Chris Mohr

Host - Classical Music from Aspen

Chris Mohr began composing a major oratorio at the age of 12, and his music drama From the Realm of the Shadow has been released on Naxos Records and performed in 2013 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 is composing a 53-note-to-the-octave oratorio, Melodies of the Shoreless Sea, setting  ancient poems to geographically-matched ancient scales in their pure original tunings. He is also working on a book called The Grand Unified Theory of Ancient Music, which demonstrates how 53-eq tuning offers a single musical system to play hundreds of ancient scales in tune. He has hiked up most of Colorado's fourteeners, has spent every summer since 1980 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 throughout the first movement. 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 Ode 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

Violinist Robert McDuffie teaches a master class today at 1pm in Harris Concert Hall. At 4 in the Benedict Music Tent, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra offers its first performance of the season. This free concert features aspiring conducting students in works of Berlioz and Stravinsky, and Brahms’s beautifully pastoral Second Symphony. Hear the AACA in free concerts every Tuesday at 4 throughout the Festival season.

Trios of Beethoven and Shostakovich, and the great “Dumky” Trio by Dvorak will be performed by violinist Philip Setzer, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han tonight at 7:30 in Harris Concert Hall. Tune in for a live broadcast of this wonderful program here on Aspen Public Radio.

Tonight at 8 in Harris Concert Hall, pianist and composer Stephen Hough will perform his piece Other Love Songs. Also on the program are a Clarinet Sonata by Weinberg and the ravishing Ravel Piano Trio.

Cellist David Finckel will be joined by his wife pianist Wu Han and violinist Philip Setzer in trios by Beethoven and Shostakovich, and the exquisite “Dumky” Trio of Dvorak tomorrow at 7:30 in Harris Concert Hall. The recital will be broadcast live on Aspen Public Radio hosted by Chris Mohr.

Today marks the opening of the 65th season of the Aspen Music Festival celebrating” The New Romantics.” At 4:15 today, hear top students in chamber music at the beautiful Aspen Chapel. At 7pm at Harris Concert Hall, enjoy a recital of works by Beethoven, Enescu and Philip Glass with violinist Robert McDuffie and Aspen Music Festival Music Director Robert Spano at the piano.

“The New Romantics:” it’s the theme of the 65th season of the Aspen Music Festival which opens tomorrow and offers over 300 concerts over the next eight weeks. Discover how the elements of the most-beloved works of the 19th century are making a comeback in our time. Symphonic and chamber masterpieces of Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, Mahler and other favorites will be performed alongside those of living composers whose individual expression and artistic adventurism typifies the Romantic spirit. Chris Mohr had a chance to discuss this summer’s lineup with Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher and Festival Artistic Administrator Asadour Santourian.

The 2014 Aspen Public Festival season begins this week. Today, for the first Festival Showcase of the new season, host Chris Mohr is joined Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and Asadour Santourian, Vice President of Artistic Administration and Artistic Advisor, to talk about the upcoming 2014 season and the theme of the New Romantics. Then we listen to Music Director Robert Spano’s inspiring words at yesterday’s Convocation.