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.

Happy Independence Day!

The annual free Fourth of July celebration concert takes place today at 4 in the Benedict Music Tent with stirring patriotic favorites conducted by Lawrence Isaacson.

Tomorrow morning at 10 at the Wheeler Opera House, exciting young singers from the Aspen Opera Theater Center present semi-staged opera scenes with supertitles in a Master Class by director Edward Berkeley.

Tomorrow at 1, it’s the first Music on the Mountain of the season: a casual concert in a stunning setting atop Aspen Mountain. Take the gondola (or a strenuous hike) and enjoy a picnic while listening to top student talent.

The dynamic pianist Wu Han performs Mozart in tomorrow’s 4:45 preconcert chamber music at Harris Concert Hall. At 6, it’s the Aspen Chamber Symphony conducted by Music Director Robert Spano in Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and iconic Fifth Symphony, and Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto with superstar Gil Shaham as soloist.

Sunday’s Aspen Festival Orchestra concert at 4 features another master of the violin, Joshua Bell, in the lush and lyrical Bruch First Violin Concerto. Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya also eads the AFS in selections from Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suites and Saint-Saens’ majestic “Organ Symphony.”

High Notes, a series of free conversations with some of the performers and composers featured during the Festival’s 65th season, begins today at noon at Christ Episcopal Church. Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher will offer an overview and point out highlights of this summer’s repertoire, and talk with members of the Boulder-based, internationally acclaimed Takacs Quartet as they preview their July 3rd and July 8th recitals.

At 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent, the Aspen Philharmonic conducted by Hugh Wolff performs the Brahms Tragic Overture, Beethoven’s thrilling 7th Symphony, and the lyrical 3rd Violin Concerto of Saint-Saens with 20 year old rising star, Aspen alum (and former star baseball player!) William Hagen as soloist.

Pianist and composer Stephen Hough will play works of German Romantics and his own Second Sonata tonight at 8:30pm in Harris Concert Hall.

High Notes, a series of free conversations with some of the performers and composers featured during the Festival’s 65th season, begins today at noon at Christ Episcopal Church. Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher will offer an overview and point out highlights of this summer’s repertoire, and talk with members of the Boulder-based, internationally acclaimed Takacs Quartet as they preview their July 3rd and July 8th recitals.

At 6pm in the Benedict Music Tent, the Aspen Philharmonic conducted by Hugh Wolff performs the Brahms Tragic Overture, Beethoven’s thrilling 7th Symphony, and the lyrical 3rd Violin Concerto of Saint-Saens with 20 year old rising star, Aspen alum (and former star baseball player!) William Hagen as soloist.

Pianist and composer Stephen Hough will play works of German Romantics and his own Second Sonata tonight at 8:30pm in Harris Concert Hall.

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.

This final weekend of the 2013 season includes orchestral blockbusters, opera and virtuoso piano playing.

22-year-old Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov joins the Aspen Chamber Symphony Friday evening for a performance of Mozart’s Jeunehomme Piano Concerto.   Aspen Public Radio will be broadcasting live Saturday's 7 p.m. opera performance of Monteverdi's "Coronation of Poppea" and Sunday's 4 p.m. season finale concert from the Benedict Music Tent.

At 7 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House, the Aspen Opera Theater Center presents the first of two performances of one of the great Baroque operas, Claudio Monteverdi’s "Coronation of Poppea." And at 8 p.m., a piano recital at Harris Concert Hall spotlights this year’s winner of the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Vadym Kholodenko.

The Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra performs a free family concert at 6 p.m.  And at 8:30 p.m. at Harris Concert Hall, festival musicians play a program consisting largely of vocal works, Weill’s "Seven Deadly Sins" and Janacek’s "Diary of One Who Disappeared." 

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