If you think orchestral music is not for you, think again. This weekend, the Breckenridge Music Festival presents two concerts with broad appeal, and tonight's concert is free.
At 6 this evening, join Chris Willard, artistic director of the Backstage Theatre, as he narrates the musical tale of "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" by New York Times best-selling author John Lithgow, accompanied by the BMF orchestra.
Young Farkle McBride is a musical prodigy who learns to play an instrument from each of the four instrumental families that compose a symphony orchestra. Farkle eventually gives them all up in fits of frustration before he discovers his passion for conducting.
Narrator Willard is an animated and engaging performer, the recipient of several Denver Post Ovation awards, most recently for his role as Bilbo Baggins in the Backstage Children's Theatre production of "The Hobbit." In 2007 he received a Marlowe Award as Best Director for his production of "My Fair Lady" at Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, among many other awards and nominations.
Tonight's program, designed specifically for families, also includes music from "Harry Potter" and a performance by Schmitt Music piano competition winner Xenia Mathys.
Mathys is a ninth grader in the International Baccalaureate program at Fairview High School in Boulder. She started playing piano at age four and has performed at the Boulder Bach Festival annually for the past seven years. Mathys, who speaks Russian, French, German and Swiss-German, will perform Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor.
The free family concert is sponsored by Mary Jane and Hans Wurster, LIFT106 and El Pomar Foundation. The children's book, "The Remarkable Farkle McBride," will be available for purchase at the concert.
On Saturday, the Breckenridge Music Festival presents a concert in its Music of Hollywood series, this time featuring selections from the movies "Harry Potter," "Star Wars," "The Sea Hawk," "Psycho" and more, conducted by Nathan Fifield.
Among the pieces to be presented are compositions by John Williams. Born in New York in 1932, American composer John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes and two Emmys. Apart from his film scores and ceremonial music, he is also a noted composer of concert works.
Perhaps no film series will ever surpass the achievement of Williams' six "Star Wars" space operas, which debuted in 1977. The "Harry Potter Suite" was derived by Williams from his soundtrack for the film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
Guest conductor Nathan Fifield is lauded for his "forceful and expressive" musicality, his "technical clarity," and "an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious." He regularly conducts the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on their pops/family concert series in addition to working with numerous other symphonies.
Tickets to Saturday's concert are $25-$35/adults, $10/students and $7/juniors. Call the box office at (970) 547-3100 or visit www.breckenridgeriverwalkcenter.com. Both concerts take place at the Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams, Breckenridge. Info: www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com