2016 In Review: A Year Of Musical Highlights From The CPR Performance Studio

Photo: Chanticleer at CPR Performance Studio
Chanticleer warms up in the CPR Performance Studio.

CPR Classical hosted some very talented musicians this year in the CPR Performance Studio.

International acts like Jason Vieaux, Chanticleer and the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo visited for sessions. So did Colorado artists like violist Matthew Dane, flutist Brook Ferguson and musicians from Denver’s Playground Ensemble.

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Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable sessions of 2016. Listen to Colorado Spotlight at 7 p.m. Dec. 26-31 for more highlights.


The 12-man choral group thrilled listeners with a pair of 16th-century pieces, including “Ce Ris Plus Doux” by French composer Anthoine de Bertand.

Watch more footage from Chanticleer’s session.

Guitarist Jason Vieaux

The Grammy-winning guitarist played a stunning rendition of J.S. Bach’s Lute Suite No. 1 in E minor.

Watch two up-and-coming classical guitarists -- Gabriel Balogh and Gwyneth Aggeler -- interpret Bach.

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

Pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe wowed us with their delicate, four-hand arrangement of Ballet from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera “Orpheus and Eurydice.”

Read more about the duo and their Performance Studio session.

Cellist Jay Campbell

Campbell often focuses on contemporary music, but he trotted out a movement from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 during his recent session.

Playground Ensemble String Quartet

The four musicians played a sorrowful movement from Denver composer Loretta Notareschi’s “String Quartet OCD.”

Read more about the group and Notareschi’s piece.

Opera Colorado’s ‘Fanciulla’

“La Fancuilla del West” isn’t as popular today as some of Giacomo Puccini’s other operas, but it made for a unqiue Opera Colorado production this fall. Here’s one of the musical highlights.

Watch more from the session.

Cellist Matthew Zalkind

Shortly after joining the music faculty at the University of Denver, Zalkind performed a memorable excerpt from Zoltan Koldaly’s Cello Sonata in B minor.

Read more about Zalkind.

Bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann

Here’s another new music faculty member from DU. Kuuskmann gave an energetic performance of music from Robert Schumann’s “Fantasy Pieces.”

Read more about Kuuskmann.

Boulder Bach Festival’s ‘Venice on Fire’ Musicians

The Boulder Bach Festival presented an unusual and memorable concert featuring Italian Baroque music performed on electric instruments. Their session previewing the concert included this aria by Barbara Strozzi.

Watch more footage from the Performance Studio session.

Central City Opera’s ‘Tosca’

Puccini’s “Tosca” was one of the highlights in Central City this summer. Soprano Alexandra Loutison, who played Floria Tosca, sang “Vissi d’arte:”

Watch more footage of the “Tosca” cast in the CPR Performance Studio.

Matthew Dane on the viola d’amore

Dane plays an unusual instrument that was popular in the Baroque era. He commissioned a unique piece by composer Reena Esmail to show off the instrument’s qualities.

Read more about the piece.

Flutist Brook Ferguson Offers a Moving Tribute

When longtime CPR Classical host Charley Samson retired in August, several local musicians offered musical tributes. Colorado Symphony flutist Brook Ferguson played Giulio Briccaldi’s “Carnival of Venice” for Samson:

Watch more performance footage from the sendoff, including music from pianist Susan Grace.