Boulder Philharmonic reveals 2012-13 season

Sarah Chang, Cirque de la Symphonie on tap

Peter Alexander | Boulder Weekly

The Boulder Philharmonic will welcome back violinist Sarah Chang and the acrobatic Cirque de la Symphonie, present a tribute to Louis Armstrong, and feature Boulder composer Jeffrey Nytch as part of their 2012–13 season.

The season of seven concert programs running September through April was announced earlier this month. Included are three more or less standard orchestral programs, each offering a soloist playing a concerto, as well as a choral concert with the Brahms Requiem and the traditional Nutcracker performances with Boulder Ballet for the holiday season.

What’s not present in 2012-13 is the kind of expectation-shattering program that the orchestra has promoted in recent seasons. Conductor Michael Butterman admits that, saying “There’s nothing like the concert we just did earlier this month where fully half of the program is either world premiers or something completely different,” including a piece featuring beatboxing with orchestra.

“We do however have a mix of pieces, and each of the concerts has something about it that I’m looking forward to.”

Butterman says he is especially excited about the January concert, with Chang playing the Violin Concerto of Samuel Barber and the orchestra performing Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony.

“The big things for me are probably the chance to work with Sarah and to play some Bruckner—I have not actually conducted this symphony ever before, so I’m looking forward to that,” he says. “And the Brahms Requiem I’ve done a number of times, but it’s one of those pieces that never fails to move me very, very deeply.”

Paired with the Brahms in February will be a relatively new piece by American composer Richard Danielpour, “A Woman’s Life,” based on the poetry of Maya Angelou and featuring soprano Angela Brown.

“Its poems take you through the stages of life from childhood through old age, and are a reflection on life’s journey, through the eyes of an African-American woman,” Butterman says.

Another newer piece will be Cantus Arcticus by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, part of the season’s final concert in April.

“I like the chance to do the Ruatavaara, which I’ve heard in concert but never conducted,” Butterman says. “It just strikes me as a really wonderfully atmospheric work that has recorded bird song and a sort of hypnotic calmness about it.”

If you did not see the previous Boulder performance of Cirque de la Symphonie, that March performance will combine circus-like acrobatics with orchestral music.

“That will be our wide-spectrum audience appeal classical concert,” Butterman says. “What’s great about it is that it’s a concert that anybody can appreciate, no matter what their experience previously, but at the same time they’re hearing legitimate staples from the orchestral repertoire.”

The season opens Sept. 15 with Acclamations by Nytch, on a program that also includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with pianist Christopher Taylor. Other programs during the fall will be the Tribute to Louis Armstrong with trumpeter/singer Byron Stripling in October,and the Nutcracker performances in November. January sees the concert with Sarah Chang; the Danielpour and Brahms choral works will be presented in February; Cirque de la Symphnie returns in March; and the season ends in April with Jennifer Koh playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto on a program with orchestral works familiar and unfamiliar.

Ticket information and full program details for the entire season are available on the orchestra’s Web page, at