DENVER (KDVR) – The Colorado Symphony Orchestra announced the two latest additions to a long-running list of act pairings: Wu-Tang Clan’s the RZA and Denver-based Nathaniel Rateliff.
Two Sundays ago, Josh Groban took his Grammy-winning vocals to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, sharing the stage with the local symphony that’s been pairing up with fellow musical acts for years, delivering reimaginings of career-spanning catalogs alongside the performers who created them.
“We’ve always got new and exciting things in the pipeline because we’re constantly striving to innovate and reach audiences that may have never been to see a live symphony orchestra before,” Colorado Symphony Communications and Creative Director Nick Dobreff told FOX31. “It’s all about the music and seeing a live orchestra perform with 80 musicians on stage is an experience unlike any other.”
Imagination Artist Series goes for the repeat with the RZA
The RZA is no stranger to performing alongside the CSO, as he took part in the Wu-Tang Clan’s symphonic performance in 2021 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. He will go another round with the symphony, only this time it will be solely from the mind of the RZA himself, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs.
According to Dobreff, the first type of collaboration like this conducted by the CSO took place back in 1992 when The Moody Blues took to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre with the orchestra.
Now, Boettcher Concert Hall will continue this tradition when it hosts Diggs’ “A Ballet Through Mud with RZA and the Colorado Symphony” on Feb. 17 and 18, 2023.
“I was inspired to take my own music in a new and different direction and having the opportunity to collaborate with the Colorado Symphony had a huge impact on this project. This music comes straight from my heart and I’m excited to finally share it with the world,” the RZA said.
According to Dobreff, in addition to being backed by the CSO, “A Ballet Through Mud” will include spoken word and live ballet aspects as well.
You can grab your tickets to the RZA’s performance on the Imagination Artist Series ticket page.
Denver’s own Nathaniel Rateliff joins the Imagination Artist Series
Just a few weeks following the RZA’s performance, Denver’s own Nathaniel Rateliff will bring a reflection of sorts to Boettcher Concert Hall on March 3 and 4, 2023.
March will bring with it the 50th anniversary of a 1973 album release from Harry Nilsson titled “A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night.” In honor of the album that touches on the chapters of a loving relationship that walks next to the certainty of inevitable aging, Rateliff, alongside the CSO, has created a retelling of this classic American album.
“I’ve always felt that music does have the potential to take your breath away. I experienced that feeling when listening to Harry Nilsson’s ‘A Little Touch Of Schmilsson’ In The Night for the first time and that exhilaration has been with me throughout every subsequent listen ever since,” Rateliff said of the impact the album has had on his life.
You can grab your tickets to Rateliff’s ode to Nilsson on the Imagination Artist Series ticket page.
Broadway’s Mary-Mitchell Campbell kicks the series off in September
The previously announced series opener, “Tribute to Stephen Sondheim with Mary-Mitchell Campbell,” will take place in Boettcher Concert Hall on Sept. 24 of this year.
Campbell is the music director that brought the world the broadway interpretations of “Mean Girls,” “My Love Letter to Broadway with Kristin Chenoweth,” “Tuck Everlasting” and plenty more.
In honor of Stephen Sondheim, she will lead an evening filled with performances from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Company,” Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and “Into the Woods.”
You can grab your tickets to this series opener on the Imagination Artist Series ticket page.