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Season Highlights PDF Print E-mail
Crested Butte Music Festival Announces 2013 Season
Crested Butte Music Festival Announces Dynamic Six-Week Season
Marcello Giordani, Takács Quartet, Benjamin Wallfisch, Sam Bush & more


CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (May 1, 2013) – The 17th annual Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) promises to be a festival for all the senses, delivering several once-in-a-lifetime chances to enjoy more than 40 world-class performances in intimate venues and a beautiful mountain setting from June 30 – Aug. 11.

"More than 160 musicians from around the world will fill the Gunnison Valley with music for six weeks. Audiences will be transfixed with award-winning artists in every genre including bluegrass, opera, chamber, symphony and jazz," says Festival Director Alexander Scheirle.

Key Highlights
Marcello Giordani, one of the best-known tenors in the world, will perform on July 29. Giordani began his affiliation with the festival in early 2011 when its Opera Young Artists Program was renamed the Marcello Giordani Young Artists Program, which has grown to more than 400 applicants for 14 coveted spaces. While in Crested Butte, he also will mentor MGYAP participants in a masterclass on July 26.

The Takács Quartet, resident string quartet of Carnegie Hall in New York City and Wigmore Hall in London, will perform at a Home Soirée on Aug. 2. Playing with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, the Takács Quartet combines four distinct musical personalities. On Aug. 6, the last Home Soirée of the season features jazz legend Junior Mance and his trio, which includes Hide' Tanaka on bass and Michi Fuji on violin. Born in Chicago in 1928 and now a resident of Manhattan, Mance is a jazz pianist, composer, author and recording artist of more than 40 albums. Home Soirées are performances for small audiences in beautiful mountain homes and include wine and appetizers.

Introduced in 2005, Have A Beer With Beethoven was an instant success, combining an Oktoberfest-style setting with a Beethoven symphony. This year marks this final installment of Have A Beer With Beethoven with CBMF's Festival Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 outdoors at the covered Big Mine Ice Rink on July 11.

At CBMF's annual Celebration fundraiser on July 20, the rink will be transformed into an aerial stage by Eight Count Entertainment. The breathtaking flying acts and mesmerizing feats with aerial hoops of these former Cirque du Soleil athletes will be accompanied by the Festival Symphony Orchestra. Signature cocktails, gourmet dinner service and live and silent auctions are part of this Symphony in Flight evening.

For the past three years, the bluegrass portion of CBMF wraps up with a performance by The Paradise All-Star Band led by newgrass great and festival host Drew Emmitt and comprised of musicians from featured bands. This year, Emmitt will be joined by Sam Bush, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge and many more. See what happens when bluegrass stars jam together in a never-to-be-repeated combination.

Three Mini-Festivals
The schedule of 47 events includes three mini-festivals within the larger festival: Bluegrass In Paradise, Opera In Paradise and Gypsy Jazz In Paradise.

Bluegrass In Paradise
With the fourth annual Bluegrass In Paradise, July 1 – 7, happening on the week of Independence Day, this first week of July will be a major celebration of Americana up and down the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley. CBMF has recruited Denver-based Swallow Hill Music School to lead Bluegrass Kids Camp on July 1 – 5 and free adult workshops for all levels on July 7 and secured 10 top bands from around the country to perform July 6 – 7.

Expect hard-driving, energetic bluegrass and newgrass concerts with the Saturday lineup including MilkDrive, The Gibson Brothers, Barnstar!, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Aoife O'Donovan and Sam Bush. Sunday features Bonnie and The Clydes, Head for the Hills, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Mountain Heart and The Paradise All-Star Band. Weekend and one-day passes are available, with kids ages 12 and under attending free when accompanied by an adult purchasing a ticket. Free tent camping is available for concert-goers.

Visit for tickets, Kids Camp registration and camping reservations.

Opera In Paradise
During Opera In Paradise, opera lovers can feast on 15 performances, master classes, free talks and more from July 15 – 29. Rossini's The Barber of Seville will be presented on the evenings of July 24, 25, 27 and 28 with an exceptional cast including Sandra Piques Eddy, Gregory Gerbrandt, Anthony Webb, Steven Condy and Keith Miller led by Maestro David Stern and Stage Director Ned Canty.

Miller and principal artists from The Barber of Seville will perform beloved operatic arias and ensembles during the opera gala Home Soirée on July 16. The following evening, Stern will provide an insider's look at The Barber of Seville moderated by the festival's principal bassoonist, Mark Sforzini, who is also the executive and artistic director of St. Petersburg Opera Company.

