Monthly Archives: July 2011

“I consider myself as a singer first, but something that really helped me come into my own is that there’s not a separation between me singing and me playing the guitar. The two fed off the other.” –Shawn Colvin

About Shawn:

3 Time Grammy Award Winner
8 Albums Released
2.5 Million Albums Sold
50-60 Shows Performed Yearly

Starting her career at the relatively late age of 33, Shawn Colvin has proven herself as a singer, songwriter and guitarist for over 20 years. She still tours nationally and internationally and has appeared in films, on television and the radio. Movie soundtracks featuring Shawn Colvin include Serendipity, Runaway Bride and The Emperor’s New Groove.
Shawn Colvin’s album, These Four Walls is a storyline of her life covering her childhood in South Dakota, the success of her first #1 song and her personal struggle as she turned 50. Public Radio Exchange’s special follows her writing and recording process in 2006 as Shawn writes her experiences in music. 

“Colvin’s breathy voice conveys the emotion, yearning, sadness, and even the occasional joy and hope behind the melodies.” -Amazon.com
As part of her summer 2011 tour, Shawn Colvin visits Steamboat Springs this Friday to perform at Strings Music Festival. For tickets call the box office at (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on July 18, 2011
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With NPR’s classical blog buzz of the week about the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet recording of composer Philip Glass, our very own Meridian Quartet’s “Modern Masterpieces” theme is well-timed.
Perhaps the most well-known working composer, Glass’ music consists of evolving rhythmic patterns and complex themes. His music tends to place more emphasis on highlighting the melody, rather than focusing on timing, as in traditional classical pieces. As a modern composer, his work is respected and generally well-appreciated.
Glass also strives to bridge many genres with his music, including cinema and fine art. His String Quartet Number 4, nick-named “Buczak,” commemorates Brian Buczak’s life as an artist. Buczak lost his life to AIDS, and Glass captures in music the many emotions we feel just after the loss of a loved one. The long chords, high-reaching notes and circular variations, all in minor modes, mimic the mourning cycle of denial, anger, bargaining and depression. The quartet ends by settling into the peaceful, major mode where after a long struggle we finally accept the loss. The Meridian Quartet will perform the first and third movements of the quartet at today’s Music on the Green performance.
Also included in “Modern Masterpieces” are compositions that push the boundary of “music.”  Pieces that explore realms of tonality and noises rather than melody and rhythm often give people the impression that the music is weird or unpleasant or not even music at all. Prospect Blog writer David Stubbs challenges people to think of John Cage’s “4:33” (also part of today’s program) as “sound art.”  This way, as we listen, we will bring a new set of cognitive schemes to the experience, rather than our prior expectation of how music should sound.  Thus modern classical music must be listened to in a different way than traditional classical music, just as we listen and enjoy jazz, rock, and rap differently.
Guardian Blog writer Alex Ross writes, “All music is an acquired taste; no music is everywhere beloved.” We hope that today’s concert will give you a little taste of modern music. You may find parts you love, you may find parts you hate, but hopefully you will take away another cognitive layer to add to your definition of music appreciation.
The Meridian Quartet
The Meridian Quartet will perform the next two Thursdays starting at 12:15pm at the Yampa River Botanic Park. The program on Thursday July 21 is “From Russia with Love,” featuring Russian composers Borodin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. On Thursday July 28, “How Does It Make You Feel?” presents emotional music from Mozart and Schubert, among others.
The Meridian Quartet is Strings Music Festival’s 2011 Young-Artists-in-Resident quartet. Founded in 2008 when the members were all Fellows in the New World Symphony, they have been with Strings for three seasons. The members are Anastasia Storer on violin, Claude Halter on violin, Karl Pedersen on viola and Anne Lee on cello.

Posted on July 14, 2011
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Strings Opening Week kicked off with three sold out concerts and over 4,000 people enjoying the show in the Strings Music Pavilion. Here are some of our favorite moments:

You know the concert is going to be good when the crowd gives a standing ovation before the band has even played a note. What a way to kick off Strings 24th season with Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis as opening night.

July 1 ~ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

July 5 ~ Peter Davison

We love when the kids get a chance to be on stage. Here they are with Peter Davison learning how to spin plates. 

July 6 ~ Donors Prelude

 All of our 2011 Donors enjoying their reception at the Strings Café tent outside the Pavilion. A huge “Thank You!” from all of us at Strings. Because of you it’s all possible!


A wild Opening Night Orchestra concert complete with Andrés’ flying hair, energetic bow strikes and applause that brought down the house.

July 8 ~ Opening Night Orchestra
July 9 ~ Dala

The Dala girls’ smiles alone were enough to light up the stage, not to mention their gorgeous melodic voices and talented guitar and piano playing.

Posted on July 12, 2011
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For the past eighteen years, Andrés Cárdenes has enriched Strings Music Festival with his expertise. As a Music Director for the festival, Cárdenes assembles seasons of music that tie a summer together with a cohesive theme, as well as presents distinct musical works that separate one season from the next.

Before arriving in Steamboat Springs for the summer, Cárdenes served as a judge for the International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow, Russia. Cárdenes is no stranger to the competition, winning Second Prize in 1982, and was handpicked as a judge for his qualifications as a musician and conductor and for his unbiased nature.

Cárdenes is recognized as a violinist, violist and conductor. To showcase all of his talents in one setting, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra was created, and Cárdenes spent 11 seasons conducting and playing. During his time there, he premiered 15 works and programmed pieces by well-known composers that hadn’t been performed in over 50 years.

Cárdenes will start off the season with Strings this week at the Donors Prelude and the Opening Night Orchestra. Utilizing his talents as both a violinist and a conductor, he will perform on violin on Wednesday night and conduct Saturday night’s concert. Wednesday night Cárdenes will perform “Ferdinand the Bull,” as well as stirring pieces by Prokofiev and Brahms. Saturday night opens with Rossini’s famous Overture to Barber of Seville, features French masters Fauré and Ravel and concludes with Brahms’ rousing Hungarian Dances.

The rest of the classical season presents a variety of concerts from featured soloists, to World Premieres, to dance, to a multimedia show. Cardenes’ diverse and engaging performances will keep you coming back all summer long.

Posted on July 5, 2011
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