Fort Collins Symphony Presents “Escape to Hope,” a Concert Celebrating the Power and Resilience of the Human Spirit

Michael Abels

The Fort Collins Symphony (FCS) invites you to embark on a musical journey with “Escape to Hope,” an evening filled with inspiring and uplifting music. The final concert of the 2022-2023 FCS Season will take place at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 13, 2023, both in-person at the Lincoln Center and via live stream.

Join FCS Maestro Wes Kenney for an evening that celebrates the power and resilience of the human spirit through three compositions that showcase hope and unity.

The evening begins with Emmy-Award-nominated composer Michael Abels’ 1990 work, “Global Warming.” This piece symbolizes the melting of cultural barriers after the Cold War and pays homage to the diverse cultures of Abels’ childhood neighborhood.

“I wanted to write a piece that explored the similarities I heard between the music of various cultures,” Abels says. “At the time of its premiere, global warming was not the politically charged term it is today. The piece was not written as a political statement, but its political message has inevitably deepened as climate change has evolved from theory into reality.” Abels is celebrated for his work on Jordan Peele’s hit movies “Get Out,” “Us,” and 2022’s “Nope.”

Next, immerse yourself in the atmospheric beauty of Claude Debussy’s “Nocturnes.” This dreamy and evocative exploration of light, color, and soundscapes will transport you to new realms.

The concert concludes with Ukrainian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony, a powerful piece that pays tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. Prokofiev began composing during the storming of Normandy Beach. The first performance took place amidst the sound of artillery fire. Two weeks later, Auschwitz was liberated. Rather than dwelling on the horrors of World War II, Prokofiev’s symphony celebrates the things in life worth fighting for.

When: Saturday, May 13th, 7:30 pm Mountain Time
Where: The Fort Collins Lincoln Center: 417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521, and via live-stream

Cost: Adult: $25-67, Student/Child: $10, Livestream: $25 per device.

Tickets and more information:

To learn more about the concert:

  • Visit to read program notes and listen to a playlist of the music on this concert.
  • Join us for a free “Composer Talk” with CSU Professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes at the Old Town Library on Wednesday, May 10th at 12:00 PM noon. Enjoy refreshments and an insightful lecture, courtesy of the Friends of the Symphony.
  • Attend the FCS “Open Rehearsal” on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 PM in-person at the Lincoln Center to see how the music is made.
  • Enjoy Maestro Kenney’s pre-concert lecture “Maestro’s Musings” on Saturday, May 13 at 6:30 PM before the concert. Available in-person or via live-stream with ticket purchase.
  • Tune into Maestro Kenney’s World of Symphonic Music at 7 p.m. on Sundays at KRFC 88.9 FM Radio Fort Collins 88.9 FM. Free.

The Fort Collins Symphony’s 2022-2023 Season Sponsors: City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, Dr. David and Alison Dennis, Ken Garff Ford Fort Collins, Lyric Theater, National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Ed Siegel, and Dr. Peter Springberg.

Media Sponsors: KRFC 88.9 FM Radio Fort Collins, KUNC 91.5 FM Radio NPR, and North Forty News.

“Escape to Hope” Sponsors: Anonymous, Friedman Charitable Fund – Bill & Susan Friedman, Dr. Don & Jan Jorgensen, Dr. Peter Springberg.

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