Past Concerts

2017 - Apr. 22 - Season Finale: The Pines of Rome


Charles Wetherbee & Nicolo Spera

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 7:30 PM

Macky Auditorium, CU Campus, Boulder
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Michael Butterman, conductor

STRAVINSKY  Monumentum pro Gesualdo    
BERIO  Four Original Versions of Boccherini’s Return of the Nightwatch from Madrid
GOSS  Invisible Cities:
Double concerto for violin, guitar, strings and percussion (World Premiere)
   Charles Wetherbee, violin
   Nicolò Spera, guitar
VERDI  Overture to Nabucco
PUCCINI  The Chrysanthemums    
RESPIGHI  The Pines of Rome  Listen

The spirit of Italy permeates our season finale with influences from the Renaissance to today. Concertmaster Charles Wetherbee is joined by his CU colleague, Nicolò Spera, for the last of our season’s pairings—a world premiere for violin and guitar by British composer Stephen Goss based on Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities. Orchestral favorites from opera titans Verdi and Puccini prepare the way for the surround-sound splendor of Respighi’s Pines of Rome—one of the most sonically overwhelming works in all of music. 

Program Notes


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6:30 PM 
FREE Pre-Concert Talk at Macky

Soloists sponsored by

Let's Celebrate!  Meet Us Post-Show at Cafe Aion
Saturday, April 22, after the concert
1235 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder

Raise a glass with us after the concert to celebrate our 2016-17 Season success! Cafe Aion (on the Hill) will be offering late-night happy hour drink specials for Boulder Phil patrons. No need to RSVP - see you there!

Wine and Music Progressive Pairings with concertmaster Charles Wetherbee, guitarist Nicolò Spera, and Lee Hill Wineries on April 19, click for details & tickets

About Charles Wetherbee

Violinist Charles Wetherbee has performed throughout the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. A native of Buffalo, New York, Charles gave his first performances at age six. He made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Symon Bychkov, and since then has performed with the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovitch, as well as the Japan Philharmonic, the Kyoto Symphony, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota (Columbia), the National Repertory Orchestra, the Orchestra Nacional de Mexico, the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Long Beach Symphony, and the Virginia Symphony, among others. The Washington Post called Wetherbee “a consummate artist...with flawless technique”.

Charles is an assistant professor of violin at the University of Colorado at Boulder, joining the faculty in 2012. A devoted chamber musician, he is the first violinist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, with whom he tours and performs regularly. In 2002 Charles was able to acquire one of the world’s great violins, the Widenhouse 44.

About Nicolò Spera

“One of Italy’s finest guitarists, a very active performer on the two shores of the Atlantic Ocean, a thoughtful musician and a wonderful pedagogue.”   ~Lorenzo Micheli, internationally renowned concert artist and master teacher

Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera brings to his teaching and performing a unique synthesis of European and American traditions. Spera is one of the few guitarists in the world to perform on both six-string and ten-string guitars, as well as on theorbo. His wide-ranging repertoire includes the extraordinary music of the Franco-Andalusian composer Maurice Ohana. He has given lecture-recitals on the music of Ohana at different institutions and festivals, including the Mediterranean Guitar Festival, Arizona State University, Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of Surrey for the launch of the International Guitar Research Centre. His CD of Ohana’s complete works for solo guitar (Soundset Recordings), presenting the world première recording of Estelas, was awarded the 5-stars “Disco del mese” review by Seicorde, the major Italian classical guitar magazine, and it was described as “un disco di altissimo valore.”

Shanahan RidgeMusical Hikes - The Pines of Boulder

Saturday, April 22, 9:30 – 11:30 AM   EARTH DAY!
Free and open to the public

Get a sneak peek of the music ahead of the concert, and learn amazing stuff about the Pines of Boulder with Open Space and Mountain Parks naturalist Dave Sutherland. We’ll use the music as a starting point to explore our local ponderosa pines: we'll look for forest animals, find spectacular spring wildflowers, and learn how fire and pine beetles shape the lives of trees. Meet at the Lehigh Street entrance to Shanahan Ridge (map search 1903 Lehigh in Boulder, where Lehigh and Lafayette Streets intersect).

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