The Colorado Symphony and Denver officials have reached an agreement to keep the symphony in the city.
The pact between them means officials will immediately start on plans to bring a new state-of-the-art performance hall to the 12-acre Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Colorado Symphony will still be able to look outside the downtown arts center for a new venue — as long as it is still inside city limits.
For years, symphony officials have wanted an updated performance space. In response to a city proposal to tear Boettcher Concert Hall down and replace it with an outdoor amphitheater, the symphony unveiled a $40 million plan in 2014 to instead renovate the hall.
That plan never came to fruition. In 2016, Denver officials said they wanted to completely remake the DPAC, which would have included a new, smaller, 1,200-seat venue for the symphony. It’s unclear if Wednesday’s agreement will be the smaller version the city has envisioned or if officials have come to another agreement.
The symphony has performed at Boettcher for more than 40 years.
“A new venue is imperative to the future growth and success of our organization. This memorandum of understanding allows us to partner with the city on an outcome that is beneficial to both,” said Colorado Symphony CEO and Board Chair Jerome Kern in a release. “However, if remaining in the DPAC doesn’t benefit us both, the Colorado Symphony has the opportunity to seek options elsewhere, immediately.”
Denver will commit more than $16 million in bond money from the 2007 voter-approved Better Denver Bond program to the new project, so long as the new hall remains in town and the funds are spent by the end of September 2023.
There’s no timeline for a new concert hall to open.