BOULDER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Our opening concert features the thrilling Boulder Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Bahman Saless returning with the music of Dvořák, Beethoven, and Mozart.
Romance and Intrigue
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841 - 1904)
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, Op. 11, featuring Dr. Jubal Fulks, violin
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, featuring Petar Klasan, piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385 "Haffner"
About the Artists
The Boulder Chamber Orchestra (BCO) was established in 2004, and stands as Boulder’s premier professional chamber orchestra. Since our formation, we have consistently played to sold-out audiences and featured some of the most sought-after musicians across the world. BCO is committed to playing under performed rarely heard pieces, to educate audiences and bring to light incredible composers.
Our mission is to promote classical musical arts and education to ALL people, through an engaging and profound musical experience.
Our goal is to make classical music accessible to all, through connection and education; giving back to the community in the form of affordable concerts and free educational classes. We exist to share the gift of music by playing pieces that not just entertain, but transform lives.
We believe that music is the ultimate form of communication. It reflects our thoughts, actions and our feelings as humans; Music connects us all in ways no other medium can, and brings us together, validating our existence as humans. This sharing of our humanity in form of sound is the reason we play.
BCO is committed to professional excellence, and to delivering performances of the highest quality. All of our musicians are professional musicians, who are paid for their time and talents.
The conductor for the 21st Century: "Entrepreneurial, creative, and plugged in”, “Innately talented musician and conductor, without frills or ego” - the accolades all indicate the exuberance of artists that have worked with Bahman Saless, the founder of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. “His enthusiasm is contagious and the results he gets from his players are quite extraordinary”.
Bahman Saless’ musical career can be summarized in one word: Miraculous! After pursuing a variety of seemingly unrelated careers, Mr. Saless, who studied the violin as a teenager and was a member of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, founded the Boulder Chamber Orchestra.
The Orchestra, initially conceived as a project to practice conducting with, has now become a staple of world-class performances in Colorado and beyond, gaining national recognition from coast to coast. “Boulder Chamber Orchestra is Superb” says Robin McNeil of Opus Colorado.
Bahman Saless studied the violin as a teen in England, even though music composition was his passion. He studied the violin with Lyman Bodman at Michigan State University while pursuing a career in theoretical Physics. He later founded the Principia String Quartet in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. completing his graduate studies, Dr. Saless moved to California working as a physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while pursuing a second parallel career as a composer, winning awards in music composition and becoming a successful film composer.
Mr. Saless is also a co-founder of the International Conducting Institute (ICI), which provides frequent workshops for young conductors from all over the world to learn the best practices of conductors and music directors. ICI is dedicated to the advancement of the art of orchestral conducting. From performing three concerts during his first season, Saless is now programming over 17 concerts and events per year, including the tradition in Colorado of the New Year’s Eve concert.
Saless has proven himself to be not only a talented and passionate conductor and composer, but also an organization builder; an artist with creative vision as well as a leader with business savvy and an entrepreneurial mind that can take orchestras to the next level, wherever that might be.
Petar Klasan is one of the most promising Croatian young pianists. After finishing his primary music education in his homeland in year 2007 he moved to Vienna to study at the University for Music and performing arts with Prof. Noel Flores and later with Prof. Oleg Maisenberg and Prof. Stefan Vladar.
He graduated with highest marks in October 2017. Currently he is enrolled in post graduate program of University for music and performing arts Vienna in the class of prof. Jasminka Stancul-Cernko. He studied chamber music repertoire with the pianist of Wiener Klavier Trio with prof. Stefan Mendl. Petar Klasan often participates in masterclasses of world renowned pianists such as Dmitry Bashkirov, Arie Vardi, Epifanio Comis, Stephen Bishop Kovachevich, Naum Grubert, Pavel Gililov etc.
He has won numerous national and international prizes and performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra. He performed many times as a soloist with the famous Zagreb Soloist ensemble, Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mostar Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Youth Orchestra, National Russian Youth Orchestra, Ton der Jugend Orchestra Vienna with conductors Mo. Igor Tatarevic, Mo. Uros Lajovic, Mo. Vladimir Kranjcevic, Mo. Robert Lehrbaumer, Mo. Mladen Tarbuk, Mo. Vasily Valitov and Mo. Andrej Vesel in concert halls such as Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Wien, Ehrbar Saal, Povetkin Centre Moscow, Vatroslav Lisinski Hall in Zagreb, Croatian Music Institut Hall in Zagreb, aswell as many other in countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Bosnia, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Portugal.
In year 2018 he founded a very successful concert series "Con Brio" in Vienna, where he regularly performs solo and diverse chamber music with his long time musical partners such as Marija Viktorija Barac- Flute, Liina Leijala- cello, Dusan Sretovic- piano, Igor Tatarevich- conductor as well as renowned musicians from all over the world as guests. “Con Brio” is a project and movement that supports the importance of Music and humanistic values for the development and education of societies all around the world. This is where Petar Klasan found his artistic home. "Con Brio" offers vast repertoire from solo piano, diverse duos, piano trio, piano quartett, piano quintet, Lied and in some special occasions symphonic repertoire.
