Chris Mohr

Host - Classical Music from Aspen

Chris Mohr began composing major vocal works at the age of 12, and his music drama From the Realm of the Shadow has been released on Naxos Records and performed last year in New York at the Riverside Church Theatre. He has been a classical radio announcer since 1978. Along with his wife Karen he published On The Air Magazine, a fourteen-city classical radio magazine, from the late eighties to the late nineties. His two-CD set, The Classical Music Start-Up Kit with extensive liner notes, has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. He has hiked up most of Colorado's fourteeners, has spent every summer for 33 years with his wife Karen enjoying the Aspen Music Festival,  volunteers for the Met Opera Auditions, has twenty years experience volunteering in prisons, and enjoys scuba diving, meditating, bicycling and his cat Pamina.

Bonus story: Thirty four years ago, a friend with a private pilot's license invited to fly me anywhere in Colorado for the cost of gas. Wanting to impress a woman I was intensely interested in, I asked if she'd like to be flown from Denver to Aspen in a small plane to hear Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The plane got 100 feet into the air and ended up crashing into a field just beyond the runway. The plane was damaged but we were unhurt, so I raced us over Independence Pass at race-car speeds. By the time we arrived, the concert was about to begin and there were no tickets to be had. We sat out on the lawn, looking at dark brooding clouds throughjout the first mopvement. During the violent Scherzo, lightning bolts were crashing onto the mountaintops all around us. During the quieter third movement, there was an incredibly gentle mist. As the chorus began to sing the de to Joy, the sun burst out! I should have proposed to her on the spot, but we did marry three years later... and we haven't missed a summer in Aspen together since!

Ways To Connect

  Pianist John O’Conor will present a Master Class this morning at 10 in Harris Concert Hall.

  Beginning at 9 this morning in Harris Concert Hall, you can hear some of the new works to come out of this year’s composition program. Admission is free.

  Tunes and Tales, a free program for children 4-9 accompanied by an adult, takes place this morning at 10:30 at the Basalt Regional Library. Listen to enchanting stories along with classical favorites performed by Aspen Music Festival and School students.

  Today and every Monday throughout the Festival at 10:15, the Festival offers a free guided tour of the Bucksbaum Campus. If you haven’t yet toured the newer buildings there, here’s your chance. Meet at the Administration Building.

  A weekly interview program with host Chris Mohr. This week we chat with Aspen Opera Theater director Ed Berkeley about the entire season, as well as 16 year old Malaysian composer and pianist Tengku Irfan .

  The Aspen Chamber Symphony conducted by Larry Rachleff performs at 6 today in the Benedict Music Tent. 

  Pianist Arie Vardi teaches a master class today at 10 in Harris Concert Hall.

Today at noon at Christ Episcopal Church, pianist Orli Shaham joins Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School in a conversation about new works and the Mackey piano concerto Stumble to Grace. These thoughtful and stimulating discussions known as High Notes continue every Wednesday at noon and are free.

  Kids 2-7 with an adult accompanying them are invited to Gotta Move!, a free and fun program where they’ll discover the basics of beat, tune and rhythm through stories, movement and a short performance. That’s this morning at 10:30 on the Bucksbaum Campus. A competition for Low Strings players begins today at 5 at Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus. The winner will play with the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra on July 21st.

Aspen Public Radio's Chris Mohr wraps up a season of interviews with renowned musicians and composers with a "debriefing" interview with Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher. We talk about the pleasant and not-so-pleasant surprises of the season, and then Alan "tips his hand" and talks a little about next year's theme. And yes, Verdi's Aida will be performed on the big stage at the Tent! 

Those iconic structures you've been visiting all summer-- The Tent, Harris Hall, the Bucksbaum Campus, even the student lodging-- were all designed by architect Harry Teague.  We caught up with him to talk about some of the concepts behind the buildings we've all visited so many times.

Thanks to all the listeners who have told me how much they enjoy hearing great classical music every weekday on Aspen Public Radio, the AMFS for helping me find great interviewees for this show, and all the musicians and administrators who keep the music alive in Aspen!

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