Published: Aug. 26, 2019 By

Director of Orchestral Studies, Gary LewisWith the summer drawing to a close, students and faculty, new and familiar, excitedly return to campus to jumpstart the 2019-20 academic year. With the ongoing expansion of Imig Music Building and all the exciting performances and events coming up this semester, the College of Music eagerly welcomes back its talented host of musicians. 

Kicking off the beloved Faculty Tuesdays performance series, professors Harumi Rhodes, Hsiao-Ling Lin, David Requiro and Jennifer Hayghe will perform works by Johannes Brahms and Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky tomorrow night in Grusin Music Hall. Celebrating friendship and their collective love of music, all four instructors are delighted to be a part of the opening night.

“The first week of school is such an exciting time,” Rhodes notes. “It’s an opportunity to make a fresh start, to meet new people, to form new connections. The opening phrases of the Brahms A-Major Sonata for Violin and Piano are a beautiful invitation to embrace this sentiment—I can’t wait to share this music with my CU friends, colleagues and students.” 

Alongside guest recitals and faculty performances, the American Music Research Center will present one of the most anticipated concerts of the semester, featuring special guests No-No Boy. Emilia Halvorsen and Nashville-born songwriter Julian Saporiti have culminated years of their doctoral research at Brown University into this immersive multimedia concert, combining original folk songs, storytelling and projected archival images. They hope to bring the stories of World War II Japanese internment camp survivors and other Asian American experiences to a broader audience.

While having the opportunity to learn from the multitude of public talks hosted by renowned guest speakers, students will also be able to dive back into hands-on learning opportunities. 

Director of Orchestral Studies Gary Lewis will direct the first symphony orchestra concert of the semester on Sept. 24. The program will consist of Hector Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival” and “Symphonie Fantastique,” along with master’s student Sabina Balsamo’s solo performances of the works of Richard Strauss. 

“The ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ by Berlioz is one of the great masterworks and always an audience favorite,” Lewis explains. “It’s going to be a fantastic experience for our students to be able to perform it.”

Looking forward to beginning rehearsals with the students, Lewis is also excited for the College of Music to be hosting several principal musicians from the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra. “They are terrific teachers, musicians and individuals. They interact so well with the students as they share their wisdom. Students will be working with the orchestra in both sectional rehearsal and side-by-side rehearsal. It’s always such a great experience,” Lewis noted. This will be the fourth Cleveland Orchestra residency.

Finally, to wrap up the semester in festive style, Eklund Opera Program will present Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” returning to CU Boulder after it was first workshopped at CU NOW in 2016.

This academic year also holds a special significance, as the College of Music will celebrate its centennial beginning in January. With music and educational impacts 100 years in the making, the College of Music is planning a series of concerts, presentations and other events, culminating in the dedication of the new wing of Imig Music Building next fall. 

On top of the hundreds of free student and faculty performances hosted by the College of Music this year, a number of other musical performances will also be presented by CU Presents. For over eight decades, the Artist Series has brought the world’s finest musicians and performers to Boulder, and this 2019-20 season will kick off in early October with the Grammy-winning acoustic jazz trio Chick Corea Trilogy. Other renowned artists and performers on the series this year include pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, conductor-less string orchestra A Far Cry, Kronos Quartet, a cappella quintet Nobuntu and more. More information on the Artist Series and individual performances can be found at