Live music returns as Strings announces summer lineup
Live music returns to Strings Music Festival as the organization announced its summer lineup last week. The summer season will kick off with two performances of Four Seasons: Chee-Yun Plays Vivaldi on both June 26 and 27.
Tickets will go on sale to the public Thursday for this performance and for the other 25 performances that have already been announced. Several more shows will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The 34th season was created with the intention of removing barriers to enjoying music,” said Strings Executive Director Elissa Greene. “We are presenting a variety of formats so that everyone can enjoy music at a level that they are comfortable: indoor and outdoor events, free concerts and a variety of genres.”
This summer’s performers include Trout Steak Revival, Pete Sands & The Drifters, Daniel Rodriguez, Spektral Quartet, The Sweet Lillies, Brooklyn Rider and many more.
Strings Marketing Director Greg Hamilton said this summer will bring the return of classical music to Steamboat.
“Our Strings Festival Orchestra is sort of an ‘all-star’ lineup of musicians hand-picked from the country’s top orchestras,” Hamilton said.
Unable to perform in person last year, many familiar members of the Strings Festival Orchestra will return this summer for 14 nights of classical performances inside the pavilion.
With the return of live music, several things will look different than they have in the past. The pavilion now includes both an indoor and outdoor performance area. The indoor area no longer has individual seats, but rather rectangular tables that seat groups of four. Tickets are sold for the table rather than per person, and capacity is currently at 118 per concert in a venue that can usually hold 569.
“We tested this method out in the spring with even fewer people in the audience, and it seemed to work out well,” Hamilton said. “People appreciated having extra space. If anyone is a little tentative about coming to a concert and having personal space, they would appreciate that this setting is more intimate with smaller numbers.”
The new outdoor performance area will consist of a temporary stage in front of raised concert pods for the audience. Similar to the tables inside the pavilion, each pod will fit a group of four so that attendees can have their own space. Tickets will be sold by the pod, which accommodate as many as four people with space for chairs or blankets to sit on.
“This allows us to transition off a year-plus of social distancing,” Hamilton explained.
Returning this summer is Strings’ collaboration with the Yampa River Botanic Park to present Music on the Green, a free concert series that will take place at 10 a.m. each Wednesday from June 30 to Aug. 18.
New this year is another initiative to bring free music to the public. Greene said Strings has a commitment to present over half of its programming for free. This year, the nonprofit will further that pledge by providing an opportunity for the public to listen to classical performances going on inside the pavilion from outside in the Strings Park.
Families are encouraged to bring a picnic and listen in from the outside.
“This is a chance for families to come and enjoy these performances that they might not otherwise be able to with children,” Hamilton said.
The goal is to make music accessible to all, especially after more than a year without live music.
“The live experience feels like emergence from a lockdown or from a quarantine,” Hamilton said. “It feels like a return to joy.”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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