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Symphony and Chamber
Festival Symphony PDF Print E-mail

Crested Butte Music Festival - Known for Creative Twists on Classical
American String Quartet, Benjamin Wallfisch, Alexander Schimpf, the bayan & more

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (April 18, 2014) – Now in its 18th year, Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) is known for its unique approach to presenting classical, bluegrass, jazz and opera genres. It's an equation that has resulted in impressive yearly growth and is being applied more than ever to the classical music lineup that is sprinkled throughout the festival's six-week schedule that runs from June 29 – Aug. 10.

As a prelude to the Festival Symphony Orchestra's first performance, returning CBMF Music Director Benjamin Wallfisch will present a free talk "Everything You Wanted To Know About Tchaikovsky But Where Afraid To Ask" on July 7. The discussion promises to provide an insider's look at the life and influences of Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

What better way to recognize the contributions of Russian composers than to create an event with all things Russian? On July 10 at From Russia With Love, the Festival Symphony Orchestra and talented guest pianist Alexander Schimpf will perform beloved works from Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky outdoors at the covered Big Mine Ice Arena. Vodka cocktails and Russian-inspired hors d'oeuvres will be served prior to the concert and are included in the ticket price.

Step back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood at a red-carpet event on July 19, when the Festival Symphony Orchestra brings to life the magic of classic films. The theme for this annual Celebration fund-raiser is Gotta Dance and features some of Hollywood's most famous dance scenes on the big screen including Gene Kelly's Brigadoon, Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris. Signature cocktails, gourmet dinner service and live and silent auctions are part of this glamorous evening outdoors at Big Mine Ice Arena.

Each season, CBMF presents a special instrument to educate and entertain audiences. This summer's instrument, the bayan, is in the accordion family and has significant cultural ties to Crested Butte's history, as the accordion was a favorite instrument of the town's founders and local miners in the 1800s. In collaboration with Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, CBMF is presenting the free talk The Bayan From Yesterday to Today In Crested Butte and demonstration of the bayan by Ukrainian-born Alexander Hrustevich on July 25.

The following evening, on July 26, Hrustevich joins the Festival Symphony Orchestra for "Off the Record" for an evening of music that is fast and furious. Daniel Schnyder's Concerto for Chamber Orchestra is the featured piece for the symphony during the first half, followed by Concerto for Bayan and Orchestra by Vladimir Zubitsky with Hrustevich on the bayan. Festival Director and Cellist Alexander Scheirle will play Friedrich Gulda's Cello Concerto for wind orchestra in the second half. Hrustevich is regularly invited to perform in countries such as Poland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Serbia and recently appeared with legendary musician and composer Bobby McFerrin in a sold-out, 3,000-seat performance hall in Kiev. The evening is made possible in part by the Stanley Feldberg New Initiatives Fund.

Another extremely unique event is Extreme Vivaldi on Aug. 1 in collaboration with local filmmaker Pavol Kasala and the Crested Butte Arts Festival, which kicks off that evening on Elk Avenue and runs until Aug. 3. There will be time for appetizers and socializing before a stunning performance of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons featuring violinist Paul Huang and members of the Festival Symphony Orchestra accompanied by beautiful images of Crested Butte throughout the year.

Home Soirées & More
Three of the five Home Soirées scheduled are tied into the classical lineup for this season. Set in beautiful mountain homes in the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley, Home Soirées are a great way to socialize with libations and appetizers, meet the artists and experience wonderful music in an intimate setting.

On July 8, Alexander Schimpf, gold medal winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, will present timeless works by Mozart, Schubert, Grieg and others. Alexander Hrustevich wraps up his CBMF appearances with a bayan performance on July 29, and American String Quartet returns for their fourth year of residence at CBMF and presents masterworks by Beethoven and Boccherini on Aug. 5.

Also not to be missed is Emotions: Piano Trio on July 6, an evening of beautiful music by Eastern European composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák at historic Union Congregational Church. The musicians coming together to form the trio include violinist Tereza Stanislav, Alexander Scheirle, cello, and pianist Terry Bonney. This is Tereza Stanislav's debut with the Festival. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, toured with the Miró Quartet and served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera under Plácido Domingo.

Music Director Benjamin Wallfisch
Now in his second year as CBMF's music director, Benjamin Wallfisch is a young, internationally acclaimed musician and an Emmy, Ivor Novello and multiple World Soundtrack Award-nominated composer and conductor. He is associate composer of the Orchestra of St. John's, has received more than 50 commissions from organizations around the world and has worked extensively in the movie industry, both scoring and conducting 42 films to date.

Schedule & Tickets
For more information, a festival schedule and tickets, call (970) 349-0619 and visit our Events And Schedule page on our website.