Posted by Cyndy Hinkelman-Smith on Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 3:17pm.

Chautauqua BoulderOne of Boulder's special cultural gems is the Colorado Music Festival held every summer at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium. Currently under the direction of maestro Michael Christie, the festival is a vibrant and joyful way to experience classic, and occasionally modern, orchestra concerts in Boulder. The Colorado Music Festival (CMF) states that their mission is "To inspire and connect community members of all ages by providing access to the best of the world's music through education and performance." After attending a recent concert, we feel they have met and exceeded their mission!

ChautauquaThis summer talented artists including Lara St. John, Olga Kern, and Johannes Moser join the CMF to help create magic and delight on stage. "Together we will celebrate the incredible skills of our festival orchestra and delight in the special atmosphere that's been created over nearly four decades" says Michael Christie.

Christie is in his thirteenth year conducting the festival. Many say Christie's programs are innovative, daring and bold, and offer a fine variety of music. And, most agree that Christie turned the CMF when he arrived in Boulder at the young age of 25 to lead the summer festival in 2000. Attendance has almost doubled since then, and he has put new life into the festival. "The Colorado Music Festival has been extraordinarily fortunate to have grown under the talent of Michael Christie," said Jim Williams, chairman of the festival's board of directors. "His passion and enthusiasm have transformed this organization and energized our community."

ChautauquaMuch of the charm of the music festival is the historic Chautauqua Auditorium where concerts are held. The auditorium is a lofty and open, centry-old building constructed like a barn (sometimes referred to as "the barn"). Featured inside the building are original unfinished timbers and beams, and original benches which were installed when it was constructed in 1898. We couldn't think of a better venue filled with history and character in which to enjoy these wonderful concerts. And, concert goers often enjoy a picnic at the beautiful and scenic Chautauqua Park (with the stunning Flatirons as the backdrop), or dinner at the newly-refurbished and well-reviewed Chautauqua Dining Hall, before or after one of the concerts.

A few upcoming CMF highlights include:

  • Colorado Music FestivalJuly 11 & 12 - Triumphant Thirds, a concert featuring Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No 3 in E-Flat major, Op.55, "Eroica", and Mieczyslaw Weinberg's Symphony No. 3, Op. 45 
  • July 16, 18, 19 and 21 - Russian Masters Mini-Festival featuring Lara St. John and Olga Kern
  • July 23 - Chris Brubeck's Triple Play 
  • July 25 & 26 - CMF Festival chorus & Johannes Moser, Cello: Dvorak & Bloch
  • July 28 - Bach to the Future
  • July 30 - Verdi and Wagner: A 200th Birthday Celebration
  • August 1 & 2 - Time for Three with Joshua Radin
  • August 4 - Violin concert featuring Courtney Lewis and the music of Beethoven, Mozart and Schreker
  • August 6 - Elephant Revival & members of the CMF Orchestra
  • August 8 & 9 - Festival Finale: Featuring Alexa Still, flute and student flute ensemble in collaboration with Frequent Flyers, Kristin Kuster: Devil's Thumb, Corigliano's Pied Piper, and Shastakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 

If you haven't yet experience the joy and satisfaction of a Colorado Music Festival concert we highly recommend attending one, and we hope you add it to your "must do" list for this summer. The Colorado Music Festival Concerts are held at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday through August 9, 2013. For more information on upcoming programs visit:

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Cyndy Hinkelman-Smith

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