Kathy Kucsan, Education Director
When I was a sophomore at Indiana University, there was a buzz about a kid violinist who was studying with Josef Gingold. One day I was passing by Maestro Gingold’s studio and there was a small crowd listening at the door. “Well, he’s going to be famous,” someone said. The kid violinist we were listening to (okay, spying on) was a 10-year-old Joshua Bell, who did indeed become quite famous. Bell will be here at the Colorado Music Festival as Artist-in-Residence, playing for the opening and closing concerts (the Bruch Violin Concerto and Elements, a 5-movement composition by 5 different composers).
Rachmaninoff came to America in 1918 (leaving Russia because of the 1917 Revolution) and spent the last 25 years of his life here, touring and composing. In July, we’ll hear Nicolai Lugansky play the 3rd and 4th Piano Concertos as well as Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. If you’re not familiar with Rachmaninoff’s music, you’ll certainly recognize some of the key themes – they’re used often in movie scores and even TV commercials. I can’t wait to hear 3 evenings of this amazing music. It’s lush, tuneful, and beautiful.
🎵Thu, July 6: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 & Symphony No. 3
🎵Fri, July 7: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 & Symphony No. 3
🎵Sun, July 9: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 & Symphonic Dances
CMA Night at the Festival is Friday, July 21. Lots of students and faculty will be in the audience to hear Michael Christie (the Festival’s Music Director Emeritus) lead the orchestra in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Pianist Michelle Cann is soloist for the concertos, both very different and very dynamic.
Chamber music! The JACK Quartet will be here. Festival musicians will play music by Britten, Brahms, and Poulenc. The Phantasy Quartet (Britten) is a gorgeous piece for oboe and strings, and the Poulenc Sextet for Piano and Winds is an energetic, beautiful piece. The opportunity to hear chamber music for winds is a bit infrequent, and I can’t wait to hear both of these pieces on the same concert.
People often say to me that they want to learn more about classical music before they go to a concert so that they can understand and appreciate what they’re hearing. Well, I’ve got just the thing: pre-concert talks by six Center for Musical Arts faculty members, plus one bonus video about Peter and the Wolf starring students from the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras. They’re short, wonderful talks full of interesting material and insight.
- Dr. Max Wolpert (violin) talks about Joshua Bell, the Bruch Violin Concert and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition
- Susan Olenwine (piano) talks about Rachmaninoff in America
- Deborah Schmit-Lobis (piano, composition) talks about John Corigliano and Timothy McAllister
- Anne Brennand (cello) talks about Johannes Moser and the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
- Brian Hickman (piano) talks about Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement
- Tamara Meneghini (guest faculty, musical theater) talks about Debussy’s La Mer
These talks are online now. They’re full of great information. If you have any questions, please email me and I can put you in touch with these amazing teachers who did a great job of stuffing an enormous amount of information in their twenty-minute talks.
See you at the Colorado Music Festival!