by Andrew Litton


LISTEN/HEAR 103 — The American Voice

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Colorado Symphony Chorus, Duain Wolfe, director

IVES/ arr. Schuman Variations on “America”
COPLAND Suite from The Tender Land
BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra
GERSHWIN An American in Paris

Music Director Brett Mitchell and the famed Colorado Symphony Chorus pay homage to definitive works of distinctly American composition and song.

→ We’re pleased to introduce LISTEN/HEAR, casual sessions of live performance threaded with thoughtful talk-throughs to help you understand and truly hear symphonic music. This new series of four concerts throughout the season will take you on a journey through the evolution of symphonic music from its modest beginnings to the powerhouse ensemble you see it as today! If you were a fan of Inside the Score, this is a must-see!

Thu 4/12/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall LISTEN/HEAR 103 — The American Voice


Wagner: The Ring Without Words

Brett Mitchell, conductor

WAGNER arr. Maazel The Ring without Words

Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung notoriously takes days to perform in its entirety. In this unique treatment created by conductor and composer Lorin Maazel, Music Director Brett Mitchell leads the orchestra through the fundamental sequences of Wagner’s Ring cycle in a once-in-a-lifetime performance. (Mitchell will describe the leitmotifs in a musical demonstration at the top of the concert, preceding a condensed performance without words.) This is an illuminating and rare performance of The Ring that will resonate with all audiences.

Fri 4/20/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Wagner: The Ring Without Words
Sat 4/21/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Wagner: The Ring Without Words
Sun 4/22/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Wagner: The Ring Without Words


Mozart’s “Elvira Madigan” Piano Concerto No. 21

Ken-David Masur, conductor
Orion Weiss, piano
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Colorado Symphony Chorus, Duain Wolfe, director

MOZART Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
MOZART Piano Overture No. 21 in C major, K. 467
FAURE Pavane, Op. 50
POULENC Gloria

Conductor Ken-David Masur opens this evening with Mozart’s sprightly Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, then leads pianist Orion Weiss and the Colorado Symphony in performing Mozart’s tranquil Piano Concerto No. 21, often called “Elvira Madigan” due to the use of its well-known Andante in the film of the same name. The concerto is well-matched with Fauré’s stately and soothing Pavane, while Poulenc’s reverent, spirited Gloria — featuring Susanna Phillips and the Colorado Symphony Chorus — concludes this blissful collection of symphonic music.

Fri 5/11/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Mozart’s “Elvira Madigan” Piano Concerto No. 21
Sat 5/12/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Mozart’s “Elvira Madigan” Piano Concerto No. 21
Sun 5/13/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Mozart’s “Elvira Madigan” Piano Concerto No. 21


LISTEN/HEAR 104 — Musique Nouveau – The Current Voice

Edwin Outwater, conductor
Basil Vendryes, viola

VIVIAN FUNG Launch!
GABRIELA LENA FRANK “Mestizo Waltz” from Three Latin-American Dances for Orchestra
OWEN PALLETT Five Women
JESSIE MONTGOMERY Starburst for String Orchestra
ANDREW NORMAN Drip Blip Sparkle Spin Glint Glide Glow Float Flop Chop Pop Shatter Splash
MASON BATES Anthology of Fantastic Zoology

Special guest conductor Edwin Outwater conducts a program of four modern composers well worth a listen. Principal Violist Basil Vendryes tackles an incredible piece for viola and orchestra by Owen Pallett titled Five Women. The orchestra then navigates the beauty and mystique of five other feature works throughout the evening! Mason Bates’ spectacular Anthology of Fantastic Zoology is the centerpiece of the evening. This half-hour work involves no electricity — at least not the kind coming from an outlet on stage! But in this vivid setting, the psychedelic bestiary teems with strange creatures and wild sonic effects. It’s a must-see evening of the season!

→ We’re pleased to introduce LISTEN/HEAR, casual sessions of live performance threaded with thoughtful talk-throughs to help you understand and truly hear symphonic music. This new series of four concerts throughout the season will take you on a journey through the evolution of symphonic music from its modest beginnings to the powerhouse ensemble you see it as today! If you were a fan of Inside the Score, this is a must-see!

Thu 5/17/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall LISTEN/HEAR 104 — Musique Nouveau – The Current Voice


Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin

BERNSTEIN Overture to Candide
BERNSTEIN Serenade (After Plato's Symposium)
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan"

Your Colorado Symphony marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with a program highlighting the maestro as both composer and conductor. Music Director Brett Mitchell leads the orchestra through Bernstein’s spirited Overture to Candide, then showcases Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams’ artistry in Bernstein’s Serenade (After Plato’s Symposium), a violin concerto in all but name. Finally, to honor Bernstein’s lifelong study and reverence of Gustav Mahler, we will cap off our Classics season with the flourish it deserves: a performance of Mahler’s aptly named “Titan” Symphony — a gripping work of unceasing energy performed by the full orchestra.

Fri 5/25/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler
Sat 5/26/18 7:30PM Boettcher Concert Hall Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler
Sun 5/27/18 1:00PM Boettcher Concert Hall Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler