Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Nathaniel Rateliff, Mary-Mitchell Campbell to lead Colorado Symphony’s new series

Colorado Symphony on Monday revealed a new program called the Imagination Artist Series that will feature ground-up collaborations with musical luminaries RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan), Nathaniel Rateliff and Broadway’s Mary-Mitchell Campbell.

The series, scheduled to take place during the 2022-2023 artistic season, is looking to showcase diverse styles in its trio of performances. The artists will curate orchestral programs for the show and get “unparalleled creative access to the entire orchestra, offering a blank canvas to innovate, imagine and curate orchestral programs” that will have their world premieres in Denver, organizers wrote in a press statement.

“When you get a chance to hear your music translated by an orchestra, it’s so fulfilling,” RZA said in the statement. “The vibration of it, the feel of it. As musicians, we strive to inspire and give inspiration. If you can move somebody and let their imagination explore and explode, I think that’s what we have the chance to do here.”

RZA made his Colorado Symphony debut with Wu-Tang Clan in a pair of sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Denver’s Mission Ballroom, Aug. 13 and 14, 2021, officials said. He’ll return to Denver on May 21, 2022, performing at the Colorado Symphony’s Imagination Gala — the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser — at Mission Ballroom.

Dates for Rateliff, the longtime, Denver-based folk artist and leader of The Night Sweats soul-Americana band, and Wu-Tang will be announced in the coming months, while Mary-Mitchell Campbell’s shows are set to debut Sept. 23 and 24. Campbell is the music director behind Broadway shows including “Mean Girls,” “The Prom,” “My Love Letter to Broadway with Kristin Chenoweth,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “Sweeney Todd.”

Her Imagination Artist Series begins with a “Tribute to Stephen Sondheim,” celebrating the 20th century Broadway legend, and samplings from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and “Into the Woods.”

“What I love about this orchestra is how passionate they are about making all kinds of music and recognizing that every genre has a place in the concert hall,” Campbell said in the statement.

See more details at coloradosymphony.org.

Correction: A previous version of this story inaccurately represented RZA’s performance with the Colorado Symphony. The artist will appear solo, not with Wu-Tang Clan.

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