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Meet the Conductor

Meet the Conductor

Learn more about MahlerFest's Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods

Meet Ken

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Explore the Archives

Discover the rich history of Colorado MahlerFest, one of only two North American organisations (the other being the New York Philharmonic) to have received the Gold Medal of the International Mahler Society

The History of MahlerFest

Colorado MahlerFest News and Reviews

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MahlerFest XXXI in Review: “…immense power and tender intimacy.:

"...third-year music director Kenneth Woods conducted a moving, emotional interpretation of "Das Lied" that owed much of its distinctiveness to his superb pair of guest singers.Mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi would have made a strong impact based on her rich, resonant voice alone, but what most set her apart was her gift for conveying the emotions and the narrative of the texts...Guillory's voice rang through the cavernous Macky space with commanding authority, especially at the almost-frightening climax."

MaherFest XXX in Review: “Kenneth Woods makes shattering impact at MahlerFest”

"Its shattering, dissonant climax arrived with walloping force, yet the peaceful, beautiful coda — which Mahler extended to an almost unbearable level — emerged out of the climax in a natural, wholly organic way... it was an amazing feat of brilliance."

Norman Lebrecht, Slipped Disc: Mahler Festival Changes Chief after 28 Mile-High Years

"The Colorado MahlerFest in and around the city of Boulder is one of the boldest musical initiatives of modern times... a byword among Mahler scholars and followers for its uncluttered idealism, its uncommon altitude (5,430 feet high) and its internationally resonant scholarship and recordings...Bob Olson is retiring as artistic director after 28 years. His successor... will be the UK-based American Kenneth Woods..."

Remembering Stan Ruttenberg

A fortuitous discovery was that of the Colorado MahlerFest right there in his home-town of Boulder. After a year on the board, he assumed the presidency and held that position for 15 years, seeing the MahlerFest through its first cycle of Mahler symphonies and well launched into its second cycle... Under Stan’s tenure, MahlerFest released a critically-acclaimed performance of the Mahler Eighth “Symphony of a Thousand”... and in 2005, received the Mahler Gold Medal from The International Gustav Mahler Society.

MahlerFest XXXII

Wednesday, May 15 – Sunday, May 19, 2019

This year’s featured work:
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major

MahlerFest XXXII

Wednesday, May 15 – Sunday, May 19, 2019

This year’s featured work:
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major

Please check back often to view our evolving plans!

    • Chamber Concerts and recitals May 15 and 17
    • Symposium with leading Mahler scholars May 18
    • Open Rehearsals
    • And more

May 18 – Saturday

6:30pm – Pre-concert Lecture 
7:30pm – Orchestral Concert – Macky Auditorium, CU Campus

  • The Inaugural MahlerFest Chamber Orchestra Concert!
  • Johann Strauss Jr. arr. Arnold Schönberg – The Emperor Waltz
  • Gustav Mahler arr. Arnold Schönberg- Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)
  • Viktor Ullmann arr. Kenneth Woods – Chamber Symphony opus 46a (String Quartet no. 3) – Colorado Premiere!
  • Beethoven arr. Mahler: Quartet in F Minor opus 95 “Serioso”
  • Kenneth Woods conducting the Colorado MahlerFest Chamber Orchestra
  • Reserved seating

May 19 – Sunday

2:30pm – Pre-concert Lecture 
3:30pm – Orchestral Concert – Macky Auditorium, CU Campus

  • The Stan Ruttenberg Memorial Concert
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto (Zoë Beyers, violin)
  • Beethoven orchestrated by Mahler: Leonore Overture No. 3 – Colorado Premiere!
  • Kenneth Woods conducting the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra
  • Reserved seating