Festival Showcase

Tuesdays at 3:30pm

Join host Chris Mohr for an inside look at The Aspen Music Festival and School's 2014 summer season. Each Tuesday throughout the summer, Chris will feature exclusive and insightful interviews with AMFS artists, conductors, faculty, and students.

Aspen Public Radio's Chris Mohr wraps up a season of interviews with renowned musicians and composers with a "debriefing" interview with Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher. We talk about the pleasant and not-so-pleasant surprises of the season, and then Alan "tips his hand" and talks a little about next year's theme. And yes, Verdi's Aida will be performed on the big stage at the Tent! 

Those iconic structures you've been visiting all summer-- The Tent, Harris Hall, the Bucksbaum Campus, even the student lodging-- were all designed by architect Harry Teague.  We caught up with him to talk about some of the concepts behind the buildings we've all visited so many times.

Thanks to all the listeners who have told me how much they enjoy hearing great classical music every weekday on Aspen Public Radio, the AMFS for helping me find great interviewees for this show, and all the musicians and administrators who keep the music alive in Aspen!

The last week of the Aspen Music Festival always seems packed especially tightly with great musical artists, and this year in no exception.  Today host Chris Mohr chats with soprano Susanna Phillips in anticipation of her joint recital with bass-baritone Eric Owens. We also catch up with her former professor and composer Philip Lasser, whose recently released CD Colors of Feelings features Susanna's expressive and beautiful voice. We also talk with Aspen Percussion Ensemble director Jonathan Haas and hear from some of his students. We end the show with a visit to a rehearsal of the Aspen Jewish Congregation's vocal tribute to Jewish Stories and American Songs, "Standing Out, Fitting In" at the Aspen District Theatre.

Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr chats with Opera Director Ed Berkeley about this weekend's opening night performance of Carmen. Then we talk about the nine Ballades of three composers performed by Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen in this evening's piano recital at Harris Hall at 7:30 pm. Festival Showcase ends with a conversation with star mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard about her career, aspirations, and challenges as a single mother.

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.

For July 22's weekly Festival Spotlight for the Aspen Music Festival, classical host Chris Mohr talks with opera director Ed Berkeley about the upcoming production of Lowell Liebermann's opera The Picture of Dorian Gray. Alan Fletcher chats with pianist Joyce Yang about her recent Grieg performance and the unusual theatrics of her upcoming guitar/violin/piano recital, and then Chris Mohr talks with a new and a veteran member of the American Brass Quintet about their upcoming performance on July 28.

The Emerson Quartet's newest member, cellist Paul Watkins, plays with the quartet in Aspen for the first time the evening of July 15. July 15th's Festival Showcase features Chris Mohr's interview with Paul Watkins and Emerson violinist Eugene Drucker. Aspen Music Festival and School Wind Competition Winner Alex Morris drops by to talk about life as a clarinetist, and members of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble make their case that music by living composers can be surprisingly beautiful and accessible.

This week's Festival Showcase with host Chris Mohr begins with a conversation with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers talking about her recital July 12 with two world premieres and here newest recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. We enjoy a few minutes with Aspen Opera Theater director Ed Berkeley to talk about why his Opera Master Classes every Saturday morning are so entertaining, and the aching beauty of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Oneigen. Our Festival Spotlight ends on a more serious note as we talk with composer Syd Hodkinson about his orchestral work, Epitaphion, his musical reminiscences about a dear friend who died too young.

On today's Festival Showcase, host Chris Mohr chats with members of the Zora  Quartet, practicing and performing this summer at Aspen's Center for Advanced Quartet Studies. Then, Chris offers up an exceptional archival "Check 1,2" interview with violinist Robert McDuffie, as he talked about everything from chamber music to the day he got to play blues rock with Greg Allman.

The 2014 Aspen Public Festival season begins this week. Today, for the first Festival Showcase of the new season, host Chris Mohr is joined Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and Asadour Santourian, Vice President of Artistic Administration and Artistic Advisor, to talk about the upcoming 2014 season and the theme of the New Romantics. Then we listen to Music Director Robert Spano’s inspiring words at yesterday’s Convocation.

In this rebroadcast program, hear interviews with pianist Joseph Kalichstein and luthier Joan Balter.  Kalichstein discusses teaching, the value of competitions and Aspen’s allure. And Balter recounts stories of teaching legend Dorothy DeLay and violinists Joshua Bell, Midori and Sarah Chang as child prodigies.

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