Classical Music

Seven Reasons the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Might Surprise You

By now, we've all said our long goodbyes to summer and festival season. Red Rocks will reopen for a couple of icy shows this winter, but outdoor venues have begun their hibernation. Now's the time to make your indoor entertainment plans for the months ahead. Though its concerts might not make our usual lists of the hottest shows of a given week, we're spotlighting this season of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which hosts a variety of events for different ages and tastes that often upend our ideas of a traditional classical concert. Below are seven reasons to check out the symphony this year.

1. The CSO goes pop.
Elephant Revival, Gregory Alan Isakov and Ben Folds have all teamed up with the CSO for special shows at Red Rocks, and each of these acts is returning this season at Boettcher Concert Hall. Expect unexpected arrangements with the added instrumentation deepening or expanding favorite songs by these artists.

2. The CSO isn't just for grownups.
The symphony offers kid-centric events like "A Symphonic Beauty and the Beast" and "Frosty & Frozen." If your kids are easily bored waiting for the show to begin, there’s no need to stick a phone in front of their face: Before the show, kids can participate in crafts, games and interactions with staff and instruments.

3. You'll be done by 10 p.m.
This isn’t a rock concert where the band you came to see starts four hours after doors open. Most CSO evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and don’t last more than two and a half hours. So there’s time to go out afterward — you already paid for downtown parking – or there’s time to be in bed early, like a responsible adult.

4. You can drink Colorado craft beer.
Adult beverages are available for purchase at the Boettcher Concert Hall, and the event "Beethoven and Brews" is like an adult field trip. A small symphony ensemble performs at a selected local brewery for a night of beer tasting, hors d’oeuvre and classical music. 

5. Get your classy culture fix.
Sometimes you don't want to bro down. The CSO offers a change of pace, where you dress up and experience music that's been moving audiences for hundreds of years, performed by highly skilled and trained musicians.

6. Check out the Dragon Pit for affordable tickets.
The Dragon Pit (named for Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon) allows patrons to sit on the parquet facing the conductor for as low as $20 for selected performances. You can now impress your date with “ringside” seats that won’t break the bank.

7. You can dress up and nerd out.
The "Geek Series" allows people to dress up as their favorite character from various cultural phenomena. This season includes tributes to Pokémon, Comic Con and movie screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. and the already sold-out Harry Potter
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