World-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will host the Young Artist Opera Gala featuring Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program (MGYAP) participants singing arias accompanied by the Festival Symphony Orchestra on July 18. A champagne reception will follow this event.

Also hear the young artists perform beloved hits from the American Songbook on June 30, scenes from famous operas on July 5, present Krasa's tuneful Brundibar with CBMF's Opera Children's Chorus on July 17, sing in public masterclasses for acclaimed dramaturg Cori Ellison on July 15 and world-renowned opera stars Joyce DiDonato on July 19 and Marcello Giordani on July 26, and perform excerpts from The Barber of Seville on July 22.

The Opera Children's Chorus also will perform a lively adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance on July 27.

Opera In Paradise will conclude with a special Home Soirée with Marcello Giordani on July 29.

Gypsy Jazz In Paradise
The third annual Gypsy Jazz In Paradise will be hosted by British violinist Ben Powell and includes concerts, a brunch and workshops from Aug. 9 – 11. Powell will perform on the evening of Aug. 9 as a member of International String Trio with Russian-born guitarist and arranger Slava Tolstoy and Japanese upright bassist Ippei Ichimaru. The trio will offer workshops on Aug. 10, with the first half featuring masterclasses covering violin/mandolin and guitar and the second half being a jam session.

The all-acoustic Gonzalo Bergara Quartet is known for playing a modern variant of 1930s gypsy jazz and will perform the evening of Aug. 10. Take a scenic chairlift ride and enjoy a gourmet brunch and concert by The New Hot Club of America at Uley's Cabin on the final day of the festival, Aug. 11.

Passes and individual tickets are available along with a package that incorporates one of the best wildflower hikes in the state, the West Maroon Pass route from Aspen to Crested Butte, lodging at the newly renovated Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte, two Gypsy Jazz In Paradise concerts and shuttle rides from the trailhead and back to Aspen. Go to

Symphony & Chamber
Chamber and symphony performances are offered throughout the festival's six-week schedule, with the first being a free patriotic concert on July 4 featuring the iconic Boston Brass along with local baritone Ron Earl and future opera stars from CBMF's Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program.

Benjamin Wallfisch, the festival's new music director and a London native, will conduct the Festival Symphony Orchestra in three performances: Have A Beer With Beethoven on July 11, an evening of Mozart and Mendelssohn with special guest pianist Alexander Schimpf on July 14, and this year's Celebration fundraiser, Symphony in Flight, with aerial performers on July 20. The 34-year-old Wallfisch brings extensive conducting and commission experience from around the globe.

The first of four chamber concerts for the season features The American String Quartet at a July 9 Home Soirée. The American String Quartet will be joined by pianist Alexander Schimpf to perform works by Chopin, Shostakovich and Dvorák at "Emotions 1: Melodies & Flowers" on July 12.

At "Emotions 2"on July 26, the Stanley Feldberg New Initiatives Fund presents a delightful evening of classic piano trio and a world premier of 5 Bagatalles for Oboe, Cello, Bassoon and Piano, a chamber composition by Mark Sforzini. Concertmaster Cyrus Beroukhim, Festival Director Alexander Scheirle and pianist Jung Li will be among the musicians performing. The final chamber concert is The Takács Quartet on Aug. 5 at a Home Soirée.

Special Programs
Crested Butte Music Festival will kick off in nearby Gunnison with "American Songbook" featuring baritone Ron Earl and participants in the Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program on June 30 at Western State Colorado University, where the young artists will be training for several weeks. Earl and MGYAP participants also will perform at a free patriotic concert featuring the iconic Boston Brass, one of the best brass ensembles in the world, in Crested Butte on July 4. Boston Brass will arrive early to offer an in-depth camp for brass players of all ages on the university campus.

Home Soirées
Set in of some of the most beautiful homes in the Gunnison Valley, Home Soirées are a wonderful way to socialize, enjoy wine and appetizers, and experience world-class music in an intimate setting. The lineup includes American String Quartet on July 9, festival opera singers led by Met bass-baritone Keith Miller on July 16, Two Man Gentleman Band on July 23, A Special Evening with Marcello Giordani on July 29, Takács Quartet on Aug. 5 and jazz great Junior Mance on Aug. 6.

Divine Family Young People's Concerts
Designed for ages 2 – 10, these concerts are free for families and are offered on four Saturdays at 11 a.m.: Jambo on July 13, Keith Munslow on July 20, the children's opera version of The Pirates of Penzance on July 27 and Story Pirates on Aug. 3.

Schedule & Tickets
For a full schedule of events and to purchase various pass options and individual tickets, visit the Event and Schedule webpage or call 349-0619.