Celebrating our 40th Season: June 2 -21, 2024



Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
Brendan Speltz, violin
Pierre Lapointe, viola
Brook Speltz, cello

Tuesday, OCTOBER 24, 2023 * PACKARD HALL * 7 PM


To kick off our 40th Anniversary SMF Season, we have planned a fall Intermezzo Concert, on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 7 pm in Packard Hall, with the Escher String Quartet. The evening program will feature Mendelssohn's Quartet in E-flat Major, Janáček's Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters”and Schubert's Quartet in d minor, Op. post., D. 810 “Death and the Maiden”

About the Escher Quartet

The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its hometown of New York, the ensemble serves as season artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, with recent debuts including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus and London’s Kings Place, as well as numerous international festivals. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. Additionally, the quartet has held faculty positions at Southern Methodist University and the University of Akron, OH.

The Escher’s most recent recording, the complete quartets of Ives and Barber, was met with equal excitement, including “A fascinating snapshot of American quartets, with a recording that is brilliantly detailed, this is a first-rate release all around” (Strad Magazine). Other recordings have included the complete Mendelssohn quartets, quartets of Dvorák, Borodin and Tchaikovsky, the complete Zemlinsky String Quartets in two volumes as well as DANCE, an album of quintets with guitarist Jason Vieaux.

Within months of its inception in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet-in-Residence at each artist’s summer festival: the Young Artists Program at Canada’s National Arts Centre and the Perlman Chamber Music Program.

The Escher Quartet takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.


ONLINE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW or Call the festival office at 719-389-6552.

General Public: $30

Donors $25

Non CC Student $5

Current CCID Holders FREE

Celebrating 40 Years!



Art to celebrate our 40th Anniversary Season


 Ethel Magafan (1916-1993)


Ethel's art teacher at East High School, Helen Perry,  encouraged the Magafan twins' talent, exposing them to the work of Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne and introducing them to local artists and architects like Frank Mechau and Jacques Benedict whom she invited to speak in her high school art classes. She paid the modest tuition for Ethel and Jenne to study composition, color, mural designing and painting at Mechau's School of Art in downtown Denver in 1933-34. In the summer of 1934 and for a time in 1936 they apprenticed with him at his studio in Redstone, Colorado.  Ethel worked as a fashion artist at a department store in Denver until she could enroll in the Broadmoor Art Academy (now the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center) where they studied with Mechau. 

Read more about Magafan's fascinating life and work.



The Summer Music Festival is pleased to feature this work of art by Ethel Magafan, Meadows in the Valley, unknown date, oil and tempera on untempered masonite panel, which is part of the permanent collection of works in O Beautiful! Shifting Landscapes of the Pikes Peak Region.  See more about this collection and the history of art of our region at The Broadmoor Academy at the Fine Art's Center.

In our view,  Ethel Magafan, whose artistic training occurred at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center under the tutelage of Boardman Robinson and Frank Mechau, must have been inspired Katharine Lee Bates’ famous 1893 poem, American the Beautiful. In her painting the rich purple colors of the foothills of Pikes Peak remind us of the sublime grandeur of where we live and how our natural landscape inspires artists from many generations.

As noted by the Fine Arts Center: " The natural landscape of spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountains majesty of which Bates wrote, and would later become the famous anthem America the Beautiful, provided ample inspiration to late 19th and early 20th century painters. By the early 20th century, Colorado Springs was a popular tourist destination and a celebrated place for healing. Known as “Little London” largely due to significant British financial backing, this nickname also represents a desire for the city to create a cultural landscape mimicking established cosmopolitan cities. The Broadmoor Art Academy was born in 1919 from these expressed ideals and soon attracted students from across the country to immerse themselves in the landscape. The Broadmoor Art Academy shifted in name and facility to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1936, but the ongoing commitment to art education remained a pillar of the institution. The subsequent years were unprecedented in terms of artistic production. Informed by modernism and abstraction, creatives such as Mary Chenoweth and Robert Motherwell challenged traditional expectations by producing works that were on the leading edge of the contemporary American art scene. A century after the founding of the Broadmoor Art Academy, we celebrate the ingenuity of the artists and patrons who helped to shape the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College into the fine museum, performing arts theatre, and art school it is today. Through these works, created by exceptional visual artists over the course of 100 years, we can witness the dramatic shifts that have occurred in the physical and artistic landscapes of the Pikes Peak region. As Colorado Springs continues to grow, so does the importance of a strong cultural identity. We are proud to have been an early and ongoing participant in this endeavor and strive to embrace the many avenues toward a doubly inclusive and dynamic FAC for all." 

Memories with our 2023 Fellows


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Colorado College Summer Music Festival episode on PBS!

Now Hear This Season 3, episode 3 “Aaron Copland: Dean of American Music” takes place in Colorado Springs on the CC campus and with the faculty and students of the CC Summer Music Festival.

Drawing from his Jewish roots, modernism and American folk music, Pulitzer-, Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer Aaron Copland created a distinctive American sound in both his classical compositions and film scores. Like Copland did for much of his career, host Scott Yoo and fellow musicians spend time working with students at a music festival in Colorado to strengthen their auditioning skills and better understand Copland’s music. To discover Copland’s inspiration, Yoo travels to New York to explore the Jewish music Copland was raised with as well as modernist music through performances by Cantor Daniel Mutlu, violinist Steven Copes, cellist Mark Kosower, festival music director and pianist Susan Grace and more. Later, Yoo becomes the student and learns from pianist and Copland enthusiast John Novacek about how the composer developed his signature sound, now so familiar to us all.


Go to PBS to stream the entire episode.



Scott Yoo, conductor of the CC Summer Music Festival
is also the host and executive producer of Now Hear This  

Season Four of Now Hear This

Great Performances: Now Hear This Series 4 premiered April 7-28 at 9 p.m. ET on PBSpbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App.  You can still see the episodes on PBS Passport.  Host of the show, and the conductor for the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College, Scott Yoo, danced halls of Buenos Aires, the place where guitars are born in Granada, the culturally vibrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, and Schumann’s newlywed home in Leipzig in the lastest season of Now Hear This on Great Performances. In this fourth season of the critically acclaimed miniseries, Yoo shines a spotlight on the collaborative process and the source of creative inspiration while exploring the backgrounds of tango’s Astor Piazzolla, the Romantic era’s Robert Schumann, steel pianist and composer Andy Akiho and flamenco’s Isaac Albéniz. Showcasing the talents of artists around the world including pianist and Schumann expert Dr. Richard Kogan.  Summer Music Festival cellist Bion Tsang, and flutist Alice Dade were both featured in this season.


Contact Us

Ann Van Horn
Assistant Director, Colorado College Summer Music Festival
(719) 389-6552
Mailing Address: 819 N. Tejon St.
Physical Address: 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., Office #112
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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