CPR Classical’s 2013 retrospective: The year’s big stories in Colorado and beyond

· Dec. 27, 2013, 4:18 pm
Photo: (Photo: Courtesy Mark Sink, Kristen Hatgi, Garrett Ammon and BNC)
"A Journey of the Human Sprit" was a January 2013 co-production between Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado), the Colorado Symphony, Central City Opera, the Jewish Community Center, Newman Center Presents and composer Ofer Ben-Amots of Colorado College. The program featured the Colorado premiere of "The Emperor of Atlantis," an anti-Hitler opera composed in a concentration camp during World War II, as well as dance set to Ben-Amots' music.

Our 2013 Retrospective examines a year that saw continued financial difficulties for local arts groups, and the passing of some huge names in classical music.

Scroll down for air times or check out some of the stories we’ll explore in roundups with CPR Classical’s hosts as well as reporting from CPR News’s new arts bureau:

  • 2013 was a year of fiscal ups and downs for Colorado arts institutions. Opera Colorado and The Colorado Ballet saw their seasons shortened due to budget constraints. The Colorado Symphony, however, made strides toward recovery after facing a $1.2 million budget shortfall a year earlier.
  • Andrew Litton was named music director of the Colorado Symphony in the most prominent of many leadership changes at local music organizations.
  • Some incredible musical events grabbed our attention in 2013, including the Colorado premiere of “The Emperor of Atlantis,” Viktor Ullmann’s anti-Hitler opera composed in a concentration camp during World War II; and the Haydn Quartet Slam, which saw a team of local string quartets play all 83 quartets by Joseph Haydn.
  • Orchestras and musicians around the world celebrated anniversaries of major composers and pieces in 2013, and treated listeners to some fascinating programs. We observed the 200th birth anniversaries of opera giants Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, as well as the centenary of British composer Benjamin Britten. 2013 also marked the 100th anniversary of one of the most controversial debuts in music history: Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”
  • The classical world lost some brilliant musicians, composers and visionaries over the past year. We’ll remember pianist, Van Cliburn, who achieved rockstar status, and internationally renowned composer John Tavener. Colorado also lost iconic figures such as clarinetist Don Ambler and rock music promoter Barry Fey, who famously helped save the Colorado Symphony in 1989.

For more on these and many more of the year’s big stories, listen to the hour-long 2013 Classical Retrospective on the air or at cpr.org:

  • On CPR Classical 88.1 FM:
    • 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28
    • 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30
  • On CPR News 90.1 FM:
    • 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31
    • 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1

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