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, August 15th.

Lots of great events during this final weekend of the Aspen Music Festival’s 65th season.

The Aspen Chamber Symphony performs tonight at 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent conducted by Jun Markl. Works by Saint-Saens and Richard Strauss, along with the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto with Vladimir Feltsman

At 10am tomorrow in the Wheeler Opera House, it’s the summer’s final opera scenes master class with the up and coming stars of the Aspen Opera Theater Center.

At 1pm tomorrow in the Benedict Music Tent, a dress rehearsal of Sunday’s Aspen Festival Orchestra concert.

A 4:30pm chamber music concert tomorrow in Harris Hall includes the E-flat Piano Quartet by Dvorak and Grazioso! by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

The Aspen Opera Theater Center present’s Bizet’s Carmen at 7pm tonight in the Wheeler Opera House, and that performance will be broadcast live here on Aspen Public Radio.

Pianist Conrad Tao plays an eclectic recital tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall. The program includes Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Tomorrow at 4pm will be the final concert of the season. The Aspen Festival Orchestra will be conducted by Robert Spano and joined by an illustrious lineup of soloists and the Colorado Symphony Chorus conducted by Duain Wolfe. Arvo Part’s Fratres opens the program, followed by the Monologue and Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov.

Festival Notes - August 14th, 2014

Aug 14, 2014

Today is Thursday, August 14th.

Today at 10am in Harris Concert Hall, Yoheved Kaplinsky gives a piano master class.

A free Spotlight Recital takes place today at noon at the Aspen Community Church.

The final Chapel Chamber Music recital of the season will be performed today at 4:15pm in the Aspen Chapel.

At 5pm today in Harris Concert Hall, it’s a free family concert for all ages featuring Saint-Saens’s The Carnival of the Animals. Come at 4pm for free, kid-friendly refreshments and activities in the Hospitality Tent.

The Basalt Regional Library is the site of a free recital at 5:15pm today.

At 7pm in the Wheeler Opera House, the Aspen Opera Theater Center presents Bizet’s Carmen, directed by Edward Berkeley and conducted by Josep Caballe Domenech.

Behzod Abduraimov plays two Chopin ballades, Beethoven ‘s Appasionata Sonata, and works by Liszt and Ravel in a recital tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall.

The season’s last free String Showcase takes place tonight at 8:30pm in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus. And also at 8:30pm in Scanlan Hall, guitar students of Sharon Isbin will give a free recital.

Today is Wednesday, August 13th.

Today’s High Notes at noon in Paepcke Auditorium features a discussion of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in anticipation of Sunday’s Aspen Festival Orchestra performance. Admission is free.

At 3pm today, top student talent perform a diverse program in a free Spotlight Recital in Harris Concert Hall.

The Aspen Philharmonic gives its final concert of the season at 6pm tonight in the Benedict Music Tent. Jane Glover conducts and violinist Fabiola Kim will be featured in The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini will be performed by the Piano Competition Winner, and Mendelssohn’s 3rd Symphony, “Scottish,” concludes the program.

Metropolitan Opera favorites soprano Susanna Phillips and bass-baritone Eric Owens will give a recital tonight at 8:30pm in Harris Concert Hall with Aspen Music Festival Music Director Robert Spano at the piano.

Today is Tuesday, August 12th.

A free Spotlight Recital takes place today at noon in the beautiful Aspen Chapel.

At 1pm in Harris Concert Hall, Donald Weilerstein, father of cellist Alisa Weilerstein, gives a violin master class.

At 4pm today in the Benedict Music Tent, the season’s final free concert by the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra presents top conducting students in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, sometimes called the “Turkish” Concerto. The soloist will be the AACA Violin Competition Winner. Also on the program, Mahler’s 5th Symphony which includes the exquisite Adagietto.

Nikolai Lugansky plays a piano recital of works by Franck, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff tonight at 7:30pm in Harris Concert Hall.

Today is Monday, August 11th.

Today at 10:15am is your last chance this season to take a free guided tour of the Bucksbaum Campus. Meet at the Administration Building.

The summer’s last free guided backstage tour of Benedict Music Tent and Harris Concert Hall takes place today at noon. Meet on Tent Plaza in front of the Tent.

At 6pm today, an illustrious lineup of Aspen Music School faculty members team up for the rarely heard Quintet in D major for Clarinet, Horn, Violin Cello and Piano by Vaughan Williams, the Bloch First Piano Quintet, and a chamber music work by a student in the composition program.

Today is Friday, August 8th.

A noon Spotlight Recital takes place at the Aspen Community Church featuring some of this summer’s most talented students. Admission is free.

At 2pm today in the Aspen Chapel, top piano students offer a free recital.

The Aspen Chamber Symphony gives a concert at 6pm today, with Jane Glover (GLUV-er) conducting. Alisa Weilerstein will play Haydn’s D major Cello Concerto and soprano Susanna Phillips will sing selections from Richard Strauss’s Brentano Lieder. Beethoven’s buoyant 8th Symphony concludes the program.

Tomorrow at 10am, the Aspen Opera Theater Center will perform staged opera scenes as part of a master class in the Wheeler Opera House.

At 8pm tomorrow, conductor Harry Bicket will be joined by star soloists for a Baroque Evening featuring works by Rameau and JS Bach.

Sunday morning at 9pm in Harris Concert Hall, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra will perform works by composition students which will then be discussed by a distinguished panel. The event is free.

James Feddeck conducts the Aspen Festival Orchestra on Sunday at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent in Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto with Nikolai Lugansky, Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and Scriabin’s sensuous Poem of  Ecstasy.

Bizet’s opera Carmen will be performed Sunday at 7pm at the Wheeler Opera House with additional performances on August 12th, 14th and 16th.

Today is Thursday, August 7th.

Pianist Inon Barnatan gives a master class this morning at 10am in Harris Concert Hall and then returns there this evening at 8:30pm for the Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in d minor, BWV 903, Schubert’s G major sonata, D. 894, Franck’s prelude, choral and fugue, the US premiere of Pintscher’s whirling tissue of light, and the Barber sonata.

At 10:30am this morning at the Pitkin County Library, it’s Tunes and Tales, a free program for ages 4-9 with an adult. Listen to enchanting stories along with classical favorites performed by AMFS students.

Lots of other free events today: at noon, it’s a Spotlight Recital at the Aspen Community Church, with a diverse program featuring top student talent. At 2pm in Harris Concert Hall, two ensembles from the Advanced Quartet program, the Ariadne and Zora String Quartets, give a recital in Harris Concert Hall. Chapel Chamber Music takes place at 4:15pm in the Aspen Chapel, and at 5:15pm the Basalt Regional Library is the site of a recital. A String Showcase at 8:30pm tonight will be offered in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

Today is Wednesday, August 6th.

Join Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher in conversation with pianist Inon Barnatan and violinist Stefan Jackiw today at noon in Paepcke Auditorium. These High Notes programs are always free, and offer fascinating insights about the music and musicians you’re enjoying this summer.

Harris Concert Hall is the place to be at 3 today when top students showcase their talents in a free Spotlight Recital.

At 6, James Feddeck leads the Aspen Philharmonic in John Adams’s high-energy Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Stefan Jackiw joins the orchestra for Prokofiev’s challenging Second Violin Concerto, and the concert concludes with the majestic First Symphony by Brahms.

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein will give a solo recital tonight at 8:30 in Harris Concert Hall. Along with the 3rd Bach Cello Suite, she’ll play works by Benjamin Britten, Osvaldo Golijov and Zoltan Kodaly.

Today is Tuesday, August 5th.

A free Spotlight Recital today at noon at the beautiful Aspen Chapel showcases top student talent.

At 1 today in Harris Concert Hall, cellist Alisa Weilerstein gives a master class. Her solo recital will be tomorrow at 8:30pm in Harris.

At 4pm today, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra gives a free concert featuring this summer’s conducting students. The winner of the brass/percussion competition will play a concerto, and the tragic and beautiful 6th Symphony of Tchaikovsky concludes the program.

Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen plays Ballades of Grieg and Brahms and all four of the Chopin Ballades tonight at 7:30pm in Harris Concert Hall.

Today is Monday, August 4th.

Today’s the last Gotta Move! program of the season for kids 2-7 accompanied by an adult. Meet at 10:30am at the Bucksbaum Campus Administration Building and watch your children discover the basics of beat, tune and rhythm through stories, movement, and a short performance by AFMS students. Admission is free.

Hear this summer’s finest harp students as they compete today at 5pm in Castle Creek I on the Bucksbaum Campus. These competitions are always free and you can attend all or part of the event.

Jonathan Haas conducts the Aspen Percussion Ensemble today at 6pm in Harris Concert Hall. The program includes Peter Schickele’s Percussion Sonata No. 1, subtitled “Aspen.”

Today is Friday, August 1st.

One of the Aspen Music School’s most illustrious alumni, Sarah Chang, returns to the Festival tonight at 6pm for the Dvorak Violin Concerto. Hugh Wolff conducts the Aspen Chamber Symphony in a program that also includes Ligeti’s Roumanian Concerto, the gorgeous Prelude from Capriccio by Richard Strauss, and one of the most beloved American classics, Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Tomorrow at 10am at the Wheeler Opera House, the up and coming stars of the Aspen Opera Theater Center will be joined by the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra for staged opera scenes complete with supertitles.

Head up to the top of Aspen Mountain by gondola (or if you’re a strong hiker, by foot) to enjoy the view and the free 1:00pm Music on the Mountain concert.

At 4:30pm tomorrow, it’s Chamber Music in Harris Concert Hall, featuring the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble conducted by Sydney Hodkinson and a performance of Schumann’s melodious Piano Quintet, opus 44.

A free piano competition takes place tomorrow at 6pm in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

At 8pm tomorrow in Harris Concert Hall, don’t miss a rare chance to see a duo recital by superstars mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and guitarist Sharon Isbin in an all-Spanish and Latin-American program. Then on Sunday at 6:30pm in Paepcke Auditorium, there will be a screening of Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, a documentary about this extraordinary artist.

Leonard Slatkin returns to conduct the Aspen Festival Orchestra on Sunday at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, joined by Garrick Ohlssohn for the Chopin Second Piano Concerto. Fandangos by Roberto Sierra and the Richard Strauss Alpine Symphony also on that program.

Christopher O’Riley’s popular radio show From the Top comes to Harris Concert Hall this Sunday at 8pm.  Be part of the audience during this live taping featuring top AMFS students.

Festival Notes - July 31th, 2014

Jul 31, 2014

Today is Thursday, July 31st. A busy day at the Aspen Music Festival and School with a variety of events, many of them free.

Pianist Julian Martin will give a master class at 10am this morning in Harris Concert Hall.

At 10:30am, it’s Tunes and Tales at the Pitkin County Library, a free and fun program for children ages 4-9 accompanied by an adult. Listen to enchanting stories along with classical favorites performed by AMFS students.

Today at noon at the Aspen Community Church, there’s a free Spotlight Recital showcasing top students.

Chapel Chamber Music takes place today at 4:15pm at the Aspen Chapel with a diverse program played by talented ensembles. Admission is free.

At 5pm at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, guitar students of Sharon Isbin will offer a free recital.

The Basalt Regional Library hosts a free recital today at 5:15pm.

Pianist Andreas Haefliger performs works of Beethoven, Berio and Schumann tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall.

The weekly free String Showcase with some of this summer’s finest string students will be offered tonight at 8:30pm in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum campus.

Today is Wednesday, July 30th.

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 is Tuesday, July 29th.

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.

Today is Monday, July 28th.

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.

Today is Friday, July 25th.

Jeremy Denk gives a piano master class today at 10am in Harris Concert Hall.

Two free programs today, a Spotlight Recital at noon in the Aspen Community Church and a 2pm piano recital in the Aspen Chapel.

