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 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.

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.

Pages