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Home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Boettcher became the first symphony hall in the round built in the United States when it opened in 1978. The "in the round" design places the audience on each side of central stage instead of the traditional design where the audience sits facing one side of the stage. This design allows eighty percent of the theater's 2400 seats to be located within sixty-five feat of the stage. Each of these seats were custom-designed to deflect sound similar to the theater's walls. Like the seats, the walls are are canted at a slight angle to help disperse sound and eliminate flutter echoes. The hall is named in honor of Claude K. Boettcher, a leading supporter of the arts in Colorado.


  • Boettcher Concert Hall became the first symphonic hall to utilize the in-the-round design. It is part of the Denver Arts Complex.

Although commonly used throughout the world, the first fixed venue to be built using the theater-in-the-round design in the United States was constructed in 1940. Boettcher Concert Hall was unique from these theaters in that it was designed with symphonic events rather than theatrical performances in mind. Acoustician Christopher Jaffe helped design the interior of the concert hall, working with Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates to design a place the audience as close as possible to the stage. The design includes specially designed walls, seats, and circular discs in the ceiling that deflect and distribute sound evenly throughout the venue. 

Despite the reputation of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as one of the best in the country, the vast size of Boetcher Hall often results in many unfilled seats and the symphony has struggled financially. In 2014, the symphony considered seeking a different venue in order to reduce its rent. The city agreed to repairs and maintenance, as well as a temporary reduction in rent. Prior to that agreement, the city considered replacing the concert hall with an outdoor amphitheater. Members and supporters of the Colorado Symphony, as well as residents and city leaders worked out a compromise that allowed the preservation of the theater in its current configuration. The Colorado Symphony is only orchestra with a full-time staff of musicians within a thousand mile radius of Denver.

Boettcher Concert Hall & Denver Performing Arts Complex Re-imagination Project. Denver Performing Arts Complex. Accessed November 27, 2016. http://artscomplex.com/Venues/BoettcherConcertHall/tabid/72/Default.aspx.

Boettcher Concert Hall. Open Doors Denver. Accessed November 27, 2016. http://doorsopendenver.com/sites-tours/sites/boettcher-concert-hall.

"Between Bach and a hard place on Boettcher, CSO." Denver Post, June 25, 2014. http://www.denverpost.com/2014/07/25/between-bach-and-a-hard-place-on-boettcher-cso/