Colorado MahlerFest is an annual event held in Boulder, Colorado, which each year celebrates one major symphonic work by Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. While "Colorado MahlerFest" is the official name of the event and the organization, the individual annual events are simply referred to as "MahlerFest" (dropping the "Colorado"), followed by a Roman numeral.
MahlerFest was originally held every year during the second week of January, on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, and in 2009 was switched to the middle of May (the University leases its facilities during the academic break). Volunteer orchestral musicians donate their services for two performances of one major work by Mahler on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon (typically the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day); a symposium is held on the Saturday of the festival, in which Mahler scholars discuss aspects of that year's work; and a series of "Visualizing Mahler" art exhibits, which feature artists reactions to that year's Mahler composition, are held in various places throughout Boulder.
Colorado MahlerFest received the gold medal of the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna in September 2005.
Major works performed at MahlerFest
- MahlerFest I (1988): Symphony No. 1, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- MahlerFest II (1989): Symphony No. 2
- MahlerFest III (1990): Symphony No. 3
- MahlerFest IV (1991): Symphony No. 4, Das klagende Lied (2-movement version). Robert Olson did not conduct Mahlerfest this year.
- MahlerFest V (1992): Symphony No. 5
- MahlerFest VI (1993): Symphony No. 6
- MahlerFest VII (1994): Symphony No. 7
- MahlerFest VIII (1995): Symphony No. 8. This performance was recorded on a commercial CD in limited release.
- MahlerFest IX (1996): Symphony No. 9
- MahlerFest X (1997): Symphony No. 10, in the completion by Joe Wheeler. This performance was recorded on a commercial CD in limited release.
- MahlerFest XI (1998): Symphony No. 1 (1893 "Hamburg" version), Das Lied von der Erde
- MahlerFest XII (1999): Symphony No. 2
- MahlerFest XIII (2000): Symphony No. 3
- MahlerFest XIV (2001): Symphony No. 4, Lieder aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
- MahlerFest XV (2002): Symphony No. 5, Kindertotenlieder
- MahlerFest XVI (2003): Symphony No. 6, 5 Rückert Lieder
- MahlerFext XVII (2004): Symphony No. 7, Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner)
- MahlerFest XVIII (2005): Symphony No. 9, Tragic Overture (Brahms)
- MahlerFest XIX (2006): Symphony No. 1, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- MahlerFest XX (2007): Das Lied von der Erde, Symphony No. 10 (1st movement)
- MahlerFest XXI (2008): Totenfeier, Das klagende Lied (original, 3-part version)
- MahlerFest XXII (2009): Symphony No. 8
- MahlerFest XXIII (2010): Symphony No. 3
- MahlerFest XXIV (2011): Symphony No.5
- MahlerFest XXV (2012): Symphony No. 2
- MahlerFest XXVI (2013): Symphony No. 4 and Der Abschied
- MahlerFest XXVII (2014): Rückert Lieder and Symphony No. 6
- MahlerFest XXVIII (planned, 2015): Symphony No. 9