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On the vital dance between a current composer and conductor

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Piotr Waclawik, right, conducting in the Benedict Music Tent at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Quick: name a composer of classical music.

Likely, you named Beethoven or Mozart.

Now name a conductor.

Most people will have thought of Karajan or Bernstein.

All of those names are men who haven’t been around in decades, even centuries.

But let’s not forget the current generation.

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Gala Flagello
Composer Gala Flagello

The Aspen Music Festival and School has long had a strong interest in current composers and conductors, seeking to prepare them for successful careers.

And this summer, Piotr Waclawik, a member of the conductors’ program at the Aspen Music Festival and School, conducted a brand new work from composer Gala Flagello called "Vitality."

Let’s take a closer look, and listen.


Classical music reporter Chris Mohr has loved classical music since he was twelve. “And I owe it all to radio,” Chris explains. “I grew up in a farm town east of Cleveland. One day I turned on the local classical radio station. They were playing Vivaldi, and it was like the gates of heaven opened up to me!" Chris is also a composer, and is working on a 53-note-to-the-octave oratorio, "Melodies of the Shoreless Sea." This is his ninth summer working for Aspen Public Radio.