Friday, September 14, 2007
- Saturday, September 15, 2007, 7:30 p.m.
- Steamboat Christian Center, 821 Dougherty Rd, Steamboat Springs
/ $10 - $20
¤ Steamboat Springs Orchestra 2007-08 season (all shows are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Steamboat Christian Center)
¤ Opening Concert, Sept. 15 and 16
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
¤ Holiday Concert, Dec. 1 and 2
Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 1 from "Nutcracker"
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
¤ Spring Concert, April 5 and 6
Stravinsky: Suite from "Pulcinella"
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture - Fantasy
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnole
John Williams: The Cowboys Overture
¤ Season Finale, May 17 and 18
Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 2
Ernest Richardson (SSO music director): Concerto for Violin & Cello
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, "Italian"
Season concert tickets are $75
Individual concerts are $20 for adults and $10 for children
Steamboat Springs For the first concert of its first full season, the Steamboat Springs Orchestra will rehearse only four times.
With weighty repertoire from Beethoven and Mozart on the program, such a short preparation period could seem like artistic suicide.
But to orchestra executive director and principal bassoonist John Fairlie, it's a testament to the professional caliber of an ensemble that has set its sights high.
"Two years ago this was a community orchestra of volunteers, and the orchestra made the decision to become a professional ensemble," he said. Now, Fairlie estimates that two-thirds of the orchestra's 33 members will have performed the season-opening pieces before, and every single one will know their parts cold.
The concerts, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, will feature Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and Mozart's Symphony No. 41, the "Jupiter" symphony.
The pieces - Beethoven's second movement characteristic of his at times bombastic heartbreak, Mozart's entire symphony an exercise in precision - aren't the kind that can be learned quickly.
"These are full-fledged orchestra programs, they're not lightweight programming," Fairlie said of the season's four concerts, which include works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky and a hefty dose of Tchaikovsky.
"There's a lot of music that's being played this year that's never been attempted in this area before," he said, adding that the programs are designed to be accessible.
What sets the Steamboat orchestra apart from classical music programs in resort towns such as Aspen or Beaver Creek, director of marketing Jody Patten said, is that it is still at heart a community organization.
"Steamboat Springs : not only produces more Olympic skiers than any other resort in America, it also has the only professional orchestra made up of nearly all local talent," Patten wrote in a press release. The orchestra will bring in 10 musicians from the Front Range, all with some connection to Steamboat Springs, to fill out the required instrumentation.
Fairlie attributes some of the orchestra's growth to the arrival of musicians with significant professional experience, including himself and founding Strings in the Mountains cellist John Sant'Ambrogio.
He hopes to keep that stock of talent growing with a little help from the Yampa Valley, by "using the fact that we're such a wonderful destination" to attract musicians who might be ready to retire from the rigors of a major metropolitan orchestra.
The eventual goal is to become one of the nation's top chamber orchestras.
"That's where we're looking artistically to move toward, and we've made great strides toward that," Fairlie said.