A special conversation with Rufus Wainwright speaking with Alan Fletcher of the Aspen Music Festival and School ahead of tonight's (July 30th) performance at the festival of selections from Wainwright's opera "Prima Donna".
Singer-songwriter-composer Rufus Wainwright shares insights on his music today during a free High Notes conversation in Paepcke Auditorium today at noon. At 8:30pm tonight in Harris Concert Hall, scenes from Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna will be performed by members of the Aspen Opera Theater Singers and Metropolitan Opera soprano Deborah Voigt. That recital, called “The Beautiful Voice” also includes scenes from Strauss’s comic masterpiece Der Rosenkavalier.
First Glimpse, a free recital of works by this summer’s composition students, takes place at 3pm today in Harris Concert Hall.
The Aspen Philharmonic conducted by Hannu Lintu will give a concert at 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent. Two works by Sibelius: the nationalistic Finlandia, and the exquisite and virtuosic Violin Concerto with solists Augustin Hadelich, followed by the Fifth Symphony of Prokofiev. Fourteen years had passed since Prokofiev's last symphony, and World War II was still raging during the symphony's gestation. Prokofiev composed it in a safe haven run by the Soviet Union. He intended the symphony as "a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit.” He added "I cannot say that I deliberately chose this theme. It was born in me and clamoured for expression. The music matured within me. It filled my soul."
Today's Festival Showcase features guitarist Sharon Isbin with a generous sampling of her different performing styles.We chat about how her meditation practice informs her performances, and talk about her new documentary: Sharon Isbin - Troubador and her live collaboration with mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard. Next, we talk with philanthropist Joan Harris, whose name appears outside Harris Concert Hall. Due to Deborah Voigt's illness, we were not able to carry on with her interview and instead talked about the Unabashedly Atonal series and the surprisingly beautiful music that appears in it.
A free Spotlight recital takes place at noon today in the Aspen Chapel.
At 1pm, longtime Aspen Music School faculty member Paul Kantor gives a violin master class in Harris Concert Hall.
The American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra gives a free concert today at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, featuring this summer’s conducting students in Beethoven’s Second Symphony and Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration. The Orchestra will also be joined by this summer’s Low Strings Competition winner.
At 7:30pm tonight, the American String Quartet returns to Aspen for a performance of the late Beethoven Quartet in E flat major, op. 127 and the lyrical Piano Quintet in A by Dvorak with Anton Nel at the piano.
Restless children of all ages are invited to Gotta Move!, a free program exploring the basics of beat, tune and rhythm through stories, movement and a short performance by AMFS students. It’s for ages 2-7 accompanied by an adult and takes place this morning at 10:30am on the Bucksbaum Campus. Meet at the Administration Building.
At 6pm this evening in Harris Concert Hall, members of the Aspen Music School faculty have chamber music for your enjoyment. They’ll be playing the Suite liturgique by Andre Jolivet and the Grand Septet by Franz Berwald, a Swedish Romantic composer who was generally ignored during his lifetime and who made his living as an orthopedic surgeon and later as the manager of a saw mill and glass factory.