Steamboat Springs The snow melts away from the bottom of the ski mountain and the white Strings in the Mountains tent takes its place. The Strings in the Mountains Festival opens in June and hosts a full calendar of music through August.
Steamboat's own festival is the most diverse in a state famous for its summer music festivals. It features everything from classical to world music acts, jazz, bluegrass and children's concerts.
"It's an opportunity to hear some of the finest musicians in the country in a really fun setting," Strings executive director Betse Grassby said.
All concerts are held in a 550-seat, tensile fabric tent with walls that roll up when the summer evenings are warm.
"All the musicians love it," Grassby said. "They all comment on the energy in that tent."
This year's festival opens with a traditional Irish concert by The Wayfarers on June 6. The Wayfarers kick off the Different Tempo series presented on Friday nights throughout the summer. The Different Tempo series is a chance for audience members to hear a wide variety of musical genres outside of the classical realm. This year, the Different Tempo series will include concerts by Roy Rogers and Norton Buffalo on June 13, Brent Rowan and Friends on July 3, George Winston on July 14, the Tim O'Brien Band on July 25, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul on Aug. 1, T.S. Monk Sextet on Aug. 8 and Asleep at the Wheel on Aug. 15.
The festival also features a weekly free concert at the Yampa River Botanical Park called "Music on the Green" every Thursday during the lunch hour.
But the series that puts Strings on the map as a music festival is the Chamber Music Series in which the best classical musicians in the world, ready to get out of their respective cities for the summer, come to play to an intimate, mountain town audience.
The Chamber Music Series opens with the Tokyo String Quartet on June 28 with a program of Mozart and Mendelssohn. The concert is followed by a dessert reception, giving audience members a chance to meet the musicians.
Throughout the six-week chamber music season, the Strings audience will hear performances by members of the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
A season pass for Strings costs $389 for 24 concerts. A classical pass for the Chamber Music series is $220 for 14 concerts.
Tickets can be purchased by phone or with a credit card by calling (970) 879-5056. Tickets are also available at the box office from 9 a.m. through concert time. Ticket requests can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or print an order form from their Web site: www.stringsinthemountains.org.