Strings Music Festival: Find adventure outside your (musical) comfort zone |

Strings Music Festival: Find adventure outside your (musical) comfort zone

Debbie Modzelewski
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Daniel Hsu Bronze Medalist 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Mandatory
Jeremy Enlow/Cliburn/courtesy

Steamboat Springs has always attracted adventurers of all kinds.

People who choose to live, work and play here are by definition hardy, enterprising and daring. We ski, ski jump, snowboard, hike, run, play tennis and pickleball, go to concerts, mountain bike, whitewater kayak … whoa, hold on a minute, going to concerts is adventurous?

Yes, adventurousness carries over even into the music realm in the ‘Boat. You may think of yourself as a hardcore rock ‘n’ roller, a funky blues fan, a strictly classical aficionado or a crazy jazz cat but with Strings Music Festival in town, you can easily venture into unknown musical territory and explore strange new worlds.

I’ve been visiting Steamboat since the early ’90s and, now living here half the year, could be the poster child for the old catchphrase “Come for the winter, stay for the summer.”

I don’t have to extol Steamboat’s virtues to you, but the Strings Music Festival is undeniably a gem. I used to think of myself as a classical geek — I even love opera — but Strings has given me the chance to easily explore and embrace other genres.

In just this season, I discovered for myself why Tommy Emmanuel was voted “Favorite Acoustic Guitarist” in Guitar Player Magazine and Acoustic Guitar Magazine reader polls. Who knew that, in the skilled hands of Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele could sound so lyrical and soulful? And how I wish I could have heard Gabriel Royal play his “grown-up lullabies” on his cello in the New York City subway stations where he got his start.

However you define your musical tastes, I encourage you to venture outside your comfort zone — attend a Strings concert you know nothing about. Stop by one of the many free Strings programs in and around Steamboat. Introduce a child to live performance.

As they say, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Did you know half-price tickets are available for every classical performance. Just buy in person at the Strings box office located at 900 Strings Road.

Upcoming events include

  • Friday, July 12, 5:30 p.m. House party with collectif9
  • Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m. Pockets of Paradise Kitchen and Garden Tour
  • Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m. collectif9
  • Wednesday, July 17, Cliburn Bronze Medalist Daniel Hsu
  • Saturday, July 18, 7 p.m. Romeo and Juliet in Music
  • Tickets available at 970-879-5056 and

Debbie Modzelewski is a Strings Music Festival audience member since 2012.

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