Live Classical Music Is Back: Fall Edition 2021

September 9, 2021
Boettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdownBoettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony in Denver, sits empty during the Coronavirus shutdownCourtesy of Colorado Symphony
A full house, full stage, and full hearts await audiences of symphony concert halls.

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!

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.

Colorado Symphony

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.

Tickets on sale now.

Courtesy of Colorado Symphony
Conductor Peter Oundjian and pianist Emanuel Ax kickoff the September premiere from Boettcher Concert Hall.

Opera Colorado

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.

Tickets for every production on sale now.

Opera Colorado
Beloved arias, (in)famous heroines, and mysterious plots come from Opera Colorado this year.

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.

Visit the FCM website for the exciting concert lineup and mix of visiting artists.

The Viano String Quartet, performing with pianist Inon Barnatan, will present The Time Traveler’s Suite, a program designed by Barnatan himself.

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.

Season subscription and single tickets available.

BCOC/Amanda Tipton
Baroque Chamber Music of Colorado is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a spectacular season that includes four major programs, masterworks, plus a number of special events to celebrate in style!

Boulder Philharmonic

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.

Events tickets for October's Together Again and The Art Of Jazz concerts available now.

Boulder Phil
The Boulder Philharmonic returns to Macky Auditorium in January 2022 for an all-Gershwin celebration.

Colorado Ballet

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.

Giselle, the Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, The Wizard of Oz, and Masterworks tickets on sale.

Colorado Ballet
Giselle inspires audiences worldwide. The skilled athletes of Colorado Ballet bring the beauty and heartbreak of this romantic tragedy to the stage.

CU Presents

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.

Full season of events and ticketing info here.

CU Presents
From Macky Auditorium, CU Presents includes Artist Series, In Motion Series and its Classic Series during its full 2021/22 season.


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.

Katorei's Main Concert Series and tickets available now.

Scott Dressel-Martin
In addition to four signature concerts this year, Kantorei also programs outreach performances and a cabaret gala for 2022.

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.

Grab your seats and tickets today!

The symphony returns to Grand Junction. First up, Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky 4, and guest artist Leah Brzyski, GJSO's 2020 Young Artist.

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.

Tickets for classical performance and all events available now.

KronosJay Blakesberg
Kronos Quartet photographed in San Francisco, CA, March 2013.

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.

For more about Colorado's musical landscape, tune in to CPR Classical.

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