Past Concerts

Rony Barrak and ShodekehSaturday, March 24 - 7:30 PM at Macky Auditorium, CU Campus
Sunday, March 25 - 3 PM at Lakewood Cultural Center

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, Music Director

Academic Festival Overture  Listen
BARRAK:  Boulder Sensations (World Premiere)
FULTON:  Deadlock (World Premiere)
Symphony No. 7  Listen



Lebanese percussionist Rony Barrak and beatboxer/vocal percussionist Shodekeh have wowed audiences at Boulder’s annual Conference on World Affairs. They’ll be featured in two world premieres, one written by Rony Barrak to honor Boulder and the second by Ruby Fulton to feature Shodekeh’s unique vocal talents. The pulses of the evening culminate in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, a work Liszt dubbed “The Apotheosis of Rhythm.”

Buy Tickets

For tickets to the Sunday, March 25 performance in Lakewood only, click here.

Cafe Phil
Introducing CAFÉ PHIL at the Dairy Center for the Arts

A FREE “open door rehearsal” evening with the Boulder Philharmonic
Boulder’s newest hang-out space for the culturally inclined
Thursday, March 22, 7:30-10 PM
Click for details

FREE Musical Insights on March 24:

6:30 PM - Pre-Concert Talk featuring Ruby Fulton, Shodekeh, Rony Barrak and others, Macky Auditorium

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Rony Barrak
Born in Lebanon in 1971, Rony Barrak held his "Darbouka" (Middle Eastern tabla) at the tender age of four and began playing it intuitively. Led by early self-confidence, he made his first TV performance at the age of seven and then proceeded to improve his skills through school and family performances. At 17, Rony distinguished himself in the world of music by winning the Gold Medal in a competition on LBCI television for talented young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East. This achievement encouraged him to unleash the "Darbouka" from the chains of its long-standing traditional context and explore its full potential. He moved to London in 1990 where he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later taught Middle Eastern Percussion at Trinity College of Music. He also performed on stage with other musicians, embracing a wide variety of styles including classical music, jazz, and Latin rhythms.

In the course of his career, Rony became involved through performing, touring and recording with great figures such as Sarah Brightman, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Patrick Leonard, Vanessa Mae, Bond, Jaz Coleman, Richard Galliano,  Fairuz, Ziad Rahbani, Abboud Abdel Aal, Simon Shaheen, Talvin Singh, Richard Galliano, Art Lande, Nelson Rangel, Alex Acuna, Ibraham Loberial, Justo Almario, Oscar Castro-Neves, Ron Blake, Cyrus Chestnut, Antonio Forcione, Eduardo Niebla, Ara Gevorgian, Arnie Roth, etc.

Blending eastern and western flavors, Rony became a versatile percussionist. In addition to being one of the world's leading darbouka players, he assembled a percussion set that included djembes, cajon, bongos, udu, clay pot, cymbals, and parts of a drum kit. However, classical music remains Rony's first love and provides the basic framework, technique, and musical grammar for most of his work. In this capacity, he has performed as a soloist and recorded with several orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Orchestra and choir, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and more.

In 2009 he performed a world premiere of his composition, "Beirut Sensations," with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Butterman. He has participated in various workshops and conferences like the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado, to which he has been invited yearly since 2003. Visit his website at

(Pronunciation: Sho-Dah-Kay): An African male name of Nigerian Descent. Interchangeable Noun, Verb, & Adjective. (A.) A Warrior. (B.) One who fights for what he believes in.

Shodekeh Talifero is a professional beatboxer & vocal percussionist currently working in the Baltimore, MD area & beyond. Boldly taking his craft wherever the passion for music brings him, he works in a number of artistic fields for dance, music, & the visual arts. By channeling the concepts of various instruments and soundscapes, he vocalizes many dynamic emulations of everything from drum sets, turntables, and ocean waves, to sleigh bells. These abilities & his keen musical adaptability have brought him far and wide across many genres and artistic traditions within a very short period of time, which has also allowed him to repeatedly become the first Beat Boxer/Vocal Percussionist to serve in array of creative settings.

Shodekeh is the founding director of "Embody, A Music Series of The Vocal Arts," which strives for artistic and cultural unity through the many vocal traditions of the world from Opera, Throat Singing, to Beat Boxing, which will also evolve into a larger festival in 2012. He currently serves as Faculty/Musical Accompanist at Towson University's Department of Dance and The American Dance Festival at Duke University. Over the years Shodekeh has completed a number of high level music commissions such as opening for President Bill Clinton at a Maryland State Reception with The Coppin State University Choir, "Witness" with VT Dance @ The Kennedy Center, "Fuse Muse" with percussionists Brian Prechtl & Barry Dove of The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, "The Kandinsky Beatdown" at Virginia Tech University, "The Urbanite Project 2009" with Urbanite Magazine, The Conference on World Affairs at The University of Colorado (2008-2010), and "Transformations: New Directions in Black Art," a 2009 conference of African American Art presented by The Maryland Institute College of Art & Harvard University.

Ruby Fulton
Baltimore-based composer Ruby Fulton (b. 1981) grew up in Northwest Iowa. Along with composer George Lam, she is co-director of Rhymes With Opera, a company dedicated to bringing new opera to unconventional spaces. Her music has been played recently by the Holland Symfonia, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, orkest de ereprijs, Volti, REDSHIFT, the quux duo, and musicians from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA and the A*Devantgarde Festival in Munich.

She has received recognition from the Musik Centrum Nederland (2010 Gaudeamus Prize Nomination), ASCAP (2009 Morton Gould Young Composers Award), Meet the Composer and the League of American Orchestras (Music Alive: New Partnerships), and the American Composers Forum (2006 Encore Grant with the West End String Quartet); and has been in residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (with composer David Lang) and Yaddo.  Upcoming projects include collaborations with the Netherlands band Ensemble Klang, the 2011 Boston University Tanglewood Institute Wind Ensemble, and Newspeak.

She has studied with composers Julia Wolfe, Christopher Theofanidis, Moritz Eggert, Elinor Armer, Dan Becker, Charles Fussell, Tison Street and Martin Amlin. She holds degrees from the Peabody Institute (DMA, 2009), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM, 2005), and Boston University (BMus, 2003). Visit her website at