He received a special prize from town of Novska, Sisak- Moslavina Region and Ministry of Culture, Science and Sports of Republic Croatia for his contribution in the field of culture. Petar Klasan published two albums with works by Mozart, Schumann, Chopin and Bjelinski. Currently he is the piano prof. at the Barenboim - Said Centre for Music in Ramallah, Palestine.
Since his appointment at the University of Northern Colorado in 2013, Associate Professor of Violin Jubal Fulks has become one of the most successful and sought-after violin teachers in Colorado. His students include competition winners at the state, regional, and national levels, many of whom have gone on to lead professional careers as music educators, orchestral musicians, and attend prestigious music festivals and graduate programs throughout the United States and abroad.
An acclaimed performer, Dr. Fulks maintains and active and multi-faceted performance schedule. Along with his UNC School of Music colleagues Adam Zukiewicz and Gal Faganel he formed the Colorado Piano, which performs concerts, outreach, and recruiting activities across the region and nationally. Recent performances include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and a feature on Colorado Public Radio’s “Colorado Spotlight,” and the trio looks forward to beginning a Greeley-based concert series to bring high-quality chamber music to northern Colorado. Dr. Fulks also serves as a leader and founding member of Sinfonia Spirituosa, a baroque chamber orchestra based in Sacramento, California. Sinfonia Spirituosa is dedicated to presenting bold, historically-informed performances on period instruments, and to bringing to life the broad spectrum of color, affect and rhetoric inherent in the music of the Baroque era.
Dr. Fulks has performed as soloist with orchestras across the United States and has been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” His orchestral and chamber music experience includes Grammy-nominated performances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in New York City at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Jazz at Lincoln Center series, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. As a recitalist, he has appeared at numerous summer festivals and concert series in the United States and Asia and has toured extensively in Europe. During the summer months he is on the faculty of Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont and has been a faculty member at Montecito International Music Festival in California, Lutheran Summer Music Festival in Iowa, and Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont.
Dr. Fulks holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied with Kevin Lawrence, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where his teacher was Mitchell Stern. He lives in Greeley with his wife, hornist Lauren Varley, and their children Patrick, Finnian, Oliver, and Flannery.
Dvořák: Romance for Violin in F minor, Op. 11
Born on September 6, 1841, in the small village of Nelahozeves in Bohemia, Antonín Leopold Dvořák carried a deep love for the countryside from his upbringing, which remained a constant presence in his life. This profound connection to nature beautifully manifested in his musical compositions, which, while having an urbane character, never strayed too far from the enchanting Slavonic folk tradition. His musical talent was evident from an early age as he excelled on the piano, organ, and viola, as well as in the study of counterpoint. He began composing at the same time while working as a professional viola player in the orchestra of the National Theater in Prague from 1866 to 1873, marking the start of his journey as a composer.
Romance for Violin in F minor, Op. 11 stems from Dvořák’s String Quartet in F minor, Op. 9, written in 1873. He salvaged the principal melody from slow Andantino movement of this quartet, which failed to reach its final form, and crafted the sublime Romance for solo violin. The piece was completed in 1877 and is scored with both piano and orchestral accompaniment.
The romance, a musical genre with roots in 15th-century Spain and Italy as a vocal tradition called the ballad, gained popularity across different social classes and later spread to France in the 18th century, evolving into a poetic form depicting love and gallantry. In 1768, Jean-Jacques Rousseau defined the term for the first time in musical terms, emphasizing soft, natural melodies and simple accompaniments. The genre transitioned from strophic poems to a rondo, ABA or variation structure, replacing aria-like movements. French violinist Pierre Gaviniès composed the first solo instrumental romance, using the term for slow movements in sonatas and concertos. This style flourished in Paris and significantly influenced German and Austrian composers. Although romance compositions gradually diverged from strict definitions and rondo forms, the themes of lyricism and love remained prominent.
Romance for Violin in F minor, is one of Dvořák’s highly distinctive works, combining his deep understanding of classical form and romantic harmony with beautiful swaying Slavonic melody. The entire work is interlocking, built on sonata form, and revolves around two beautiful themes. The first introduced by the violin’s soprano voice, possesses a song-like quality. As the soloist takes charge, the melody weaves intricate patterns with the accompanying orchestra. The second theme, on the other hand, has a relatively simple, lyrical melody with a gentle but lively accompaniment.
