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Speaker Series Presents Catherine Beeson – Symphony Orchestras: 500 Years and Counting

January 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Lowry Foundation and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Denver present Catherine Beeson as the kick-off speaker for the 2024 season of events at the Eisenhower Chapel.

The New York Philharmonic. The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Vienna Philharmonic. The Berlin Philharmonic. The Cleveland Orchestra. The Colorado Symphony. The greatest symphony orchestras, performing music from the greatest composers, led by the greatest conductors, stretching back 500 years to the Renaissance. Enjoy the history and development of the symphony both as an orchestra and a long-form composition at the historic Eisenhower Chapel in Lowry.

In this 90-minute session, Catherine will share a broad overview of the history and development of the symphony in both its definitions: an orchestra and a long-form composition for orchestra. She will explore the invention and development of both things to bring the symphony from its Renaissance era birth to its present form through informative, surprising, humorous, curiosity-inducing slides, audio examples, discussion, and Q&A.

Sample mini-topics we will cover  include:
What even IS a symphony?
How does the symphony work?
What are some of the most interesting and influential creatives of the symphony?
Who are the noteworthy composers of today?
“Did you know…” — an overview of Colorado’s symphonic ecosystem and why you should care.

About Catherine Beeson

Ms. Beeson has been a public speaker, concert host, educator, arts administrator, and performing musician for over 30 years.  She has worked in various capacities for the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Lenape Chamber Ensemble, Friends of Chamber Music Denver, Regis University, DU, and the Colorado Symphony.  She has also facilitated OLLI courses for more than a decade. 

Ms. Beeson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, the Manhattan School of Music, the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program and is honored to be one of 6 women and non-binary leaders in the nation selected for the inaugural cohort of the 2023-2024 Anne Parsons Leadership Program. You can find more information about Catherine on her website, catherinebeeson.com. 

Free and open to the public. RSVP requested below.

We are happy to announce that OLLI is preparing a class on a historical topic to be held at the Eisenhower Chapel this spring. Please email for more information to info@lowryfoundation.org.





January 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


The Lowry Foundation
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The Eisenhower Chapel
293 Roslyn St
Denver, CO 80230 United States
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