Classical Music

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 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 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.

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.

Today at 5pm, a competition for wind players takes place at Edlis Neeson Hall on the Bucksbaum Campus.

The winner will be the soloist on next week’s Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra concert.

A varied program of chamber music featuring the intensely dramatic Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor will be presented at 6pm today in Harris Concert Hall.

Tomorrow at 4pm in the Benedict Music Tent, the Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra Piano Competition Winner will perform Mozart’s celebrated Piano Concerto No. 24, about which Beethoven remarked to a fellow composer, “We shall never be able to do anything like that.”  The concert is free.

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.”

Pianist Stephen Hough teaches a master class today from 10am to noon in Harris Concert Hall.

A Spotlight Recital showcasing top student talent takes place at noon at the Aspen Community Church. At 4:15pm, Chapel Chamber Music at the Aspen Chapel offers another chance to enjoy this summer’s rising stars. At 8:30pm tonight at the Bucksbaum campus, a String Showcase features more young musicians. All three of these events are free.

The first of two season recitals by one of the world’s greatest string quartets, the Takacs, takes place tonight at 8pm in Harris Concert Hall. The Janacek Second Quartet, “Intimate Letters,” portrays the 63 year old composer’s obsession with a 25 year old married woman. It was, as he described, “written in fire.” Also on the program, the moving Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, and Beethoven’s Late Quartet in A minor, composed after his recovery from a serious illness and including the intensely emotional and spiritual movement, “Holy song of Thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode.”

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.

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