Founded in 1981, Breckenridge Music impacts the community by improving the quality of life for Summit County residents and visitors, increasing access to the arts, fostering a deeper understanding of music for all ages and contributing to a robust Breckenridge economy. The non-profit organization serves approximately 15,000 people each year through its three core programs: Breckenridge Music Festival, Breck Music Education and Breck Music Presents.
A community where everyone discovers, experiences, values and is connected by the power of music.
To present diverse and high-quality live music performances and broad-based community music education.
Every summer mid-July through mid-August, the Festival features a resident ensemble of 45 professional musicians led by Artistic Director & Conductor Steven Schick. Performances range from traditional to contemporary classical and includes multidisciplinary arts collaborations with local and regional arts organizations. Intimate chamber music experiences are also presented in private homes and public locations throughout Summit County.
The year-round Music in the Schools program, Kid Fest, Free Family Concert, open rehearsals and other community performances aim to share music with the broadest cross-section of the community. In-school assemblies and workshops reach nearly 4,000 students at schools in Lake, Park and Summit County.
This series of performances brings some of the most popular national touring acts in jazz, rock, folk, bluegrass, and country to the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge during the summer months. Regional talent is presented throughout Summit County during the winter.
Breckenridge Music’s story begins in the summer of 1980, when a group of full- and part-time residents put together a music festival to mark the 100th anniversary celebration of the Father Dyer United Methodist Church. The event was so well received by residents, visitors and musicians that plans were made to have it become an annual event.
Chartered in 1981 as the Breckenridge Music Institute, the organization was commissioned to produce a Festival of Classical Music and Jazz, and operated a summer music festival and a youth music camp. Under the direction of founder Dr. Kenneth Evans for its first decade, it was generally referred to as the “Bach, Beethoven & Breckenridge” music festival, a title carried on by our annual art poster series.
The move to the Town’s Event Tent, erected in 1988 on the south side of the Blazing Saddles Center in the middle of town, made the Festival more accessible and increased seating capacity to 350. In 1993 the RiverwalkCenter was completed, providing a 750-seat amphitheater within a tent erected for summer performances. In 2008, the Town, with financial assistance from the Breckenridge community, remodeled the Riverwalk Center. Contributing supporters included many patrons of the BMF. The new permanent roof, along with lighting and climate control, created a comfortable and acoustically excellent performance hall, now available for year-round concerts.
The original Institute mission included a strong educational component, which continues today. Additional performance series have joined the ongoing summer orchestral festival. The Champagne Series, chamber concerts in private homes around Summit County, was added in 1998, and in 2001 the Festival expanded its performances to include non-classical performances of many genres, showcased as the Blue River Series. A series of concerts during the winter now completes the Breckenridge Music’s annual cycle of year-round events with chamber-sized classical and non-classical performances.
The Breckenridge Music office is housed in the McAdoo House on 201 S Ridge St, Breckenridge, CO 80424. The house is part of the Breckenridge Historic District and is designated on the National Register of Historic Places. For more about the McAdoo House, please read this article by Dr. Sandra Mather.