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Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents “GRAN DUO: Higdon and Foley” with Xavier Foley, contrabass and Eunice Kim, violin

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents “GRAN DUO: Higdon and Foley” with Xavier Foley, contrabass and Eunice Kim, violin


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The Boulder Phil Celebrates 65 Years

OCTOBER 24, 2022, BOULDER, CO—On November 12, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Music Director Michael Butterman, continues its 2022/23 season with a concert titled “GRAN DUO: Higdon and Foley”, which includes the Colorado premiere of Jennifer Higdon‘s Suite from Cold Mountain. Based on the novel of the same name, the opera Cold Mountain premiered at Santa Fe Opera in 2015 to critical acclaim and has gone on to be produced by Opera Philadelphia, North Carolina Opera, and Minnesota Opera. However, the Suite from Cold Mountain is not a direct extraction from the opera, as Higdon blends new material with music from the original composition. She explains that it was written, “…not in story order, but in a manner to create the greatest contrast for the listener”.

Xavier Foley, contrabass, and Eunice Kim, violin, make their Boulder Phil debut in a brilliant performance of Bottesini’s Gran Duo Concertante. Bottesini himself was a contrabass player and even earned the nickname “Paganini of the Double Bass”. The work was most likely originally written for two contrabasses—but because two virtuoso contrabass players were so difficult to find—Bottesini rewrote the second solo part for violinist and friend Ernesto Sivori.

Another concert highlight is Foley’s own composition, For Justice and Peace, written to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of slave ships in Jamestown. This double concerto for contrabass and violin includes a string ensemble and a short vocal passage. Foley explains that the sung text was inspired by court cases where slaves were often denied their freedom because of the color of their skin. Amidst the ensemble, one also hears a percussive gavel representing the justice system. The message is often stern, but the richly shaded musical atmospheres are deeply compelling. There is sorrow and struggle, but not surrender, even as gavel blows ring out. Ultimately, it all powers to a decisive close. Have justice and peace been won, or is the struggle merely interrupted? Let the listener decide.

The concert concludes with Dvorák’s 8th Symphony. While it is sometimes known as the English Symphony, perhaps because it initially came to print in England, there is nothing English about its themes. It is purely Bohemian at heart, with rhythms and harmonies that speak of the composer’s homeland.

For more concert details and tickets visit boulderphil.org/gran-duo-higdon-and-foley.

The Boulder Phil’s 2022-23 season subscription concerts will be held at Macky Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus through May 2023. For full season details, visit boulderphil.org/2022-23-season.

Concert subscription packages are available at BoulderPhil.org and by phone at (303) 449-1343. Single tickets are on sale now with ticket prices ranging from $22-$94. Tickets for children and students are $10.

Boulder Phil’s health and safety policies continue to be guided by current recommendations from Boulder County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health. Visit boulderphil.org/safety for the most up-to-date information.


GRAN DUO: Higdon and Foley

Saturday, November 12, 7 PM
Macky Auditorium

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, conductor
Xavier Foley, contrabass
Eunice Kim, violin

HIGDON Suite from Cold Mountain | Colorado Premiere
FOLEY For Justice and Peace
BOTTESINI Gran Duo Concertante
DVO?ÁK Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88


About Jennifer Higdon

Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy-winner Jennifer Higdon (b. Brooklyn, NY, December 31, 1962) taught herself to play flute at the age of 15 and began formal musical studies at 18, with an even later start in composition at the age of 21. Despite these obstacles, Higdon has become a major figure in contemporary Classical music. Her works represent a wide range of genres, from orchestral to chamber, to wind ensemble, as well as vocal, choral and opera. Her music has been hailed by Fanfare Magazine as having “the distinction of being at once complex, sophisticated but readily accessible emotionally”, with the Times of London citing it as “…traditionally rooted, yet imbued with integrity and freshness.” The League of American Orchestras reports that she is one of America’s most frequently performed composers.


About Xavier Foley

Xavier Foley, bassist, was First Prize winner of the 2014 Sphinx Competition, the Young Concert Artists Auditions 2016, and a winner of the Astral Artists National Auditions 2014. As such, he has appeared as soloist with the Sphinx and Atlanta symphony orchestras, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Nashville Symphony. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the Sphinx Virtuosi, with which he was also soloist on East and West coast tours. This season he appears in several concerts with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, the Impromptu concert series, and the St. Vincent College concert series. The First Prize winner of the 2009 (Junior Division) and 2011 (Senior Division) International Society Bassist Competition, he performed in Carnegie Hall as principal bass of the New York String Seminar Orchestra.


About Eunice Kim

A young artist with a unique voice, violinist Eunice Kim has been proclaimed “just superb” by The New York Times and “a born performer” by Epoch Times. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, the award-winning violinist has been featured soloist with many orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Louisville Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seongnam Philharmonic, Bakersfield Symphony, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kim graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ida Kavafian, where she was the recipient of the Rose Paul Fellowship. She won the concertmaster position of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, participated as a mentor in the Curtis Community Engagement program, and was awarded with the prestigious Milka Violin Artist Prize upon graduation. She started the violin at age six and formerly studied with Wei He at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


About the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1958, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra is creating a new model for American orchestras through dynamic performances that reflect our community’s own values, creativity, and sense of place. Today’s Boulder Phil builds national trends with growing, enthusiastic audiences, and an imaginative vision for new forms of engagement. The Phil reaches audiences of more than 50,000 through concerts, the Discovery Education Program, and community engagement experiences in Boulder and across Colorado’s Front Range, under the vision and leadership of Music Director Michael Butterman.

The Boulder Phil’s main concert series is presented at Macky Auditorium, a grand historic hall on the University of Colorado campus. From multi-genre productions featuring dance, choral and visual elements to concerts with a unique hometown flavor, the Phil’s imaginative programming has resulted in increasing numbers of sold-out concerts, nationwide notice at the inaugural SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center, and this year a Futures Fund grant from the League of American Orchestras and the National Endowment for the Arts for groundbreaking engagement.


Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
boulderphil.org | 303.449.1343

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