Twenty-five years ago, performances of Gustav Mahler's symphonies were the exception rather than the rule. Audiences had opportunities to hear the popular First and Fourth Symphonies, but performances of his larger works were infrequently heard. Complete works for hundred-piece orchestras and multiple choirs, lasting nearly two hours and demanding extraordinary performance skills, found only sporadic inclusion in symphony repertoires, primarily with major professional orchestras. Thus came the idea to create a festival dedicated first to the performance and study of the entire repertoire and life of Mahler, and second to the devoted musicians and scholars who creatively share Mahler's vision of the world, of life, and of music.
Perhaps most gratifying is the fact that the Colorado MahlerFest has become an event driven by the artistic spirit which dwells in all its creative participants to be a part of the unique, "once-in-a-lifetime" experience.
About Colorado MahlerFest
Dedicated amateur and professional musicians from orchestras across the United States and beyond gather annually, for one week, to create the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra, and perform what are generally considered the greatest (and most difficult) symphonic creations in the repertoire.
Colorado MahlerFest's continuing contributions to promoting the understanding and knowledge of Mahler's music have resulted in significant international recognition. In 2005, the International Gustav Mahler Society of Vienna awarded Colorado MahlerFest its rarely bestowed Mahler Gold Medal. MahlerFest was honored alongside the New York Philharmonic, joining such past recipients as the Vienna Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein.
For a more detailed account of the festival's founding and early years, read "A History of Colorado MahlerFest."
Photo by Keith Bobo
Photo by Keith Bobo