A Denver Composer’s Unique Musical Collaboration In Mongolia

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Photo: Composer and Conductor Thomas Blomster
Composer and Conductor Thomas Blomster wears a hat from his trip to Mongolia.

A few years ago, composer Thomas Blomster woke up in the middle of the night with an unusual thought: Does Mongolia have a symphony orchestra?

Blomster searched online and found a Mongolian orchestra. It's in Ulaanbaatar, which happens to be Denver's sister city.

Blomster struck up a friendship with the leaders of the orchestra, called the Mongolian State Philharmonic. The discussions ultimately led to an unusual honor for Blomster.

Photo: Thomas Blomster and Morin Khuur
Composer and conductor Thomas Blomster, center, poses with the Morin Khuur Ensemble in Mongolia.

Blomster became the first composer from outside Mongolia to write for the Morin Khuur Ensemble. This summer he traveled to Mongolia to conduct the premiere of his piece, "Postcards To Mongolia." Here's a video of that performance:

Blomster, who also leads the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about the visit to Mongolia and how the unique music came together.