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.

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.

Festival Showcase - August 27th, 2013

Aug 27, 2013

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.

Festival Showcase - August 20th, 2013

Aug 20, 2013

We look back at some of the highlights of the 2013 Aspen Music Festival and School, including the convocation address by Aspen Music Festival and School President Alan Fletcher, discussing the challenges confronting classical music. The program finishes with a sampling of voices from the 2013 festival and a musical performance.

Festival Showcase - August 13th, 2013

Aug 13, 2013

Aspen Music Festival and School Music Director Robert Spano previews Sunday afternoon's season finale concert, featuring vocal music by Verdi and Wagner. Spano also drops a few hints regarding next season's programming.

And Aspen Opera Theater Center Director Edward Berkeley discusses the final opera of the festival season, Monteverdi's last masterpiece "The Coronation of Poppea."

Festival Showcase - August 6th, 2013

Aug 6, 2013

Musical collaborators as well as husband and wife, conductor David Robertson and pianist Orli Shaham preview their separate performances this weekend at the Aspen Music Festival and School. 

Festival Showcase - July 30th, 2013

Jul 30, 2013

In a live broadcast, host Matt Erikson interviews the members of the Omer String Quartet who are in residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School. The ensemble performs music by Mozart, Britten and more.

This Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., “Festival Showcase” will be broadcast LIVE from the rehearsal studio at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen and YOU are invited to attend this special broadcast.  Host Matt Erikson will interview the members of the Omer String Quartet who are in residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School.  The ensemble will perform music by Mozart, Britten and more.  You can ask these young, dynamic musicians questions and enjoy wine with the music!  
Mark your calendars now for this live broadcast, the first of its kind for Aspen Public Radio and part of our special summer programming.    Your support makes broadcasts such as these possible.  For more information or to become a member of APR, please call 970-920-9000 or click here.

Aspen Public Radio takes to you the Aspen Music Festival and School for special live broadcasts. Here's our schedule for this final weekend of the festival:

Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 7 p.m.

Aspen Opera Theater Center’s production of Monteverdi’s “Coronation of Poppea”

Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 4 p.m.

Season Finale concert of Wagner and Verdi

Festival Showcase - July 23rd, 2013

Jul 23, 2013

Conductor and Aspen Music Festival alum Leonard Slatkin talks about his new book, "Conducting Business: Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro."  He also discusses his long-term prognosis for classical music and the orchestra that he currently leads, the Detroit Symphony.

Festival Showcase - July 16th, 2013

Jul 16, 2013

Violinist and longtime AMFS faculty member Sylvia Rosenberg recounts stories of the festival's early years and what it was like studying with Nadia Boulanger.  And pianist Jeremy Denk discusses his love for writing and taste for adventurous repertoire.

Festival Showcase - July 9th, 2013

Jul 9, 2013

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han discuss their new chamber music studio at the Aspen Music Festival with one of their students, 15-year-old pianist Agata Sorotokin. 

And director Edward Berkeley previews the first opera of the 65th season, Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide.”

Festival Showcase - July 2nd, 2013

Jul 2, 2013

Conductor Nicholas McGegan previews tomorrow evening's Baroque program at Harris Concert Hall and discusses what it was like working under British composer Benjamin Britten. 

Festival Showcase - June 25th, 2013

Jun 25, 2013

Alan Fletcher,  Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO, and Artistic Administrator Asadour Santourian preview the upcoming 65th season.  Among the topics is this year's theme of "Conscience and Beauty." Also for discussion is this season's emphasis on the music of Benjamin Britten, in honor of the birth centennial of the English composer.