The Philharmonic Gets Heroic

A preview of performances as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic celebrates Beethoven, the new ’20s and its Becoming Heroes Festival.

This year marks a big birthday for Beethoven and a heroic lineup for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. To celebrate the master composer’s 250th, international superstar violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will be in town to play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

“We have the Festival of Heroes after that with Shostakovich’s massive Seventh Symphony depicting the siege of Leningrad in World War II, and then close the season with Britten’s War Requiem,” says bass trombonist Jeremy Van Hoy.

Those are just a few of the season highlights from now through May as the Philharmonic performs monthly at the Pikes Peak Center and the Ent Center. Here’s more of what to expect.

The Spirit of Prohibition

Feb. 14-15

You may have rung in the new year at a 1920s-themed party, complete with flapper and mobster costumes, to welcome the new decade of the ’20s. The Philharmonic pays tribute to the Jazz Age in their Pops series concert The Spirit of Prohibition. Thomas Wilson will conduct favorites from Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong and other American icons.

Itzhak Perlman Plays Beethoven

Feb. 27

“Happy Birthday to You” doesn’t suffice to honor Beethoven’s special day. But a visit from world-famous violinist Itzhak Perlman will make an exceptional evening that features performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, along with Anthony DiLorenzo’s For Spacious Skies and Kevin Puts’ Inspiring Beethoven. Tickets are sold out for the special show, but you can put your name on a waiting list just in case. 

Celtic Spirit

March 13-14

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with music from the Emerald Isle by Eileen Ivers, whom The New York Times has called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin.” Established as the preeminent exponent of the Irish fiddle, Ivers’ list of accomplishments is long, including a Grammy award, Hollywood soundtracks and guest appearances with pop stars and the world’s leading orchestras. Expect an electrifying performance. 


March 28-29

Colorado Springs Philharmonic conductor Josep Caballe-Domenech
Photo courtesy Colorado Springs Philharmonic

The Philharmonic kicks off the city-wide Becoming Heroes Festival with a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 Leningrad. “Becoming Heroes will explore the definition and journey of heroes and celebrate how they enrich our society and humanity,” says Catherine Creppon, the Philharmonic’s vice president of advancement. “This eight-week festival will be presented in collaboration with 20 other arts and nonprofit organizations across the Pikes Peak Region.”

Partners include groups such as UCCS Presents, Downtown Partnership and the Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center. Expect to see orchestral music as a catalyst for dialogue toward positive change and an inspiration of what we can become.

Other performances in the festival include Pops concert Marvel vs. DC, April 3-4; Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc, April 25-27; and Aretha: Queen of Soul, May 8-9.

War Requiem

May 16-17

Influential British composer Benjamin Britten was a staunch pacifist who composed his War Requiem in 1962 to reconsecrate Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed in the Battle of Britain during World War II. The masterpiece is a moving reminder of the horror and futility of war. As the capstone of the Becoming Heroes Festival, Maestro Josep Caballé-Domenech will conduct as the Colorado Springs Chorale and the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale join the Philharmonic for what it calls a “once-in-a-generation performance.” 

Free for Kids

It’s easy to expand your family’s cultural horizons when the tickets are free for children ages 7-17. Thanks to support from GE Johnson Construction Company, each adult purchasing an individual ticket can bring two kids for free to all Friday Pops performances and Sunday Masterworks and Signature Series shows. 

Find the complete schedule:

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