Winter festival highlights chamber, classical music


Stanley Concert Hall

The Estes Park Music Festival has once again assembled a Winter Series season of top talent making it a popular destination for the best music and the finest versatile entertainment from November to May. The program returns to its traditional home at the Stanley Hotel in 2016-17 after a year of construction on the property. Nothing compares to experiencing the sound of music filling the classically designed and acoustically ideal Stanley Concert Hall. The performances focus on chamber, classical and international music programs.

The season kicks off, Nov. 6, with the festival favorites, the Cantabile Singers. The group is returning for its 16th season.

The Cantabile Singers is a Boulder-based, auditioned, 40-member choral ensemble dedicated to performing a wide range of music, including classical, jazz, gospel, folk music from many lands and international works. Its members are volunteers from a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and musical experience, and include trained musicians as well as skilled amateurs.

The Paul Shinn Trio returns to the festival, Nov. 13, with a performacne in the Stanley Hotel MacGregor Room. Consisting of bassist Dominique Sanders, drummer Ryan Lee and pianist Paul Shinn, the trio was formed in the summer of 2013. Shinn was born in Germany and grew up in Kansas City. Along with playing in several different bands, Shinn is an accomplished pianist, having been chosen as a semifinalist to attend the 2010 Bösendorfer Solo Jazz Piano Competition at the Montreux Jazz  Festival in Switzerland as well as being a semifinalist in the 2016 UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition in South Africa. Paul’s sole goal as a performer is to create a musical environment that will connect with an audience and transmit expressions of joy that cannot be conveyed in any other way.

The final November performance, Nov. 20, is Jerilyn Jorgensen and Cullan Bryant on piano and violin in the Stanley Hotel Music Room.


Inside the concert hall at The Stanley Hotel

Michael Davis, featuring a program of violin and piano, performs at the festival, Dec. 4. Davis has performed with some of the greatest artists of the time, representing multiple generations and genres. He has shared the classical stage with such luminaries as Yo-yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Midori, Isaac Stern,  Rudolf Serkin and Yefim Bronfman. Along with his tenure as Concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra, Davis has also been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Elise Campbell presents a flute and vocal performance, Dec. 11, and the Estes Park Singers chorus performs its annual free concert, Dec. 18

The Boulder Bassoon Quartet performs at the Stanley, Jan. 22, as part of the festival season. Since 2006, the quartet has impressed a wide audience through substantive, engaging performances. At home in a variety of venues, it is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for the bassoon quartet in a variety of genres through new arrangements and original compositions.

The Trio Cordilleras performance, Jan. 29, features spirited tango and music from Spain and Latin America. The group includes Alejandro Cremaschi, a pianist born in Mendoza, Argentina; Elizabeth Kipper, a violinist who made her solo debut at 17 at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony; and Thomas Heinrich, cellist and a graduate of Eastman and the Cleveland Institute of Music who made his solo debut with the Vermont Symphony at 16. The Trio has has premiered works from composers of the Americas and Spain; they regularly perform in Colorado.

Local Celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow plays the festival, Feb. 12. The acclaimed Celtic fingerstyle guitarist is a virtuoso musician, a warm and accessible performer, and a world-class storyteller.  His repertoire is composed of a synthesis of traditional music from the British Isles and his own original Celtic-inspired compositions. Barlow’s music transports the listener across time on an imaginary journey to a rustic Irish fishing village or the misty Scottish Highlands or an enchanted English forest. In concert, Barlow brings the songs alive by sharing the history, legend and humor behind the music. His expressive arrangements have been described as “music to soothe the soul, warm the heart, and lift the spirit.”

New Wizard Oil Combination, a men’s a cappella  group, performs, Feb. 26. The “Wizards” have a unique vocal jazz and rock style that is many things—harmonious, powerful, funny and emotional—all wrapped up into an entertaining evening of music. Its spontaneous nature, entertaining personalities, and evolving musical style makes each performance different, which is why audiences never tire of them. This entertaining 15-man a cappella group is well known around the Denver–Boulder area where it has been performing to enthusiastic audiences for more than 40 years.

The festival welcomes Julia Kruger, Victor Bunin and Natalia Tchaikovsky for performances on solo and four hands piano.

Peggy Lyon and Gregory Dufford perform on piano and clarinet, March 19.

Colorado’s premier baroque choir Seicento Baroque Ensemble performs, March 26. The group specializes in the historically-informed performances of 17th and 18th century choral music.

Another returning festival favorite, Sandra Wong, returns to the Stanley on April 2 with a performance featuring fiddle, piano, double bass and percussion. Wong plays enchanting music described as “virtuosic, honest, sensuous, inviting, delicate and intense.”

Known for their artistic sensitivity and exuberant stage presence, the award-winning Antero Winds, which performs at the festival on April 9, have been attracting attention worldwide as a talented and engaging young international woodwind quintet. The distinct backgrounds, personalities, and styles of the quintet’s members combine to create the Antero Winds’ signature blend and performance style.

Fred and Audrey Peterbark, on piano and vocal, perform on April 20, and the Estes Valley Chamber Singers return, April 30. On May 7, Award-winning pianists Miroslava and David McArthur perform a four hands piano concert.

Find a complete schedule of concerts, held most Sunday’s through April, online.

Tickets are on sale. Single tickets are $10 each; children and students are admitted at no charge. Blocks of 10 tickets that never expire can be purchased for $80, in advance at Hobert Office Services, 1140-A Manford Ave. in Estes Park, or at the door on the day of the concert.

The Stanley Hotel is located at 333 E. Wonderview Ave. in Estes Park. Visit for more information and complete schedule.

Originally published int he November 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly

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