Now in its 19th season, Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) continues the tradition of presenting bold new approaches to music that is as exceptional as the picturesque mountain setting of Crested Butte, Colorado. “Over a seven-week period, we will be introducing two new mini-festivals and inspiring artists who are transforming their arts and offering captivating events, educational programs for all ages and more. The 2015 season will engage, enthrall and leave audiences asking, ‘What’s next?’” says CBMF Director Alexander Scheirle.
Mini-Festivals - Four Genres
In 2015, Crested Butte Music Festival (June 25 – Aug. 9) presents four “mini” festivals: TIME SPANS, One World In Paradise, Opera In Paradise and Gypsy Jazz In Paradise.
TIME SPANS (June 25-28) a new contemporary music event, is presented in partnership with the Earle Brown Music Foundation and launches the Crested Butte Music Festival season earlier than ever before. Created in the spirit of the late American composer Earle Brown, TIME SPANS brings together some of the most gifted composers and musicians of today, including Talea Ensemble and JACK Quartet performing five concerts featuring the works of composers Zosha Di Castri, David Adamcyk, Oscar Bettison, Anthony Cheung and Sean Shepherd.
“The programming will concentrate on music that was largely written and premiered within the last five years. It is our goal to focus on the musical thinking of our time,” explains Thomas Fichter, artistic director for TIME SPANS and executive director of the Earle Brown Music Foundation.
Two Towns…One World In Paradise (July 3-4) brings together the towns of Mt. Crested Butte and Crested Butte, located only 3 miles apart, for a two-day celebration over July 4th weekend. This mini-festival is all about celebrating the independent spirit of America, the two towns and four emerging bands: Leftover Cuties, Eufórquestra, The Suffers, and The Family Crest. All One World performances are free and held in collaboration with the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce and the towns of Mt. Crested Butte and Crested Butte. One World festivities officially kick off a few days earlier with Swallow Hill Music Kids Camp, June 29 – July 2, for kids ages 7-17. Participants receive instruction on vocals and a variety of traditional folk instruments.
Opera In Paradise (July 15-26), now it its fourth season, features some of the biggest names on the opera scene, along with top-tier emerging talent through its acclaimed training program, the Crested Butte Opera Studio (formerly known as the Marcello Giordanig Young Artist Program). Maestro David Stern begins his tenure as the Festival’s new music director of opera in a season that will feature a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale directed by Fenlon Lamb and starring bass Kevin Glavin in the title role (July 22, 23, 25 and 26). World-renowned tenor Barry Banks returns as artist-in-residence, presenting a Home Soirée concert of songs and arias, joined by his wife, mezzo-soprano Toby Banks on July 21, along with a master class for studio artists on July 20. Audiences also have opportunities to experience performances by the Opera Children’s Chorus and Opera Studio, including “Cabaret Bleu,” an evening of song with the Opera Studio artists and local baritone Ron Earle.
Gypsy Jazz In Paradise (Aug. 6 – 9) rings in its fifth year and celebrates the music of Django Reinhardt, one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century. This mini-festival has been expanded to four days to feature not only a stellar line-up of today’s most gifted gypsy jazz musicians but also a new Frank Vignola Guitar Camp, in which participants will work with Vignola and other accomplished musicians during workshops, performances and late-night jam sessions. The opening night of Gypsy Jazz In Paradise features a concert by Ben Powell, Olli Soikkeli, Brian Netzley, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. A Home Soirée with Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo follows on Aug. 7. Cyrille Aimée, one of the few female gypsy jazz performers, performs with her band on Aug. 8. The always popular Gypsy Jazz In Paradise brunch and concert wraps up the entire Crested Butte Music Festival on Aug. 9 with Ben Powell and Brian Netzley in “A Tribute To Stéphane Grappelli.”
On July 9, CBMF’s Festival Symphony Orchestra, composed of 53 musicians from all over the country and conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch, will accompany violinist Charles Yang for an evening of exciting and surprising music by Richard Wagner, Leoš Janáček and Erich Korngold during “Off The Record.” On July 12, the powerful works of Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov will be heard during “From Russia With Love,” which features the award-winning, Russian pianist Igor Kamenz. This special evening also includes Russian-inspired cocktails and dinner.
CBMF’s annual Celebration Gala, “From Broadway to Hollywood: A Tribute to Rodgers & Hammerstein” is on July 18. The Festival Symphony will perform music from “The King And I”, “Oklahoma”, “Carousel” and more, accompanied by scenes from these memorable films. Signature cocktails, gourmet dinner service and live and silent auctions are included.
Always a favorite part of CBMF’s annual calendar, the Home Soirées offer intimate concerts and casual socializing over wine and appetizers in some of the valley’s most exquisite mountain homes. This year’s concerts take place on Tuesday evenings: violinist Charles Yang (July 7), pianist Igor Kamenz (July 14), tenor Barry Banks (July 21), American String Quartet (July 28), chanteuse/songwriter Jessica Fichot (Aug. 4) and guitarist extraordinaire Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo (August 7). For the first time, a Chamber Music & Dessert Home Soirée will be held in nearby Gunnison on July 2, featuring Maia Jasper, violin, Alexander Scheirle, cello, and Terry Bonney, piano.
“Emotions: Piano Trio” kicks off a series of chamber concerts on July 1 featuring Maia Jasper, violin, Alexander Scheirle, cello, and Terry Bonney, piano.
New this year is Casual Classics (July 11 and 24), featuring talented artists from the Festival Symphony Orchestra in smaller ensembles. Unconventional programs in an informal setting, Casual Classics are 60 minutes of true inspiration, emotion and pure joy.
On August 1, take a trip with the American String Quartet, one of America's foremost quartets, as they perform Antonín Dvořák’s “String Quartet F Major No. 12” (nicknamed “American Quartet” and composed after his 1893 visit to America) accompanied by visuals of Crested Butte during the time the piece was composed.
A highlight of this year’s free Divine Family Young People’s Concert is Trout Fishing In America, the longstanding and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet (July 11). The duo has earned four Grammy nominations and recently released the CD “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.” Come early and enjoy activities with The Trailhead Children’s Museum, face painting and more.
The Opera Children’s Chorus, a three-week, tuition free program designed for children ages 7 to 17, presents a concert of choral favorites on July 15 and “Getting To Know The Sound Of Music” on July 25, a children’s version of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
Schedule, Tickets & More
To view the entire 2015 Crested Butte Music Festival schedule and purchase tickets, visit www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.org. For additional information, call 970.349.0619.