We are thrilled to announce Boulder Symphony’s 2020-2021 season exploring how Dreams inspire us, Light guides us, Passion excites us, Empire drives us, Curiosity stirs us, and Heart unites us.

Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts and repertoire are subject to change, or may be held virtually as current safety regulations require.

[Purchase a season subscription for $150 per person to help support Boulder Symphony during this pandemic. Concert dates/times to be announced for this season.]

We are going bigger than ever to build our New World (in light of the pandemic) with beloved classics: Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7, alongside new discoveries in the music of Florence Price, Annie Booth, Tõnu Kõrvits and more. Additionally, our popular movie concerts will make a bold return featuring sci-fi favorites! Overall, we highlight the resilient and supportive community that Boulder is and will be in the future. In this spirit, we are excited to preview the upcoming season.


The Symphony launches the opening concert titled “Dream”, centered around the American Symphonies of Antonín Dvořák and Florence Price. Bohemian composer Dvořák wrote his great “New World” Symphony when he came to America. It is based on American themes and echoes his belief that the future of American music and that of the world would lie at the heart of society’s most oppressed people. He incorporated African American spirituals and Native American rhythms and melodies to create his “New World” Symphony. Composer Florence Price wrote her Symphony in E minor forty years after Dvořák composed his “New World” Symphony, which she was greatly influenced by. Along with William Dawson and William Grant Still, Florence Price brought spirituals and the blues into the symphonic picture. She was met with a lot of resistance, but always was looking forward to the future. Price envisioned a society where equality could be achieved, this was the promise of America and the world to her.


Our popular movie concerts are back for the Sci/Fi series! With music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Beetlejuice, Back To The Future, Mad Max, Psycho, Bladerunner and more, it’s not to be missed. There will be trivia throughout the night, partnerships with local theater groups, and the orchestra will dress up as their favorite sci-fi characters!


As we build our New World this season, we examine the exciting notion of a domain in the Empire concert. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, known as the “Emperor” Concerto turns the piano concerto upside down from the beginning with bold chords. This lush work feels like it could have been written in the Romantic era. It’s unclear if a French soldier deemed the work the “Emperor” of Piano Concertos or if the subtitle was added in by a publisher at a later date to sell copies. Either way, the apt name stuck. As we celebrate Beethoven’s empire, we usher in the young American composer Matthew Brown’s new symphonic work The Course of Empire on the same program. Taking inspiration from 1800s painter Thomas Cole, this five movement work condenses the epic story of an empire into a 30-minute piece.


The Light concert will celebrate a different kind of light than the UFO lights in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Here, we turn to the presentation of music from Nordic countries. We will perform the great Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7, and Tõnu Kõrvits’ Hymn to the Nordic Lights. Sibelius’ “Symphonic Fantasy” is a romantic one movement work evoking different colors. Hymn to the Nordic Lights features an equally fantastic array of colors and is the inspiration behind calling this concert “Light”. Listeners will surely enjoy the lush orchestral themes of this master orchestrator.


The Boulder Symphony continues its dedication to programming all voices at our Voice concert. The concert will begin with American composer Amy Beach’s fantastic “Gaelic” Symphony, and then turns to the music of Fanny Mendelssohn. With time, we’ve realized that Fanny Mendelssohn was probably a better composer than her brother. Her extensive creative output was only constrained by the limits placed on female composers at the time. The final work on the program features the music of renowned jazz musician Annie Booth. Her music yearns for the orchestra, and Boulder Symphony is thrilled to perform her music on the symphonic stage for the first time as she expands her symphonic box.


Our Passion concert will sweep up listeners in the ecstatic and virtuosic musical worlds of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jennifer Higdon. By programming Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto, we celebrate the thrilling experience of watching a live performance. Pianist-composer Rachmaninoff wrote these incredibly challenging compositions for himself. His hands were larger than just about any other pianist and therefore his works pose a challenge for performers today, but pianist Bryan Wallick is up to the task. Gold medalist of the Horowitz Competition, local pianist Bryan Wallick will join the Boulder Symphony for an exciting performance. We will then show off the virtuosity of the orchestra with Higdon’s work, which incorporates solos for every orchestra member. It takes idiosyncratic technical styles to the next level and rings true as a celebration of the symphony orchestra in 2021.


A highlight is the return of our beloved Curiosity series, which shares the joyful experience of the symphony with kids. We will bring in youth symphonies and El Sistema groups to join the orchestra for interactive one hour concerts. These concerts will feature plays, stories, and lessons within concerts resulting in fun experiences brimming with audience participation. Special events include instrumental petting zoos and a costume contest around Halloween. The Curiosity Series is a reflection of how we want everyone to experience the symphony, and emphasizes our continual dedication to our Boulder community.


Our Heart concert is at the center of our 2020-2021 season as we build a New World. The concert is focused around dance, celebration, and people coming together. The concert features dances from Leonard Bernstein’s greatest work Westside Story, Tangos by Piazzola, Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, and excerpts from Manuel de Falla’s ballet The Three-Cornered Hat. This season finale will tug on our heart strings and bring us all together as a community in our New World.

It is our hope that once these difficult times pass, we can come out renewed to be the change that we want to see in the world. Through music, we realize that we are all in this together.

Purchase a season subscription for $150 per person to help support Boulder Symphony during this pandemic.

Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts and repertoire are subject to change, or may be held virtually as current safety regulations require.