LSM Newswire

Friday, July 4, 2014

Colorado’s Crested Butte Music Festival Kicks Off 2014 Season Bluegrass, opera, symphony, gypsy jazz, kids’ concerts & much more

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (June 30, 2014) – The 18th annual Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) kicked off yesterday and promises to be filled with surprises, new programs, new events, additional performances and a Celebration gala that requires the largest symphony orchestra that has ever been presented in the Gunnison-Crested Butte valley. There will be once-in-a-lifetime chances to enjoy more than 40 world-class performances in intimate venues and a beautiful mountain setting from June 29 – Aug. 10.

Three Mini-Festivals

CBMF’s schedule of approximately 45 events includes three mini-festivals within the larger festival: Bluegrass In Paradise, Opera In Paradise and Gypsy Jazz In Paradise.

Bluegrass In Paradise
The fifth annual Bluegrass In Paradise, June 30 – July 5, promises to be an all-out celebration of Americana. Denver’s Swallow Hill Music School will lead a top-notch bluegrass music experience on June 30 - July 3 for kids ages 7 – 17. In keeping with tradition, a full morning and afternoon of non-stop patriotic events will be held in Crested Butte on July 4 and wrap up with a free evening bluegrass performance and fireworks in Mt. Crested Butte. Yarn will take the stage joined by Drew Emmitt, who is hosting Bluegrass In Paradise for the fourth year in a row.

On July 5, the lawn of the ski area base will be transformed into a prime concert setting with award-winning Americana and bluegrass bands playing from 1 – 9 p.m., including The Black Lillies, The Dave Mayfield Parade, Yarn, Shannon Whitworth, and Drew Emmitt & The Paradise All-Star Band. Ticket holders can camp for free in Mt. Crested Butte from July 3 – 7 and take part in a free bluegrass workshop for adults on the morning of July 5. Visit for tickets, Kids Camp registration and camping reservations.

Opera In Paradise
During Opera In Paradise, opera lovers can feast on 14 performances, master classes, free talks and more from July 11 – 27. For the first time, CBMF will present two main-stage operas: Giacomo Puccini’s exquisite one-act opera Suor Angelica on July 12 and 13 and Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto on July 23, 25 and 27. Many of the cast members perform at the Metropolitan Opera.

Immediately prior on July 11, at the free talk “Everything You Wanted To Know About Puccini and Verdi But Were Afraid To Ask,” Maestro Hermann Bäumer, Directors Joshua Borths and Beth Greenberg and CBMF Director of Artistic Administration Mark Moorman will provide an entertaining insider view.

Between the performances of Suor Angelica and Rigoletto, two Home Soirées are planned so opera fans can experience performances in intimate mountain home settings and enjoy an array of wines and appetizers. On July 15, artist-in-residence Barry Banks will perform a concert of beloved arias and duets joined by his wife, the talented mezzo-soprano Toby Newman and pianist Lynn Baker. On July 21, stars from the Rigoletto cast present great moments from opera.

More than 400 young singers from across the country auditioned for 13 coveted spots in CBMF’s acclaimed Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program. The up-and-coming opera stars will perform in three public appearances, in addition to their work with the main-stage operas. On June 29, the young artists kicked off CBMF with Cabaret Bleu, an adventurous evening of American songs performed with guest baritone Ron Earl. On July 3, they will present scenes from great operas across four centuries. The Young Artist Opera Gala on July 17 features arias and ensembles performed with the Festival Symphony Orchestra and hosted by artist-in-residence Barry Banks, who will lead a master class on July 14 that is open to the public.

Now in its fifth year, the Opera Children’s Chorus joins in the production of Puccini's Suor Angelica and presents two special programs: a concert of opera and concert music on July 16 and a children's version of Oklahoma on July 26.

Gypsy Jazz In Paradise
Now in its fourth year, Gypsy Jazz In Paradise celebrates one of the most passionate, up-
tempo styles of jazz today. The mini-festival wraps up the larger six-week festival and is hosted by
virtuoso violinist Ben Powell on Aug. 8 – 10.

The weekend kicks off on Aug. 8 in a private mountain home with guitarists extraordinaire Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. At a workshop led by Powell on the afternoon of Aug. 9, attendees will explore improvisational jazz concepts with all instruments welcome (bass, guitars, mandolins and lead instruments).

Krunoslav “Kruno” Spisic and his band perform on Saturday night, and back by popular demand for the fourth year is brunch on Aug. 10. Concert-goers can take in spectacular panoramic views, savor a gourmet meal, and enjoy a swinging, foot-tapping performance by Ben Powell and The Black Market Trust at Ten Peaks, near the top of the Gold Link Lift on Crested Butte Mountain Resort. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit

Symphony & Chamber
As a prelude to the Festival Symphony Orchestra’s first performance, returning CBMF Music Director Benjamin Wallfisch will present a free talk “Everything You Wanted To Know About Tchaikovsky But Where Afraid To Ask” on July 7. On July 10 at “From Russia With Love,” the Festival Symphony Orchestra and guest pianist Alexander Schimpf perform beloved works by Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky outdoors at the covered Big Mine Ice Arena, with vodka cocktails and Russian-inspired hors d’oeuvres served.

Step back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood at a red-carpet event on July 19 at Big Mine Ice Arena, when the orchestra brings to life the magic of classic films. The theme for this annual gala is Gotta Dance and features some of Hollywood’s most famous dance scenes on the big screen, signature cocktails, dinner and auctions.

This season’s special instrument, the bayan, is in the accordion family and has significant cultural ties to Crested Butte’s history. A free talk “The Bayan From Yesterday to Today In Crested Butte” and demonstration by Ukrainian-born Alexander Hrustevich is scheduled for July 23. On July 26, Hrustevich joins the orchestra for an evening of music that is “Off the Record.”

Another extremely unique event is “Extreme Vivaldi” on Aug. 1 in collaboration with local filmmaker Pavol Kasala. There will be time for appetizers and socializing before a performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons featuring violinist Paul Huang and members of the orchestra accompanied by beautiful images of Crested Butte throughout the year.

Also not to be missed is Emotions: Piano Trio on July 6, an evening of beautiful music by Eastern European composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák at historic Union Congregational Church. The musicians coming together to form the trio include violinist Maia Jasper, cellist Alexander Scheirle and pianist Terry Bonney.

Special Programs
Boston Brass, one of the best brass ensembles in the world, presents a patriotic concert on July 4 immediately after Crested Butte’s signature parade.  Boston Brass will arrive early to offer an in-depth camp for brass players at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison.

Set in of some of the most beautiful homes in the Gunnison Valley, Home Soirées are a wonderful way to socialize, enjoy wine and appetizers, and experience world-class music in an intimate setting. The lineup includes pianist Alexander Schimpf on July 8, tenor Barry Banks on July 15, festival opera singers on July 21, bayan musician Alexander Hrustevich on July 29, American String Quartet on Aug. 5 and Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo on Aug. 8.

Designed for ages 2 – 10, Divine Family Young People’s Concerts are free for families and are offered on four Saturdays at 11 a.m.: Barry G on July 12, Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band on July 19, the children’s version of Oklahoma on July 26, and Billy Jonas on Aug. 2.

Schedule & Tickets
For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit or call (970) 349-0619.

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