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2017/18 Season Classics Series - 16-Concert Friday Package

Boettcher Concert Hall : Fri 2/2/18 7:30PM - Fri 5/25/18 7:30PM

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2017/18 Season Classics Series - 16-Concert Friday Package

Formerly "Masterworks," the newly reimagined “Classics” 2017/18 continues with the transition of integrating innovative artists with the best of symphonic work envisioned with a contemporary twist. Colorado Symphony musicians and guest artists will wow you all season long as soloists on some of symphonic music’s greatest pieces.

Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Friday, February 2, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé

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

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.

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Friday, February 16, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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.

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern Friday, March 2, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern

Brett Mitchell, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

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.

Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 Friday, March 16, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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.

Copland’s Rodeo Conducted by Andrew Litton Friday, April 6, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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!

Wagner: The Ring Without Words Friday, April 20, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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.

Mozart’s “Elvira Madigan” Piano Concerto No. 21 Friday, May 11, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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

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.

Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler Friday, May 25, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
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.