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Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Boulder, CO            

About the Boulder Phil

As one of Colorado’s premier professional ensembles, the Boulder Philharmonic is a standout among American regional orchestras, offering dynamic performances and community engagement opportunities that authentically reflect our community’s unique identity and sense of place. Music Director Michael Butterman, now in his twelfth season, presents a signature mix of masterpieces and new works, featuring top guest artists along with an emphasis on the local creative community. With a clear nod to the orchestra’s growing reputation, we were honored to have been selected from a competitive national field to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. at the inaugural SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras in March, 2017.

Founded in 1957, today’s Boulder Phil reaches audiences of over 40,000 each year with concerts, education programming, and community engagement events presented at Macky Auditorium at CU Boulder, Pinnacle Performing Arts Complex, Lone Tree Arts Center, and the Vilar Performing Arts Center, among other venues. In recent seasons, select concerts have also been broadcast statewide on Colorado Public Radio. From multi-genre productions featuring dance, choral and visual elements to concerts that highlight the “Spirit of Boulder,” the Boulder Phil’s innovative programming has resulted in increasing numbers of season subscribers and sold-out concerts, along with nationwide notice in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Symphony Magazine. Recent national benchmarks include competitive awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Midori Orchestra Residencies Program, and New Music USA.

The 2018-2019 season builds on past successes with an expansion to nine concerts, including a new non-traditional series, significant regional collaborations, and a season-long theme exploring the concept of “Open Space” in partnership with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. Education and outreach programs benefit from ongoing creative collaborations with over 50 local organizations encompassing the arts, sciences, nature, youth, and social services. Discovery Concert school-age education programs reach over 4,000 students each year, and we are pioneering additional community engagement projects including sensory friendly and creative aging programs. Increased access to free concert programming allows us to reach thousands from the community with family-friendly Community Concerts, free tickets to regular concerts, and accessible chamber music events presented at smaller venues throughout the community.

Over the last decade, the Boulder Phil has demonstrated sustained attention to new music programming, featuring more than 25 contemporary composers on our regular subscription series, plus 10 co-commissioned world or regional premieres between 2011 and 2019. Season after season, we have included works by living composers, inviting them to join us for the performance and to connect more deeply with the community through master classes, composer talks and other related events. Contemporary composers featured on Boulder Phil concerts include Thomas Adès, Mason Bates, Luciano Berio, Leonard Bernstein, John Corigliano, Richard Danielpour, Bill Douglas, Tan Dun, Vivian Fine, Korine Fujiwara, Philip Glass, Steve Heitzeg, Daniel Kellogg, Philip Lasser, Morten Lauridsen, Arturo Márquez, Missy Mazzoli, Jessie Montgomery, Cindy McTee, Jeff Midkiff, Astor Piazolla, Einojuhani Rautavaara, James Stephenson, Conrad Tao, Christopher Theofanidis, Jeff Tyzik, Michael Udow, and George Walker. The Boulder Phil’s commitment to programming new work has also extended to co-commissioning new works by Ruby Fulton (2011), Rony Barrak (2012), Jeffrey Nytch, (2013), Stephen Lias (2014 & 2017), Charles Denler (2015), Leigha Amick (2016), Stephen Goss (2017), Philip Glass (2018), and Kristin Kuster (anticipated 2019).

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. The World Premiere performance by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra took place on September 14, 2014.

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

The Symphony No. 1 “Formations” by Jeffrey Nytch was jointly commissioned by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Geological Society of America in celebration of the GSA’s 125th Anniversary. The World Premiere performance by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra took place September 8, 2013.

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All the Songs that Nature Sings – Boulder Philharmonic at 2017 SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras

The Boulder Philharmonic partnered with Rocky Mountain National Park to commission this work from Stephen Lias, with support from an Imagine Your Parks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. World Premiere performance in Boulder, CO on March 25, 2017 was followed a few days later with a repeat performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. as part of the 2017 SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras.

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