Festival Notes

A daily walk through of Aspen Music Festival and School events. Featuring a daily schedule and interesting background information on the Festival's artists, students and featured composers, Festival Notes prepares audiences for their day's musical journey.

Today is Friday, July 18th.

The Aspen Chamber Symphony under the direction of Osmo Vanska performs at 6 today in the Benedict Music Tent. Piano dynamo Joyce Yang plays the Grieg Concerto. Steven Stucky’s Rhapsodies and Carl Nielsen’s First Symphony are also on the program. Arrive at 4:45pm and you can hear Anton Nel in Mozart piano music in Harris Concert Hall before the concert.

Tomorrow at 10am in the Wheeler Opera House, the Aspen Opera Theater Center singers present staged opera scenes from a wide variety of dramatic and comic works. The Center’s director, Edward Berkeley, always has a new spin to add during these popular master classes.

At 1pm tomorrow, head to the top of Aspen Mountain by gondola or foot if you’re ambitious, and enjoy Music on the Mountain, a casual concert in a spectacular setting.

At 4:30pm tomorrow, three lovely chamber works by Brahms, Dvorak and Mozart will be performed in Harris Concert Hall.

The Pacifica Quartet, one of the finest quartets of their generation, perform the Second and Ninth Quartets by Shostakovich tomorrow at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall. Schnittke’s Third Quartet is also on the program.

Sunday’s Aspen Festival Orchestra concert at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent features Robert McDuffie in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, along with works by Ravel and Brett Dean. Thierry Fischer conducts.

Today is Thursday, July 17th.

Pianist Ann Schein teaches a master class today at 10am in Harris Concert Hall.

At 10:30am at the Pitkin County Library, it’s Tunes and Tales, with stories and music for the 4-9 set. The program is free, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Aspen Community Church is the place to be at noon today for a free Spotlight Recital showcasing some of the summer’s finest students in a wide range of repertoire.

Chapel Chamber Music is offered free every Thursday at 4:15pm throughout the Festival, presenting student quartets, trios and other ensembles in the intimate setting of the Aspen Chapel.

Misha and Cipa Dichter play works for duo piano in the Benedict Music Tent at 6pm, and it’s an all-Romantic program of Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens and Dvorak.

A Baroque Evening with Nicholas McGegan, conductor and harpsichord, takes place at 8:30pm tonight in Harris Concert Hall. Works by C.P.E. Bach, Telemann, Biscogli and J.S. Bach are on tap.

At 8:30pm, it’s a free String Showcase in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

Today is Wednesday, July 16th.

Two of this summer’s most engaging personalities, conductor Nicholas McGegan and pianist Joyce Yang, join Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School in conversation today at noon at Christ Episcopal Church. These thoughtful and stimulating discussions known as High Notes continue every Wednesday at noon and are free.

Today’s free Spotlight Recital featuring top student talent takes place at 3pm in Harris Concert Hall.

This summer’s Violin Competition winner takes the Benedict Music Tent stage at 6pm today for the demanding Brahms Concerto. Also heard on this Aspen Philharmonic program will be excerpts from Romeo and Juliet by Berlioz and the Sinfonia de Requiem of Benjamin Britten. Federico Cortese conducts.

French-Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin plays works by John Field, Liszt and two Schubert sonatas including his last great sonata in B flat tonight at 8:30pm in Harris Concert Hall.

Today is Tuesday, July 15th.

Today at 10:30am at the Basalt Regional Library, a fun program for ages 4-9 accompanied by an adult. Tunes and Tales will enchant you and the kids with stories and music, and it’s free.

The lovely Aspen Chapel is the venue for today’s free noon Spotlight Recital, showcasing top students in a wide variety of music.

Choong Mo Kang teaches a piano master class today at 1pm in Harris Concert Hall.

Last Monday’s Winds Competition Winner appears today at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, as a variety of conducting students take the baton to lead the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra. Ravel’s sensuous Daphnis and Chloe Suite and Sibelius’s majestic Second Symphony are on the program.

At 7:30pm tonight in Harris Concert Hall, the legendary Emerson String Quartet in their first Aspen performance with new cellist extraordinaire Paul Watkins. Beethoven’s own favorite of his late quartets, number 14 in C-sharp minor, and another pillar of the chamber music repertoire, Schubert’s Quartet Number 14, “Death and the Maiden” will make for a moving and memorable evening.

Today is Monday, July 14th.

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 10:30am on the Bucksbaum Campus.

At 6pm in Harris Concert Hall, faculty members team up for chamber music including the autumnal Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano of Brahms, Pierre Jalbert’s Wild Ambrosia, and the rarely-heard Sexet in D by Mendelssohn.

Tonight is your last chance to see Tchaikovsky’s tale of frustrated love, Eugene Onegin, as performed in English by the rising stars of the Aspen Opera Theater Center. That’s at 7pm at the Wheeler Opera House.

A very special free recital at 8pm tonight at Harris Concert Hall, featuring ensembles who have been coached extensively by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. Last year’s program was a major season highlight, so don’t miss this one.

