Final NRO concert features ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ |

Final NRO concert features ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’

Michelle Lewandowski
Special to the Daily
The National Repertory Orchestra will present their season finale on August 1.
Special to the Weekender |

if you go

What: National Repertory Orchestra’s “Season Finale”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge

Cost: $25 to $40, depending on seating, or $7 for youth 18 and younger

More information: Visit, or call (970) 453-5825

Come celebrate with the National Repertory Orchestra and music director Carl Topilow as they present their season finale. It has been a wonderful summer filled with music in the mountains and this last concert will certainly not disappoint. The program will feature Richard Strauss’ “Don Quixote” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky — two powerhouses of symphonic literature. The concert will take place at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center on Friday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

During the 20th century, few composers could compare with Richard Strauss in terms of orchestral imagination, harmonic style and orchestration. Canadian pianist Glenn Gould described Strauss as “the greatest musical figure who has lived in this (20th) century.”

“Don Quixote” is based on the novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” by Miguel de Cervantes. It is subtitled “Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character” and features solo cello as Don Quixote and solo viola as Sancho Panza. The tale of the befuddled Don Quixote is described by Cervantes: “Through too little sleep and too much reading of books on knighthood, he dried up his brains in such a way that he wholly lost his judgment. His fantasy was filled with those things that he read, of enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wooing’s, loves, storms …” Supertitles will be projected above the stage to let audience members accompany Don on his knightly journey.

Cellist Sean Hawthorne and violist Nicole Christian will be portraying the characters of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Sean Hawthorne is currently studying with Michel Strauss and Jan Ype Nota at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in the Netherlands. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School.

Nicole Christian is currently pursuing her graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. Her recent orchestra performances include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Springs Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony and the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Closing the program, and the entire summer, is Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Originally written as a piano suite in 1874, Maurice Ravel later scored the work for orchestra in 1923, taking on characteristics impossible in the piano version. The project began as a tribute to Mussorgsky’s friend, painter-architect Victor Harman, who died at a young age. Thus, in honor of his friend’s work, Mussorgsky created “Pictures at an Exhibition,” with each movement depicting the mood of a specific painting. Listeners will hear bold Russian themes, whimsical melodies, delightful dance song, brass fanfares and soaring passages. The variety of invention and distinct character of each movement immediately appeals to any ear and with the sound of tolling bells at the end, the NRO’s summer season will come to a powerful close.

The National Repertory Orchestra would like to thank its generous concert sponsors: Mike Bruggeman, Red Tail Ranch and Karen & Mont Levy.

Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams, Breckenridge, by calling 970-547-3100, or going to

The Breckenridge Welcome Center is also selling tickets and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. Visit the center at 203 S. Main St. or call at 877-864-0868.

For more information about the National Repertory Orchestra, please visit our website at

Michelle Lewandowski is the marketing and public relations intern for the National Repertory Orchestra.

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