Past Concerts

Boulder Ballet and Frequent FlyersSOLD OUT
Saturday, November 2, 2013—7:30 PM

Macky Auditorium, CU Campus, Boulder

MASON BATES   Rusty Air in Carolina Listen
LEONARD BERNSTEIN   Chichester Psalms

    with CU University Singers and CU University Choir
AARON COPLAND   Suite from “The Tender Land”
    with CU University Singers and CU University Choir
AARON COPLAND   Appalachian Spring   Listen
    with Boulder Ballet and
Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance  

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, Music Director

Program Notes

A collaborative coup: The Boulder Phil brings together the CU UNIVERSITY SINGERS and CHOIR, BOULDER BALLET and FREQUENT FLYERS® AERIAL DANCE in an American musical showcase. From Copland’s iconic Appalachian Spring to Mason Bates’ atmospheric Rusty Air in Carolina for orchestra and electronics, we’ll celebrate the bond between the land and its community.  Read more...

Michael Butterman on KGNU's 'A Classic Monday' with Ron Nadel:


All events to be held Saturday, November 2

Pioneer Cemetery Meets Aaron Copland
9–11 AM at Columbia Cemetery
 - FREE Musical Hike

The Boulder Phil's concert on Saturday evening, November 2 features works by Aaron Copland that celebrate the life of American farmers and pioneers: Appalachian Spring and The Tender Land. That same morning, prepare for the concert with an historical walk back in time through the Columbia Cemetery to learn about Boulder’s pioneers and early settlers. Mary Reilly-McNellan, the cemetery’s curator, will introduce you to many colorful historical characters, and Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks naturalist Dave Sutherland will share musical selections from Copland’s works to celebrate our agricultural roots in the rural West. Meet at Columbia Cemetery’s main gate at 9th Street and Pleasant Street in Boulder.

This hike is FREE to the public as part of the Boulder Phil's ongoing "Nature & Music" collaboration with City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.

6:30 PM at Macky - FREE Pre-Concert Talk
With Maestro Butterman, Alex Davison from the Boulder Ballet, and Nancy Smith from Frequent Flyers

9:30 PM at Macky - FREE Post-Concert Cast Party
Join musicians, dancers and fellow audience members in the Andrew J. Macky Gallery (located in the foyer of Macky Auditorium) for a festive, FREE post-concert party immediately following the performance on Saturday, November 2! Enjoy the post-concert “buzz” and celebrate our landmark collaboration with Boulder Ballet, Frequent Flyers and the CU College of Music in what promises to be a spectacular tribute to the music and creative vision of American composers. This event is hosted in collaboration with the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which curates a series of exhibitions at Macky as an ongoing extension to its rotating exhibition schedule. FREE to ticket holders!


Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance performs Carmina Burana


“The three instrumental works on the program—Rusty Air in Carolina, Suite from The Tender Land, and Appalachian Spring—convey varied, though mostly peaceful and contented, impressions of rural life,” said Boulder Phil Music Director Michael Butterman. “In each case, the presence of nature, the land, and the environment are deeply felt.”

Rusty Air in Carolina, written in 2006 by Mason Bates for orchestra and electronics, opens the concert. “Mason Bates is one of the most original composers working today,” said Butterman, “and he often finds ways to bridge the worlds of electronica and traditional acoustic music. His Rusty Air in Carolina evokes lazy summer evenings buzzing with both insect song and strains of bluegrass.”

Michael Butterman in RehearsalThe concert continues with Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, written for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival at Chichester Cathedral in England. The CU University Singers and the CU University Choir join the Boulder Phil in a performance of this work, sung in Hebrew, for orchestra and chorus. “The main conceptual thrust of this work seems to fit nicely with the quiet calm or ‘inner glow of peace’ that permeates the two Copland works on the second half of the program,” said Butterman. “Though we have moments of exuberant celebration, anguished confrontation, and ‘noisy complaints’ along the way, the strongest impression is made by the work’s prayer for peace, a longing that, alas, always seems to be timely.”

The second half of the program belongs to Aaron Copland, considered one of the great American composers of the 20th century. The Suite from Copland’s only opera—The Tender Land—explores the struggles and rewards of pioneer farm life in the Midwest, in which the land is by turns partner and adversary. “Ultimately uplifting,” said Butterman, “the work’s famous ‘Promise of Living’ chorus is as affirmative a musical statement as anything Copland wrote.”

Copland’s Appalachian Spring, the centerpiece for the evening, was written for Martha Graham, whose choreography made it an iconic work of modern dance. “Though this work is often presented as pure concert music, I wanted instead to collaborate with a few of our outstanding dance ensembles—Boulder Ballet and Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance—to create something truly unique and special,” said Butterman. “Our aim is to present a vision of the work that conveys not so much the specific details of the original narrative as the ‘feel’ and ‘spirit’ of the music, giving it greater dimension through dance. I’m thrilled by this opportunity to present an ‘only-in-Boulder’ take on such glorious music.”

Program Notes

- From Press Release by Janet Braccio 

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