Crested Butte Music Festival: July 4 - 31

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11th annual festival plays off fun spirit and heritage of this Colorado mountain townGUNNISON-CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Known for its free-spirited and fun nature, Crested Butte, Colo., would never be content offering a music festival that was cut from the same cloth as other music festivals.  The 11th annual Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF), July 4 – July 31, is far from typical with offerings such as "Have a Beer with Beethoven" in a local barn, home soirées, a polka band and dance, and Russian musician Andre Gorbachev playing the balalaika.

2008 Theme Highlights Crested Butte's Roots
The theme "Discover the Roots of Paradise" was selected for 2008 to showcase music from the nationalities of the first settlers in Crested Butte.  "Andre and his Russian music will be a perfect fit.  About 50 percent of the population of Crested Butte around 1900 was immigrants, mostly from the Austrian–Hungarian Empire at the time," says CBMF Artistic and Managing Director Alexander Scheirle.

Since Czechs and Slovaks made up the majority of Crested Butte's early population, a polka band has been scheduled and Scheirle has secured the talented conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Canadian born and now based in the Czech Republic.  Olivieri-Munroe has won major conducting competitions such as the Prague Spring and Danish Malko and is "one of the leading musicians among the new generation of conductors in the world," Scheirle notes.

Crested Butte also had a large Italian population around the turn of the century.  CBMF's featured opera will be one of the most famous Italian masterpieces, "Falstaff" by Giuseppe Verdi.  The opera cast will feature Keith Miller, Jon Truitt, David Malis and other outstanding performers.

A History of Showcasing Unusual Instruments
CBMF has earned a following for bringing in talented musicians who play unusual instruments.  This year, Andre Gorbachev will bring his balalaika from Moscow to Crested Butte.  The balalaika is a stringed instrument of Russian origin that has a triangular body and three strings (sometimes more).  Gorbachev has won every competition in the world for the balalaika.  Chinese erhu player Ma Xiaohui, California glass armonica musician William Zeitler and Swiss alphornist virtuoso Arkady Shilkloper have delighted CBMF audiences over the past three seasons.  

Festival Highlights
The ambitious festival calendar features 33 performances in 28 days, including a wide array of symphony, chamber, opera, big band, bluegrass, country and dance.  The concerts take place mainly in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, with one opera performance taking place at Western State College's Taylor Auditorium in Gunnison.  In addition to showcasing the talents of several well-known musicians from around the nation and world, CBMF will feature up-and-coming performers through its Opera Young Artist Program in Paradise, a three-week opera school for vocal students.

Here is a brief overview of festival happenings.

·        Home Soirées – July 21, 28, 30
·        Opera Student Recitals & Masterclass Performances – July  22
·        Chamber Music – July 25, 29
·        Celebration Gala – July 19 (featuring cowboy music singer Michael Martin Murphey and his band)
·        Polka Band & Dance – July 22
·        "Falstaff" Opera – July 24, 26, 27
·        Country – July 31 (The Triple Nickel Band)

For a full schedule, locations of performances and ticket prices, call (970) 349-0619 or visit