String Orchestra of the Rockies’ season opener

String Orchestra of the Rockies' four-concert season opens with pianist Gilles Vonsattel

New & Notable

The String Orchestra of the Rockies opens its 33rd season Sunday, Sept. 17. The season opening concert – the first of four – features renowned Steinway artist, pianist Gilles Vonsattel, recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva competitions, as well as the 2016 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. The season will continue on Nov. 19 with the enchanting lute player John Lenti. In February, distinguished tenor and cellist Brian Stucki will join the orchestra for a musical collaboration; and, in May, the orchestra will welcome back, for an encore performance, two of the SOR’s favorite guest artists: violinist Maria Larionoff and double bassist Barry Lieberman.

Tickets are on sale now through GrizTix: At all GrizTix ticket outlets, online at, by calling the Adams Center box office: 888-MONTANA, or save transaction fees by purchasing your tickets in person at the Adams Center box office. All seats are general admission, and all concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Montana Music Recital Hall.

Sunday, Sept. 17: Mozart in Paris, featuring Gilles Vonsattel

The Swiss-born American pianist, recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva Competitions, joins an enhanced SOR in this exciting season opener. Vonsattel will perform Mozart’s elegant Piano Concerto No. 9 in Eb major (the “Jeunehomme”) along with the SOR and additional winds and brass. The University of Montana’s new Steinway concert grand piano takes center stage as the celebrated Steinway artist makes his Montana debut.

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017: Apollo’s Lute, featuring John Lenti

The SOR explores the magic and power of the Baroque lute, at one time the most popular instrument in the Western world. Experience the lute’s compelling beauty in the hands of masterful guest artist, Seattle Baroque and Portland Baroque Orchestra’s John Lenti.

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018: Heroes and Legends, featuring Brian Stucki

A talented and versatile tenor soloist, Stucki is also an accomplished cellist and often sings and plays at the same time. Noted for a voice that possesses great power and nuance, he joins the SOR and UM horn professor Zachary Cooper in a Montana debut performance of Britten’s evocative Serenade for tenor, horn, and strings. Elsewhere on the program, Montana’s own Chris Kirkpatrick and Chris Mothersole perform on clarinet and the rarely heard basset horn, a first for the SOR. Expect the unexpected when the tenor virtuoso sings and plays cello on self-arranged operatic arias.

String Orchestra of the Rockies
String Orchestra of the Rockies ends its 33rd season with a Northwest tour.Photo © Lance Boyd

Sunday, May 6, 2018: The Cascades Meet the Rockies

Two of the orchestra’s favorite guests and cofounders of The American String Project, Maria Larionoff and Barry Lieberman, return to Montana for their third appearance with the SOR. This concert launches a Northwest concert tour that culminates in an SOR debut in Seattle, and mark’s the orchestra’s first regional, multi-state tour.

Works by regional and acclaimed composers that reflect the grandeur and beauty of the Northwest will be featured in this stirring season closer.

For more information about the SOR, visit