Skip to Content


September 18, 2014

Colorado Symphony: Let’s Build a Better Boettcher


DENVER — September 18, 2014 — In a press event at Boettcher Concert Hall, Colorado Symphony CEO and Board co-chair Jerome H. Kern presented a proposal for a repurposed, renovated concert hall. The plan envisions a modernized and upgraded building that allows for greater flexibility in programming and addresses critical issues of sound and structure. Joined on stage by members of the Colorado Symphony as well Denver business and cultural leaders, including Gil Boggs of the Colorado Ballet and Opera Colorado’s Greg Carpenter, Kern said the Colorado Symphony is ready to engage with the public as well as the City of Denver in a meaningful dialogue about the future of Boettcher Concert Hall.

To see the plan and download a hi-resolution rendering of a Better Boettcher, click here.

“A great symphony like a great sports team needs a great field to play on,” Kern told an audience of media and community members. “Boettcher Concert Hall has been the Colorado Symphony’s home since it was built, and we’re optimistic that this plan allows us to move into the future, so that it can remain the orchestra’s home for another 35 years, at least.”

The plan was developed by Semple Brown Architects, led by principal Chris Wineman. Semple Brown is noted for its work with performing arts venue including the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, renovation of the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby, the headquarters of the Colorado Ballet, the RedLine Art Center, Pueblo Memorial Hall, the Kenneth King Center, the Denver School of the Arts and Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre.

“Over the past ten years, Semple Brown has studied Boettcher and compared it with both new and old symphonic halls, as well as the evaluations performed by multiple acoustical consultants during that time,” says Wineman. “Several lessons inform Semple Brown’s proposal for a renovation of Boettcher Concert Hall: The cubic volume of the hall needs to be reduced; the reflective surfaces closest to the musicians need to be larger in scale; the stage enclosure needs to be tighter; and the hall needs flexibility in seat count and seat format to help the CSO support a broader range of music types and performers.

“On the basis of those lessons, Semple Brown’s conceptual design proposes two significant, yet cost-effective changes that work together to meet the four goals identified above, and do so in a cost-effective manner,” Wineman continues. “his design concept strategically adds seats close to the stage and reduces seating farther from the stage, while maintaining Boettcher’s distinctive intimacy and embrace of the musicians. It allows the CSO to customize the seating capacity quickly and easily to match its programming.”

Projected Costs of Construction: $40 million (Source: Haselden Construction)
Includes renovation of HVAC system and deferred maintenance
Does not include “soft” costs – ie design fees, city management fees, etc.

Possible Funding Sources:
$20-25 million: Remaining from voter-approved bond initiative passed in 2007 and Denver Mini-Bonds issued in 2014.

$15-20 million: Additional city investment, Colorado Symphony donors, corporate sponsors, public/private partnerships, naming rights, etc.


One of the leading orchestras in the United States, the Colorado Symphony performs more than 150 concerts annually at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver and across Colorado. Led by internationally renowned Music Director Andrew Litton, the Colorado Symphony is home to eighty full-time musicians, representing more than a dozen nations, and regularly welcomes the most celebrated artists from the world of symphonic music and beyond. Every season, the Colorado Symphony serves more than 250,000 people from all walks of life, performing a range of musical styles, from traditional to contemporary. Recognized as an incubator of innovation, creativity, and excellence, the Colorado Symphony continually expands its reach through education, outreach, and programming. The Colorado Symphony partners with the state’s leading musical artists, cultural organizations, corporations, foundations, sports teams, and individuals to expose diverse audiences to the transformative power of music. To learn more, visit