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.

“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." 

The festival celebrates the 20th anniversary of Harris Concert Hall with a special concert.  VIP artists include violinist Robert McDuffie, guitarist Sharon Isbin and conductor Joshua Weilerstein.

For this final Monday of the 2013 festival, two recital programs are on tap.  Beginning at 6 p.m. at the Benedict Music Tent, festival faculty perform works by Bartok, Beethoven and young composer Luke Carlson. And at 8 p.m., be part of a live taping of the radio show "Performance Today" with host Fred Child.  

Highlights of this penultimate weekend of the 2013 festival are Sarah Chang performing Barber's Violin Concerto, a Saturday recital of Brahms and more by pianist Orli Shaham and conductor David Robertson leading the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."

Tonight at Harris Concert Hall, a debut of sorts: the Emerson String Quartet in its new configuration with Welsh cellist Paul Watkins.  On the Emerson’s program are Haydn’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3; Britten’s Third String Quartet and the first Razumovzsky quartet by Beethoven.

The concert will be broadcast live on Aspen Public Radio, beginning at 7:59 p.m.

At 6 p.m., conductor Federico Cortese leads the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Webern, Schubert and Brahms.  And at 8:30, violinist and festival favorite Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg returns to Aspen for a recital of pieces by Pärt, Prokofiev and Chausson. 

Among today's offerings: "Baby Got Bach," master classes, Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" and pianist Inon Barnatan in recital.

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