A preeminent intensive fellowship that equips young musicians for orchestral music careers while providing the highest level of musical experience for all stakeholders.
The NRO - Nurturing the Future of Music
The NRO performs two full orchestra concerts each week in Breckenridge’s beautiful Riverwalk Center between late June and mid-August. In addition, members of the NRO take part in smaller chamber concerts during the festival, and the full orchestra plays at several other locations in the state. NRO Alumni currently play in virtually every major and regional orchestra in the U. S. and in orchestras world-wide.
THE MUSIC EXPERIENCE
During his 34 years with the National Repertory Orchestra, Maestro Carl Topilow has led the orchestra to the forefront of summer music festival programs. Every winter, Maestro Topilow and distinguished NRO alumni audition more than 800 young musicians from leading conservatories and music schools in the US and Canada. The finest 89 musicians are chosen for an eight-week, intensive, orchestral fellowship and summer residency in Breckenridge, Colorado. The pre-eminent career-preparatory experience for these musicians is the rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule, during which an entire orchestral season—29 concert—is compressed into eight weeks of demanding repertoire. Not only must these musicians play with a whole complement of new colleagues, but they must also perform a wide range of material with only a few rehearsals for each performance. At the end of the summer, they have developed strong skills under pressure and have brought their musicianship to new heights.
BEYOND GREAT MUSIC
During their summer fellowship, National Repertory Orchestra musicians also take part in the NRO's Education and Community Engagement Program, which prepares the musicians for an active role in the communities they will be serving. For symphony orchestras to survive and thrive, musicians need to be advocates for classical music in all aspects of life. The NRO provides such skills and experience through a summer education track. Career development classes such as mock auditions, contract negotiations, finance for musicians, and training in music therapy and early childhood interaction, address the often neglected extra-musical aspects of being a professional orchestra musician.
NRO musicians also take part in community engagement events throughout the summer including performances at area preschools and hospice centers. They receive training in interpersonal skills for community engagement events, networking, and speaking with the media. The NRO believes the sustainability of the modern orchestra is dependent on the active participation of its musicians beyond their extraordinary musical abilities. This past season, the National Repertory Orchestra partnered with St. Anthony Summit Medical Center to raise awareness surrounding the healing impacts of music therapy. With training by renowned music therapist Dr. Deforia Lane, NRO musicians conducted weekly music therapy sessions at the Frisco hospital.
The NRO Summer program provides opportunities for members of the local community to be actively involved in the organization. Through Community Link, NRO musicians and interns are matched with local families and offered weekly activities such as hiking, rafting trips, picnics, and sports events. Community members also volunteer during the summer music festival in administration, at concerts and fundraising events.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Founded in 1960 as the Blue Jeans Symphony in Estes Park, CO, the orchestra moved to Evergreen, CO in 1966 and changed its name to the Colorado Philharmonic. In 1986, the orchestra relocated to Keystone Resort and changed its name to the National Repertory Orchestra in an effort to better recognize the national/international make-up of its musicians. In 1993, the Town of Breckenridge invited the orchestra to perform in the new Riverwalk Center, now NRO's summer residence.
HONORING OUR PAST IN COLORADO
It’s hard to believe 2009 marked the 50th season or golden anniversary of the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado. In 2009, the NRO celebrated a half century of memories - 4 home locations, 3 names, and a legacy of over 4000 musicians hopefully touched by their personal and collective NRO experience.
So many dedicated board members, staff, and music directors have given endlessly of their time and spirit to keep the mission alive and deliver season after season. Carl Topilow has personally given over 34 years of his life towards the audition, selection, and career development of 88 musicians in order to deliver superior summer concerts for our valued stakeholders. Colorado residents and our many visitors have been fortunate to have this cultural enrichment as part of our lives each summer.
6 Years in Estes Park:
Founded in 1960 by Walter Charles as the Blue Jeans Symphony in Estes Park, CO, the orchestra moved to Evergreen, CO in 1966 and changed its name to the Colorado Philharmonic.
20 Years in Evergreen
In 1986, the orchestra relocated to Keystone Resort and changed its name to the National Repertory Orchestra in an effort to better recognize the national/international make-up of its musicians.
7 Years in Keystone
In 1993, the Town of Breckenridge invited the orchestra to perform in the new Riverwalk Center, now NRO’s summer residence.
20 Years in Breckenridge
OTHER PERFORMANCE LOCATIONS:
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Pacific Rim Tour: Korean, Taiwan, Japan
Lincoln Center/Fort Collins
Colorado School of Mines
Brown Palace Hotel
Hiwan County Club/Evergreen
Boettcher Concert Hall
Mt Vernon County Club
Denver Heather Gardens
Denver Botanical Gardens
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Arvada Center for the Arts
Houston Fine Arts Center
Genesee Town Center
Town of Vail Lionshead
Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
Copper Mountain Resort
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Newman Center for the Performing Arts, University of Denver
1984: National Endowment for the Arts names NRO to its Advancement Program and awards a grant of $75,000
1985: 20th Anniversary of NEA, NRO performs at Kennedy Center for the Arts
1986: Richard D. Lamm, Governor of Colorado, presents NRO with the “Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
1988: The NRO is the only United States orchestra to be invited to perform at the 1988 Seoul, South Korea Olympic Arts Festival. This Pacific Rim tour included concerts in Taiwan and Japan on behalf of the Colorado economic development efforts
1990: US West Foundation awards the NRO a major grant to produce the “Spirit of Today’s West: composer competition
1993: The NRO performs at the World Youth Day festivities during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Colorado
1995: The NRO performs at the United States Olympic Festival in Denver, Colorado
2007: The NRO celebrates Carl Topilow’s 30th Anniversary with the NRO
2007: The Pittsburgh Symphony and the NRO partner on a musician training program for African American musicians. The program provides a year long learning experience with two of the world’s leading orchestra’s and enables young musicians to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of an orchestra career
2007: St. Anthony Centura/Summit Medical Center and the NRO partner to deliver a Summer Music Therapy program to benefit patients, medical staff, and selected fellowship musicians
2009: The NRO celebrates its 50th Anniversary
2010: The NRO receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts