CPR Classical’s Summerfest 2023: Hear world-class music from Aspen, Vail and Boulder

Colorado is one of the top destinations for summer classical festivals in the world. Renowned musicians and audiences flock to the Centennial State for performances in gorgeous spaces. And CPR Classical brings the excitement to you! Turn the radio on and the volume up for concerts, festival history, upcoming events and, of course, unforgettable music! Summerfest 2023 on CPR Classical begins June 15 and runs through August 20.

Take the schedule with you with the 2023 CPR Classical Summerfest downloadable calendar.

Here’s what to listen for:

Summerfest Kick-off Concert with Joshua Bell

Listen for violinist Joshua Bell as he gives a sensitive yet energetic performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the next generation musicians of the National Repertory Orchestra. Recorded in front of a nearly sold out audience at the Newman Center, this was the NRO's first-ever concert in the Denver area and was a highlight of the 2022 summer music festival season. Jean Inaba hosts on Thursday, June 15 at 6 p.m.

Joshua Bell photographed by Phillip Knott.

Flight of Festivals Concert Series

Not able to get to all the summer music festivals you want to attend this summer? CPR Classical brings the concert experience to you! Tune in for the Flight of Festivals concert series to hear recordings from previous festival seasons. We’ll sample thrilling performances from internationally renowned ensembles and solo artists in a curated concert from the plethora of Colorado’s summer classical festivals.

Summerfest Concert #1
Tues., June 27, 6 p.m.
Wed., June 28, 9 a.m.
Fri., June 30, 2 p.m.
Sat., July 1, 5 p.m.
Sun., July 2, noon

Summerfest Concert #2
Mon., July 17, 6 p.m.
Wed., July 19, 9 a.m.
Fri., July 21, 2 p.m.
Sat., July 22, 5 p.m.
Sun., July 23, noon

Summerfest Concert #3
Tues., Aug. 15, 6 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 17, 9 a.m.
Sat., Aug. 19, 5 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 20, noon

Pianist Nicolai Lugansky

CPR Classical Presents: Rachmaninoff in America with the Colorado Music Festival

Join CPR Classical on-air hosts at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder on Friday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. to hear what is often referred to as the "Mt. Everest" of piano concertos - the Piano Concerto #3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Pianist Nicolai Lugansky tackles this fiendishly difficult piece with the Colorado Music Festival orchestra under the baton of conductor Peter Oundjian. The program celebrates Rachmaninoff's 150th birth anniversary by focusing on music he premiered in the United States.

Radio debut of Min Kwon's "America/Beautiful"

Pianist Min Kwon asked over 70 of America's leading composers from varying cultures to create a variation on "America the Beautiful." CPR Classical partners with Kwon to debut these new variations and exclusive recordings by distinguished composers Libby Larson, Samuel Zyman, Terry Riley, Gyan Riley, Jiyoung Ro, Kristan Järvi, Dave Ragland, Nico Muhly, Peter Boyer, and more.

Pianist Min Kwon

Summerfest Postcards

Back for 2023, Summerfest Postcards bring you fascinating insights into some of Colorado’s best summer music festivals. Twice a day, hear the stories, sounds and history behind some of Colorado’s summer festivals. Explore an old barn nestled at the foot of the Flatirons, or learn about one of the country’s oldest opera companies that performs in an opera house built by miners. Summerfest Postcards illuminate the back stories of the festivals, making listening to music recorded at the festivals an even more enjoyable experience.

Summerfest Concert Calendar

Planning a getaway trip to the Colorado mountains or desert this summer? Add a little music to the mix! Hear violinist Hilary Hahn with the Philadelphia Orchestra before you hit the greens in Vail, watch a full production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in Steamboat Springs and plan your hike to Maroon Bells around violinist Gil Shaham performing at the Aspen Music Festival. Get a preview of upcoming concerts every day on CPR Classical, and check out our online concert calendar for details on can’t-miss concert details.

And just how amazing is the classical music during the summer in Colorado? Check out our comprehensive guide to 2023 summer classical music festivals.

Summerfest 2023 is made possible by:

Additional support for Summerfest 2023 is provided by:

Listen all summer long

Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website, or download the Colorado Public Radio app. Listen on your radio to CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, or on radio signals around Colorado. You can also tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."