It’s been a LONG intermission, hasn’t it? Eighteen months from the last time we were able to gather to hear the glorious strains of Mozart or Beethoven. But with vaccines and safety protocols, live classical music is back in Colorado this season. We can’t wait to get dressed up and stand in the entry line to Boettcher Concert Hall!
Below you will find an ever-growing list of Colorado ensembles ramping up for their season premiere. All the performing institutions at the Denver Performing Arts Complex are ready to start this month and through October. Instrumentalists throughout our state are safely gathering for rehearsals and anticipating a successful return to the stage accompanied by rising artists, virtuoso performers, beloved masterworks, dynamic collaborations, and more. Imagine the thrill of that first downbeat from the Maestro!
Article updated September 23. Please note: All venues will be implementing COVID safety guidelines. While these may vary from one organization to another, expect protocols like audience and performer spacing to allow for more social distancing, mask and vaccine requirements, etc. Please visit the website for each organization for their specific COVID protocols.
The Colorado Symphony was among the first performing ensembles to release their 2021/2022 season, which runs September through May and features classics, Symphony Pops, Movie at the Symphony, holiday programs and much more. The opening week brings performances back inside Boettcher Concert Hall and pairs legend Emanuel Ax at the piano performing Chopin's Second Piano Concerto with conductor Peter Oundjian.
Full-scale productions return to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House starting in November with Puccini's classic drama, Tosca. The season continues with a thrilling adaptation of a Stephen King novel, "The Shining," which transforms the live-stage into the Colorado-inspired Overlook Hotel for five nights. The fateful story of Carmen, by Georges Bizet, concludes the 2021/22 season of Opera Colorado with six performances in May.
Friends of Chamber Music
Friends of Chamber Music has been bringing the world's finest chamber music to the Denver-metro area since 1954. Each season, they present concerts that showcase string quartets, piano trios, soloists, and mixed chamber ensembles featuring beloved classical works and bold new compositions. This season includes the eclectic sounds of violinist Tessa Lark, the virtuosity of pianist Daniil Trifonov, and a little bit of everything in between.
Baroque Chamber Music of Colorado
As performing culturals pivot back to the live stage, Colorado's Baroque Chamber Music series hosts "A Joyful Reunion" in October and later a pair of on-demand virtual concerts for the December/January months. Capping their return is J.S. Bach's witty, comic miniature, the Coffee Cantata, and "Paris in Color," which highlights French composers Jean-Philippe Rameau and Joseph Bologne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
Chamber Orchestra of the Springs
Music lovers around Pikes Peak communities enjoy the artistry and programming from the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs. The ensemble holds a six-concert classical series at multiple venues and has spent decades building friendships with musicians and composers in the region. Heralding their return is an "Organ Spectacular" featuring organists from Colorado and a world premiere from composer Roderick Gorby, who performs his piece "An American Tone Poem." Francesca Leo, who won the 2020 Emerging Artist Competition, returns to perform "Trail of Tears" for Flute & Chamber Orchestra by Michael Daugherty. An all-star cast of vocalists and the Colorado Springs Chorale collaborate to bring audiences Beethoven's astonishing "Missa Solemnis" and later, violinist Mark Fewer joins the ensemble with Marjan Mozetich's "Affairs of the Heart."
Boulder Philharmonic returns with two performances in October before a full-scale production of The Nutcracker presented in collaboration with Boulder Ballet at Macky Auditorium. Their symphonic series with conductor Michael Butterman spotlights a roster of world-class guests like violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Terrence Wilson, Boulder’s own GRAMMY-winning violist, Richard O’Neill, and ukulele sensation, Jake Shimabukuro.
Colorado Ballet was shuttered last year during a milestone anniversary but is now back celebrating "60 Years + 1" during the 2021/2022 Season. Dazzling productions and romantic tragedies return...Giselle, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet...along with signature performances of the sellout Nutcracker.
CU Presents is the home of performing arts on the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder campus -- bringing hundreds of concerts, plays and other cultural events to the community each year. Faculty Tuesday's are back along with exciting debuts from the Pendulum New Music series. Verdi's La Traviata and the Takács Quartet highlight the upcoming season as well as signature programming featuring Japanese, Gamelan, and all-percussion ensembles.
Kantorei performs a broad range of choral music with the mission “to elevate the human experience through choral excellence.” Their season opens with "VOX FEMINA" in October and "A Kantorei Christmas" in December. The ensemble proudly collaborates with M. Roger Holland, artist-in-residence and CPR Classical Journey to Freedom contributor, to explore the stories that spirituals tell, illuminating the African American cultural narrative.
St. Martin's Chamber Choir
St. Martin's Chamber Choir delivers exquisite choral performances from over 1,000 years of fascinating repertoire. The series invites audiences to their 28th season, "Return & Restoration," which begins in September with a touching performance of Brahms' German Requiem. Later, the ensemble explores choral works by 20th-century composers including William Grant Still and Amy Beach. Season-ending concerts channel music about religious journeys with "Songs of Pilgrimage" and "Songs of Farewell" by Hubert Parry.
Anima Chamber Ensemble
Anima specializes in performing diverse choral repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary works of the 21st century. With a deeply rooted philosophy that choral music should be shared with and by everyone, Anima Chamber Ensemble strives to connect with audience members of all ages. Their year starts with an uplifting concert, "Arise, My Spirit," followed by a seasonal "Wintertide Awakes" feature in December. Members of the group reunite in February for a tender program "Through Love to Light" then pivot to their summer festival in July 2022.
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
DYAO proudly presents "Art & Poetry: East Meets West" on September 26 to kick off their return to live-performances. Led by Music Director Wes Kenney, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra opens their season with an offering of unforgettable music. The program includes Dvořák's Symphony No. 6, influenced by conservatism, modernism, and the nationalism of his time. Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams is featured soloist in Fire and Blood, a highly engaging concerto by Michael Daugherty that draws inspiration from artwork by Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo, and integrates traditional orchestral instruments with unorthodox sounding sources, like car brake drums. “Symphonic Poem in 3 Notes” by Tan Dun, best known for his score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, rounds out this ambitious and thrilling program.
Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra
A full season with Classical Series, Pops, and Chamber Music special events decorates the renewed season of the Grand Junction Symphony. Highlights include Tchaikovsky's Fourth, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Jeffrey Biegel, and GJSO's concermaster Brian Krinke performing Aram Khachaturian's Violin Concerto. The group also pairs with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado with soloists for J.S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata.
Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra
Central to the Fort Collins Symphony's 2021/22 season is a series of five signature concerts beginning in October. Their fall programming spotlights guest artists Linda Wang, violin, with Bernstein's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium and pianist Bryan Wallick performing Mendelssohn's first piano concerto. A mid-season recognition of African-American History Month introduces audiences to Oskar Morawetz's Memorial to Martin Luther King featuring cellist Anthony Elliott. Last, the annual FCS Pops Concert collaborates with FoCo ComicCon and astrophysicist (and FoCo native) Dr. Erin Macdonald for an "intergalactic tour powered by some of Hollywood’s most exciting and iconic themes."
Newman Center Presents
South Denverites know that some of the most diverse and engaging cultural events happen at the nearby Newman Center on the campus of the University of Denver. A big highlight this year is the famed Kronos Quartet, who visit in January 2022 for a residency with Lamont School students and a program featuring newly-commissioned works from Kronos’ landmark Fifty for the Future project.
We will update this page as other performing arts groups across the state announce their 2021/20 plans. Please visit each event page for admission policies and the most updated safety practices for in-person, indoors gathering.
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