National Repertory Orchestra celebrates 25th year in Breckenridge |

National Repertory Orchestra celebrates 25th year in Breckenridge

Katharine Allison
Special to the Daily
The National Repertory Orchestra, established in 1960 as a summer music festival and training ground for the next generation of classical musicians, begins its summer season on Saturday. This year, the nonprofit has brought in 89 musicians who will perform about two concerts per week over the next eight weeks at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
Special to the Daily

Opening night

The National Repertory Orchestra celebrates its opening concert with an American showcase honoring Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday and his quintessential American Work, “West Side Story.” The program also features Bernstein’s classmate, Samuel Barber’s “Second Symphony” and his “Violin Concerto” as well as music from the film “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Riverwalk Center. Adult tickets start at $25. Call 970-547- 3100 or visit for tickets.

The National Repertory Orchestra is about to open its 59th season, as well as its 25th season in Breckenridge.

At the beginning of June, 88 gifted musicians from around the world performed their first of many rehearsals together at the Riverwalk Center. Over the course of the summer, they will perform 21 full orchestral concerts and 22 free chamber concert series within Summit County.

Music director and principal conductor Carl Topilow will return for his 41st season with the NRO. Topilow is the founding conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the music director and conductor of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky, Ohio.

In honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, this Saturday’s opening night, will feature music from the score of “West Side Story.” This program also features Bernstein’s classmate, Samuel Barber’s “Second Symphony” and his “Violin Concerto.” Highlighting the NRO’s American showcase is music from the film “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin.

Staying true to the NRO’s mission statement of Changing Lives Through Music, the nonprofit group will be performing three benefit concerts for local nonprofit organizations, including Summit County First Responders on June 13, Family & Intercultural Resource Center on June 27 and Building Hope on July 18.

On the Fourth of July, the NRO will celebrate this nation’s independence by performing a Patriotic Salute in honor of all the men and women serving in uniform. A “Kids’s Zone” party will follow the free performance at Rainbow Park in Silverthorne and fireworks will follow the performance at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

Tickets are required to sit inside the venue. However, the garage doors at the rear of the Riverwalk Center will be open and anyone without tickets is invited to sit on the lawn for free. For lawn seating, you are encouraged to bring your own blankets or chairs.

The NRO will continue the family festivities that week by showing the Oscar-winning classic “The Wizard of Oz” on a giant HD screen as the National Repertory Orchestra performs the score live for both a matinee and evening performance at the Riverwalk Center on July 7. Costumes are encouraged.

During the second week of July, a collaborative presentation by the National Repertory Orchestra and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival will feature a free family concert with guest conductor Radu Marian Paponiu, and include an Instrument Petting Zoo for people of all ages.

In memory of Nancy Follett, the NRO will wear pink in support of Shaw Breast Center & Cancer Clinic on July 11 at the Riverwalk Center. Assistant conductor, Mark Alpizar, will feature, “Vivaldi Four Seasons” and harp fellow, Molly Langr will perform “Debussy Danses.”

The annual Topilow Pops! Concert will be on July 13 at the Riverwalk Center as Topilow will produce a selection of popular music from the silver screen and Broadway and will feature Tony Award-winning singer Debbie Gravitte. The following day, the NRO will perform a free concert at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre and feature music by John Williams, Mozart and more.

The NRO season ends with beloved composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and his “Symphony No. 2,” written between 1906–07. The NRO will also feature piano fellow Miao Arai in Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4.” with two masterpieces to round out the summer season.

For more information on the NRO’s full lineup of events and tickets, go to or call 970-453- 5825.

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