Boulder Philharmonic performs with the Frequent Flyers aerial dance troupe at Macky Auditorium in Boulder.

(Photo: Courtesy Boulder Philharmonic)

The Boulder Philharmonic is one of four ensembles set to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington at a new festival in 2017 highlighting American orchestras and contemporary classical music.

The inaugural Shift Festival, scheduled for March 27-April 2, 2017, will also feature concerts by the Atlanta Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and Brooklyn-based chamber ensemble The Knights, organizers announced today.

The Boulder Phil’s Kennedy Center concert program will include contributions by Colorado photographer John Fielder, mandolinist-composer Jeff Midkiff and Boulder-based aerial dance troupe Frequent Flyers.

The program features a piece by composer Stephen Lias commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park, a mandolin concerto by Midkiff, “Ghosts of the Grasslands” by Steve Heitzig and Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

In a press release, Boulder Philharmonic Music Director Michael Butterman said he was "thrilled and honored" to see the orchestra selected:

"For several seasons, we’ve been fine-tuning our new mode for programming, called The Spirit of Boulder, which reflects our community’s own values, creativity, and sense of place. By connecting people to orchestral music, the Boulder Phil strives to be an essential part of our community's cultural fabric. We couldn’t be more delighted to share what’s working so well in Boulder with those involved in the first SHIFT Festival."

Washington Performing Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts organized the event. The ensembles at Shift Festival will also take part in education and outreach projects in communities around Washington. 

Atlanta Symphony Music Director Robert Spano also serves as music director for the Aspen Music Festival and School, the largest of several summer classical music festivals in Colorado