Since stepping down as music director of the Toronto Symphony last season, word on Peter Oundjian’s next musical steps has been up in the air.
“I’m not in a rush,” he said in an interview with Ludwig Van last year about the prospect of taking on another leadership role after his 14-year stint in Toronto. “But I’m open to it.”
That is until now.
The Colorado Music Festival has confirmed Oundjian has been appointed Music Director, making him the fourth conductor to lead the six-week long annual summer festival which takes place in Colorado Chautauqua, a National Historic Landmark near in Boulder, Colorado.
“We are very pleased to officially welcome him as Music Director and to usher in a new era of artistic excellence,” said Executive Director Elizabeth McGuire. “Working with Peter is not only a great honor given his tremendous musical accomplishments, but also a great joy due to his lively and energetic spirit.”
“After such a fulfilling experience in Boulder last summer, I am thrilled and honored to now join CMF as Music Director,” said Oundjian, who first joined the festival in 2018 in an advisory role. “There is a magical, frontier atmosphere to the festival that I find incredibly refreshing and invigorating, whether I’m outdoors amidst the natural beauty or on stage with the orchestra inside the festival’s historic, ‘Old West’-era auditorium with its magnificent acoustics. This special energy drives the musicians too, and the experience is all the more focused and intense given the short, but precious window of time that we’re together over the summer. After leading a number of orchestras year-round as Music Director, this is an exciting change of pace!”
After last year’s focus on Leonard Bernstein, Oundjian will lead the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra with a historical view of Beethoven.
“So often we think of Beethoven purely in terms of the late Classical and early Romantic,” Oundjian said. “But you can spot his fingerprints almost everywhere you look. We hope that by getting out in front of the worldwide Beethoven anniversary celebrations in 2020, our audiences will come to these performances with fresh ears and a spirit of adventure!”
The Colorado Music Festival runs from June 27 to August 3.