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Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Boulder, CO      

About the Boulder Phil

As one of Colorado’s premier ensembles, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra is creating a new model for American orchestras through dynamic performances that reflect our community’s own values, creativity, and sense of place. The Boulder Phil is bucking national trends with growing, enthusiastic audiences under the vision and leadership of Music Director Michael Butterman. Over the course of his 10-year tenure, he has elevated the artistry of the ensemble and achieved a dynamic mix of programming that embeds adventurous new music with beloved masterworks in performances that embrace “the Spirit of Boulder” and reflect the uniqueness of our region.

Our main concert series—broadcast state-wide on Colorado Public Radio—is presented at Macky Auditorium, a historic jewel on the University of Colorado campus. From multi-genre productions featuring dance, choral and visual elements to concerts with a unique hometown flavor, the Phil’s imaginative programming has resulted in increasing numbers of sold-out concerts and nationwide notice inSymphony Magazine. In recent seasons the Phil has collaborated with an impressive 45 local organizations, encompassing arts, science, nature, youth, social services and more. By going beyond simply performing great music, we strive to connect ever more people to the inspiring power of orchestral music.

Recognized as “Boulder’s premier orchestra” (Boulder Weekly) and “Boulder’s superb local professional orchestra” (Daily Camera), the Boulder Phil is comprised of the top freelance musicians from Colorado’s Front Range and beyond. Founded in 1958, the Boulder Phil’s recent history was shaped by notable music directors Oswald (Ozzi) Lehnert (1972-1996) and Theodore Kuchar (1996-2006), under whose leadership the Boulder Phil became a fully professional ensemble. Today the Boulder Phil reaches audiences of over 20,000, with performances from Arvada to Highlands Ranch as well as regular invitations to perform at the prestigious Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.

The Boulder Phil strives to inspire the next generation of music-lovers through educational Discovery Concerts that have reached thousands of elementary students in 28 schools across three counties. For decades the Phil has also fostered new talent with the annual Young Artist Concerto Competition, and Boulder Phil musicians provide mentorship through side-by-side concerts with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and Front Range Youth Orchestras.

We are proud of our ongoing commitment to new music programming. Season after season, we have featured works by living composers – including eight world premieres since 2011. Whenever possible, we invite composers to join us for the performance and to connect more deeply with the community through master classes, composer talks and other related events. More than twenty contemporary composers have been featured on Boulder Phil Masterworks performances over the past seven seasons, introducing newcomers and aficionados alike to this vital, living repertoire.

About Music Director Michael Butterman

Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement. He serves as Music Director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he will appear at the Kennedy Center’s inaugural SHIFT Festival in 2017. He is also the Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic. In addition, he is in his 17th season as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and just completed a 15-year tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, first as Associate, and then as Resident Conductor. 

As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Houston Symphony. In the 16-17 season, he will return to conduct the National Symphony for three weeks of concerts at the Kennedy Center, as well as to conduct Canada’s Victoria Symphony in the fall. Other recent appearances include performances with the Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, California Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera and Victoria Symphony (British Columbia). Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia.

Gates of the Arctic

Excerpts from an orchestral work celebrating Gates of the Arctic National Park by Stephen Lias with images created and choreographed by the composer, world premiere performance by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on September 14, 2014. (2:56)

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Symphony No. 1, ‘Formations’ (4th movement)

Complete 4th movement of Symphony No. 1 “Formations” by Jeffrey Nytch, jointly commissioned by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Geological Society of America, world premiere performance by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on September 8, 2013. (11:12)

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Boulder Sensations

Excerpts from a symphonic poem of 3 movements, including a Darbouka cadenza, composed and performed by Rony Barrak, world premiere performance by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on March 24, 2012 (6:14).

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