Christian Arming conducts the Aspen Chamber Symphony in Debussy’s Six epigraphes antiques in an arrangement by Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher tonight at 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent. Lynn Harrell will join the orchestra for the 3rd Cello Concerto of Augusta Read Thomas, “Legend of the Phoenix.” Also on the program, Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and the Catfish Row Suite from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

The American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra teams up with the Aspen Opera Theater Center for an Opera Scenes Master Class tomorrow at 10am in the Wheeler Opera House.

At 7pm tomorrow at the Wheeler, it’s the second and final performance of Lowell Liebermann’s opera The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Mahler’s mammoth 3rd Symphony is the single work on Sunday’s 4:00pm Aspen Festival Orchestra concert. Robert Spano conducts and will be joined by Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, the Colorado Children’s Chorale and the Women’s Voices of the Aspen Opera Theater Center.

Today is Thursday, July 24th.

Got kids 4-9 years old? Then head to the Pitkin County Library at 10:30am this morning for Tunes and Tales, a free program which will enchant you and your children with stories and classical favorites performed by AMFS students.

The Aspen Community Church is the site for today’s free noon Spotlight Recital, with talented students playing a diverse program.

First Glimpse, a performance of works by this summer’s composition program students, takes place today at 4:15pm at the Aspen Chapel. The program is free.

The Basalt Regional Library hosts a free recital today at 5:15pm.

Lowell Liebermann’s opera The Picture of Dorian Gray will be performed tonight and Saturday at 7pm in the Wheeler Opera House, presented by the Aspen Opera Theater Center and conducted by Colorado favorite Michael Christie. This rich tonal setting of Oscar Wilde’s novel explores art, hedonism, and the outer boundaries of morality.

Soprano Deborah Voigt joins acclaimed singer-songwriter-composer Rufus Wainwright for a special event tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall. Wainwright is known for his brilliant originality in pop, jazz, classical and theater works.

Top string players perform tonight at 8:30pm in a free String Showcase in Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

Today is Wednesday, July 23rd.

Lowell Liebermann’s opera The Picture of Dorian Gray, a rich tonal setting of Oscar Wilde’s novel, will be performed tomorrow and Saturday at 7pm at the Wheeler Opera House. Today at noon in Paepcke Auditorium, the composer will join Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher to discuss the work. Also on this free High Notes program, pianist Jeremy Denk, who plays a recital this evening at 8:30pm in Harris Concert Hall featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Ives’s Second Piano Sonata.

A free Spotlight recital today at 3pm in Harris Concert Hall showcases top students in an eclectic program.

The Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Aspen Music Festival Music Director Robert Spano performs today at 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent. A world premiere of a work by Luke Carlson opens the program, and then Dejan Lazic will play his own Piano Concerto in the Istrian Style, also a world premiere. Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra concludes this adventurous program.

Today is Tuesday, July 22nd.

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

Hear some of the season’s top student talent today at noon in a free Spotlight Recital at the Aspen Chapel.

See an opera diva share tricks of the trade when superstar soprano Deborah Voigt teaches a master class for students of the Aspen Opera Theater Center today at 1pm in Harris Concert Hall.

At 7:30pm tonight, Robert Spano will be at the piano in Harris Concert Hall when he and mezzo-soprano Monica Groop present a recital. Schoenberg’s evocative early work, Verklaerte Nacht opens the program, and then you’ll have a rare chance to hear Frank Martin’s powerful setting of Rilke’s narrative cycle of prose poems Der Cornet.

Today is Monday, July 21st.

Today and every Monday throughout the Festival at 10:15am, 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.

You can also take a free guided backstage tour of the Benedict Music Tent and Harris Concert Hall, today and every Monday through August 11th at noon. Meet on the Tent Plaza.

Composition Number 2, “Dies Irae” by Ustvolskaya and the Cesar Franck Piano Quintet will be played at 6pm today in the Benedict Music Tent.

The film “The Great Flood,” about the Mississippi River flood of 1927, will be shown tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall with the score performed live by Bill Frisell, electric guitar, Ron Miles, trumpet, Tony Scherr, bass and guitar, and Kenny Wollesen, drums and vibraphone.

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