In the development section, the music increases in intensity, with the virtuosic phrasing of the soloist complementing the dramatic outbursts of the orchestra. This exuberance does not last long, however. With the return of the first theme, the lyrical strains and soft nuances reappear, quickly restoring serenity and enveloping the audience once again in an atmosphere of calm and warmth. The reworking of the piece from the string quartet movement into a Romance was done at a time of great tragedy in the composer’s life. In 1877, he lost all three of his children: one died two days after birth, one through an accident (phosphorus poisoning), and the third to smallpox. Perhaps these events contributed to the emotional intensity of the work, the rending harmonies, and the lyrical beauty of the violin writing.
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Beethoven composed the Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor when he was 30 years old, and it is regarded as a representative work of the late classical style of piano concerto. At that time, shortly after Mozart’s death, his piano concertos remained popular and vibrant. Beethoven himself greatly admired Mozart's piano concertos, especially the two minor pieces in Mozart’s nearly 30 piano concertos. In March 1795, he played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor (K. 466) at a concert organized by the composer’s widow Constanze and wrote cadenzas for it as well. He was also amazed by the brilliance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K. 491), telling his friend Johann Cramer, a pianist-composer, “Cramer, Cramer! We shall never be able to do anything like that!”
Beethoven began composing his third concerto in 1800, the same year Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto was published, so one can realize to what extent the later composer was strongly influenced by this opening movement when he set pen to paper. However, suggesting that Beethoven merely modeled his concerto after Mozart's is to misunderstand the depth of artistic inheritance, as Beethoven expressed great admiration for Mozart’s work. Until Beethoven's unique Piano Concertos No. 4 and 5 emerged, he adhered relatively closely to the classical concerto’s typical compositional pattern, following Mozart's legacy.
The Piano Concerto No. 3 was premiered in Vienna on April 5, 1803, along with Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, and a reprise of his Symphony No. 1. The score of the Third Concerto was not yet ready; Beethoven had only completed the first movement and a sketch of the second movement. Even then, the music was firmly fixed in Beethoven’s mind than on the page. The soloist was the composer himself, assisted by a good friend, Ignaz von Seyfried, who served as page turner, and left the following vivid and amusing account:
Heaven help me, turning pages was easier said than done. I saw almost nothing but empty leaves; at the most on one page or the other a few Egyptian hieroglyphics wholly unintelligible to me scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all of the solo part from memory. He gave me a secret glance whenever he was at the end of one of the invisible passages and my scarcely concealed anxiety not to miss the decisive moment amused him greatly and he laughed heartily at the jovial supper which we ate afterwards.
The premiere was a great success, and since then the concerto had enjoyed an enduring popularity, being one of the few works that were universally recognized during Beethoven's lifetime
Mozart: Symphony No. 35, K. 385
1. Allegro con spirito
4. Finale: Presto
Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385, widely known as the “Haffner” Symphony, was composed in 1782 when Mozart was 26 years old. It was commissioned by the Haffner family, a very prestigious merchant family in Salzburg, for the ennoblement festivities of Sigmund Haffner, Jr., a childhood friend of Mozart’s. The friendship between Mozart and the Haffner family was profoundly close, as demonstrated by Mozart’s earlier work of the “Haffner” Serenade (K. 250), an eight-movement composition crafted six years prior for the wedding of Sigmund's sister Elisabeth.
However, the process of completing the symphony was accompanied by a sense of urgency. During that time, Mozart, who had just moved to Vienna for a year, was running around like a gyroscope in constant motion: premiering his latest opera and dealing with follow-up work, completing other commissioned works, and preparing for his upcoming wedding to Constanze. Even in this slightly flustered situation, the piece still presents a top quality. A few months later, when Mozart wrote to his father requesting the return of the Symphony-Serenade so that it could be revised and performed on his concert, he wrote back, “My new “Haffner” symphony has positively amazed me, for I had forgotten every single note of it. It must surely produce a good effect.”
The Symphony No. 35 is generally majestic, optimistic, energetic and vigorous, in keeping with the atmosphere of the celebration and, at the same time, a side reflection of the composer’s joyful psychological feelings when he first arrived in Vienna as a freelance musician. It is in typical four-movement symphony form, and like most symphonies, the first movement is the main body of the piece and sets the tone for the entire work, which is bright and spirited, without sadness or gloom, or dramatic outbursts. The opening theme is also the primary melodic material throughout the movement, and its dominant presence is felt through overt recurrences and creative variations, showcasing Mozart’s incomparable imaginative as always. The second movement has a serene, elegant primary theme and a more playful secondary theme; but its overall intimacy remains in contrast to the “fiery” outer movements, and at the same reflects the relative simplicity of a serenade’s demands. The third movement exemplifies a pair of contrasting dances often found in classical instrumental music: the stately and formal minuet, alongside the gentle and pastoral trio section.
It is worth noting that the main theme of the finale is taken from the melody of the famous aria “O, wie will ich triumphieren” (“My triumphant hour's approaching”) by the bad-tempered servant Osmin in the Mozart’s comic opera “The Abduction from the Seraglio”. It was composed in the same year, and the jaunty tempo expresses the character’s triumphant gloating.