Beat the summer heat with a 2024 Colorado classical music festival

A full audience watching a performance during the Aspen Music Festival in an open-air amphitheater.
Aubree Dallas
The open-air Benedict Music Tent

Music fills the slopes of snowless ski towns and metropolitan concert halls with renowned festivals every year, and 2024 just may be the best season yet. Colorado attracts world-class musicians like a magnet during the summer, continuing the long-held tradition of incredible summer classical music in the Centennial State.

Whether it's music in your own neck of the woods or encouragement to finally plan that mountain adventure, peruse what’s happening this summer and plan your summer getaway.

Aspen Music Festival & School

June 26-August 18

Bringing iconic musicians and students to Pitkin County for three-quarters of a century. The Aspen Music Festival and School’s 75th anniversary season is littered with superstar soloists, family concerts and intimate recitals.

Highlights: Strauss songs featuring soprano Renée Fleming, Haydn and folk music with the Danish String Quartet on July 27.

Meet CPR Classical in Aspen August 1-4. Can’t make it to Aspen this summer? Stay tuned for AMFS live streams right here at

Bravo! Vail

June 19-August 1

Your summer destination for some of the country’s best orchestras. Established in 1987, Bravo! Vail went from a small festival with small ensembles to the summer destination for orchestras like the New York Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony.

Highlights: Mexico City’s Sinfónica de Minería plays Ravel, Rodrigo and Falla on June 22. Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the New York Philharmonic play Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" on July 24.

Meet CPR Classical at Bravo! Vail on June 22.

A large audience in an outdoor amphitheater watching the Dallas Theater perform during Bravo! Vail summer music festival.

(Photo: Zach Mahone)

The Dallas Symphony performs at Bravo! Vail.

Central City Opera

June 29-August 4

Nestled nine miles off of I-70 in an old mining town of 779 people, the country’s fifth oldest opera company has been operating in Colorado since 1924! Central City Opera presents three productions for their 2024 summer season, including a Puccini opera about a gold rush set in Central City itself.

Highlights: Gilbert & Sullivan’s tale of swashbuckling silliness, "The Pirates of Penzance," starting June 29.

Colorado Music Festival

July 5-August 4

Experience incredible classical music in the acoustically celebrated Chautauqua Auditorium at the base of the Flatirons. The Colorado Music Festival’s 2024 season brings in musicians from 23 states, four Canadian provinces and three countries to play beloved classical favorites. Renowned soloists and world premieres are on the docket as well.

Highlights: The world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s "Kachkaniraqmi" (“I Still Exist”) on July 21, Awadagin Pratt plays Montgomery and Bach on July 26.

Meet CPR Classical at CMF on July 18 and 19, and hear Kabin Thomas narrate Grieg’s beloved “Peer Gynt.”

An orchestra at a performance during the Colorado Music Festival. On the front of the stage is composer Wang Jie.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Composer Wang Jie premiered her “Flying On the Scaly Backs of Our Mountains” at the Colorado Music Festival, with Peter Oundjian conducting. Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium.

Colorado College Summer Music Festival

June 2-21

Not only is Colorado College celebrating 150 years in 2024, this summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. Every June, the festival spans an intensive three weeks featuring faculty and pre-professional fellows.

Highlights: Musical settings of Rumi’s poetry for violin and cello on June 8, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on June 21.

Listen for a "best of" Colorado College concert to kick-off CPR Summerfest Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. hosted by Patty Painter-Wakefield.

Denver Chamber Music Festival

June 2-15

The Denver Chamber Music Festival was started by two University of Denver faculty members and cellists Matthew Zalkind and Alice Yoo, who created DCMF to fill the chamber music void in Denver outside of the regular season. Denver Chamber Music Festival also provides an opportunity for amateur adult musicians to spend a weekend learning from DCMF musicians.

Highlights: A weekend intensive for adult amateur musicians June 7-9, Tchaikovsky’s "Souvenir de Florence" June 15.

Flatirons Chamber Music Festival

June 10-16

Every year in Boulder, the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival is committed to bringing a mix of iconic works by classical masters, fun takes on pop tunes and world premieres. Throughout the weeklong festival, audience members are encouraged to attend workshops and interactive events, on top of primary performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Highlights: Brahms' Piano Quartet and a world premiere by Benjamin Park.

A string sextet performing in front of an audience in a dimly lit hall in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo: Courtesy Flatirons Chamber Music Festival

A performance at the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado.

Manitou Chamber Music Festival

July 14-28

The Manitou Chamber Music Festival has been committed to performance and education in the Pikes Peak region since 2014, welcoming faculty and students from all over the country to Colorado Springs.

Highlights: An all-Prokofiev concert on July 19, Copland and Tchaikovsky on the faculty/student gala on July 26.

National Repertory Orchestra

June 22-August 10

Eight chock-full weeks in Breckenridge. Pre-professional musicians flock to the National Repertory Orchestra every summer (and have for over 60 years!) to perform a variety of concerts, sectionals, free family events and more.

Highlights: Fourth of July spectacular at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Tchaikovsky’s "Serenade for Strings" featuring the Vail Dance Festival on July 26.

Meet CPR Classical and host Karla Walker on July 20 during CPR Presents: The National Repertory Orchestra and pianist Jon Kimura Parker at the King Center in Denver.

Rocky Ridge Music Center

June 9-August 25

A series of summer intensives and music camps for students, collegiate and adult musicians in the classical, jazz and mariachi genres, alongside performances from an international roster of faculty throughout the summer in Estes Park.

Highlights: Nino Rota and J.S. Bach played by faculty on June 23, mariachi student showcase on August 4.

Strings Music Festival

June 21-August 18

Bringing all types of summer music to Steamboat Springs, the 2024 season welcomes artists from all over. The first week alone presents Beethoven’s 9th on the opening orchestra concert and an evening with Emmylou Harris. Plus, check out SMF’s musical scavenger hunts!

Highlights: Concert and interview with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis on June 24, the innovative baroque group Ruckus on July 20.

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performs with a jazz band for a full audience in a dimly lit room during the Strings Music Festival.

(Photo: Courtesy Strings Music Festival)

Wynton Marsalis performs at the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs.

Salida-Aspen Concerts

July 6-August 10

For nearly 50 years, Salida Concerts brings world-class musicians from the Aspen Music Festival and School to the Arkansas River Valley.

Highlights: The American String Quartet on July 6, pianist Anton Nel on July 20.

Music in the Mountains

July 11–August 4

Music in the concert hall and on a mobile stage around the Durango metro. A combination of free and ticketed concerts, pops events, and both orchestral hits and intimate chamber music.

Highlights: Olga Kern plays Rachmaninoff on July 26, Star Wars vs. Star Trek on August 3.

Telluride SummerFest

June 27–July 7

Chamber music in a series of gorgeous locations around Telluride, including the private Mai residence, the Wilkinson Library and Telluride Arts HQ. You can even get hands-on experience with their Frame Drum workshop.

Highlights: Drum workshop on June 26, a celebration of Hungarian music on July 7.

For a look at music festivals of all genres, check out CPR's guide.

If you're staying at home this summer, let CPR Classical Summerfest bring the music to you! World-class summer performances, interviews and events throughout Colorado from June 10 through August 28.

Colorado music, all summer long

There are a variety of ways to hear great performances by today’s top artists as well as legendary singers from the Metropolitan Opera’s history. Download the Colorado Public Radio app, tune in at radio signals around Colorado, or you can tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."