Today is Friday, July 11th.

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han will give a master class this morning at 10am in Harris Concert Hall.

At 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent, it’s dynamic conductor Nicholas McGegan leading the Aspen Chamber Symphony in works by Schumann, Schnittke and Mendelssohn’s popular “Italian” Symphony. Remember to arrive early for Mozart piano music at 4:45pm in Harris Concert Hall.

Tomorrow at 10am in the Wheeler Opera House, see up and coming opera stars in a variety of scenes at the weekly Master Class. At 7pm at the Wheeler, the second of three fully staged performances of Tchaikovsky’s story of passion and yearning, Eugene Onegin, sung in English.

At 8pm tomorrow, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and pianist Anton Nel perform works of Mozart, Somei Satoh, Ravel, Piazzolla and Mason Bates in Harris Concert Hall.

Sunday morning at 9am in Harris, you can hear the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra in works by some of this summer’s composition students.

At 4pm on Sunday in the Benedict Music Tent, the Aspen Festival Orchestra in two of the most beloved works from the Romantic period: Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with Yefim Bronfman as soloist, and Dvorak’s New World Symphony. James Gaffigan conducts.

Today is Thursday, July 10th.

Several free events, the season’s first opera at the Wheeler, and a live taping of Fred Child’s popular radio show Performance Today: it’s all happening today at the Aspen Music Festival.

Do you have or know some children 4-9 years old? This morning’s 10:30am program Tunes and Tales is just for them, and it’s free at the Pitkin County Library. They’ll be enchanted by the storytelling along with classical favorites performed by Aspen Music Festival and School students.

At noon today, another free Spotlight Recital for your lunchtime enjoyment in the intimate Aspen Community Church.

Chapel Chamber Music presents some of the Festival’s finest ensembles every Thursday at 4:15pm in Aspen Chapel in a free series.

A free family concert today at 5pm on the Bucksbaum Campus is a great way to introduce your children to the delights of classical music. A lively short concert features Stravinksy’s The Soldier’s Tale and will be preceded at 4 with free, kid-friendly refreshments.

The Aspen Opera Theater Center presents Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsksy’s drama of unrequited love, tonight at 7pm at the Wheeler Opera House, sung in English. It will be performed again on Saturday, July 12 and on Monday, July 14, also at 7pm.

At 8pm in Harris Concert Hall, radio host Fred Child will be joined by pianist Steven Osborne, violinist Daniel Hope and an AMFS student for a live taping of Performance Today.

And finally at 8:30pm, top-notch students present a free String Showcase on the Bucksbaum Campus.

Today is Wednesday, July 9th.

Today at noon in Paepcke Auditorium, High Notes presents noted musicologist, author and cultural historian Joseph Horowitz discussing the effects of the New World on the music of Dvorak and Mahler with Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher. The program is free.

At 3pm, it’s a free Spotlight Recital in the superb acoustics of Harris Concert Hall. Hear some of this summer’s finest student performers in an eclectic program.

The Aspen Philharmonic will be in concert at 6pm at the Benedict Music Tent, with Nikolas Naegele conducting. A work by Sydney Hodkinson, the Ravel Piano Concerto in G, and Dvorak’s uplifting 8th Symphony on this evening’s program.

At 8:30pm tonight in Harris Concert Hall, violinist Daniel Hope offers a recital featuring Beethoven’s heroic Egmont Overture in an arrangement by Jan Mueller-Wieland, and Stravinsky’s parable of a soldier who makes a deal with the devil, The Soldier’s Tale.

This is Festival Notes. Today is Tuesday, July 8th.

Today at noon in the Aspen Chapel, hear a free Spotlight Recital showcasing some of the Festival’s talented students.

Violinist Daniel Hope teaches a Master Class in Harris Concert Hall today at 1pm.

At 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, it’s the weekly free concert by the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra, today featuring the AACA Piano Competition Winner in Mozart’s brilliant and stormy Piano Concerto Number 24. Works of Thomas Ades, Ravel and Debussy are also on the program.

The Takacs String Quartet offers the second of two recitals tonight at 7:30pm in Harris Concert Hall. Hear two highly personal works by Czech composers: Janacek’s First Quartet, inspired by Tolstoy’s novella “The Kreutzer Sonata,” and Smetana’s authobiographical First Quartet, “From My Life.” Beethoven’s firey Second “Razumovsky” Quartet concludes the program.

At 8pm tonight at Belly Up Aspen: Under the Radar: A Tribute to Frank Zappa, with the Aspen Percussion Ensemble conducted by Jonathan Haas.

Today at 5pm, a competition for wind players takes place at Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

The winner will be the soloist on next week’s Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra concert.

A varied program of chamber music featuring the intensely dramatic Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor will be presented at 6pm today in Harris Concert Hall.

Tomorrow at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, the Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra Piano Competition Winner will perform Mozart’s celebrated Piano Concerto No. 24, about which Beethoven remarked to a fellow composer, “We shall never be able to do anything like that.”  The concert is free.

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