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Chris Mohr

Host - Classical Music from Aspen

Summer classical music host Chris Mohr is coming up to Aspen for his sixth summer on Aspen Public Radio. He 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. Most of the music I heard growing up was Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and other favorites of my parents.

One evening, I turned on the classical radio station in Cleveland, thirty miles away. Vivaldi was pouring out of the speakers, like a light pouring down from heaven, and I sat completely entranced. ‘I have not lived until this moment,’ I said to myself.  For months I spent all my paper route money buying Vivaldi records, and listening to the classical station.”

That classical music radio station was Chris’s lifeline to a world that was not otherwise accessible to him. Chris feels indebted to radio, and especially to classical music on the radio. “I sometimes imagine that I’m playing a great classical piece, and that somewhere down valley a twelve year old kid is connecting to classical music for the first time, just like I did. In fact, once, when I was playing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, a teenager called me and asked what it was. ‘Wow man, it’s like 19th century Pink Floyd!’ That really made my week. I felt like I was paying it forward for the gift I had received decades ago.”

Chris and Karen Mohr at the Colorado Symphony Ball

Chris is deeply  committed to classical music radio. He’s been a part-time classical announcer since 1978, and never tires of exploring the riches of the classics. “To be up in Aspen every summer, sharing great music on the air every afternoon and hearing Aspen Music Festival concerts every evening is truly a dream come true!”

Bonus story from Chris: A little over three decades ago, a friend with a private pilot's license invited to fly me anywhere in Colorado for the cost of gas. Wanting to impress a woman I was intensely interested in, I asked if she'd like to be flown from Denver to Aspen in a small plane to hear Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The plane got 100 feet into the air and ended up crashing into a field just beyond the runway!

The plane was damaged but we were unhurt, so I raced us over Independence Pass. By the time we arrived, the concert was about to begin and there were no tickets to be had. We sat out on the lawn, looking at dark brooding clouds throughout the first movement.

During the violent Scherzo, lightning bolts were crashing onto the mountaintops all around us. During the quieter third movement, there was an incredibly gentle mist. As the chorus began to sing the Ode to Joy, the sun burst out! I should have proposed to her on the spot, but we did marry three years later... and we haven't missed a summer in Aspen together since!

Our final Festival Showcase of the 2018 summer season includes a wrap-up conversation with Alan Fletcher and Asadour Santourian, who tip their hands and give us a glimpse into their plans for  the 2019 season theme -- and the operas. We also talk with Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor of the choral group Seraphic Fire, who performed three times in Aspen, including a final concert with the Faure Requiem.

  

Host Alan Fletcher discusses upcoming concerts and more with Patrick Dupres Quigley of Seraphic Fire and pianist Lise de la Salle. This is the final High Notes presentation of the season as we look ahead to the last weekend of music for the 2018 season.

The final three Festival Notes previewing the last week's worth of concerts at the 2018 Aspen Music Festival. If you've been missing concerts and doing other things, this is the last week to take advantage of the Festival's cornucopia of musical offerings! Chris Mohr looks forward to returning next year for another great summer of musical offerings on Aspen Public Radio weekdays 1:00 - 3:00 pm and with Festivalo Notes weekday mornings.

Pianist Lise de la Salle is committed to communicating emotion in as simple and direct a way as possible. Violinist Sarah Chang talks about her many memories in Aspen, where she has spent every summer of her life. Seraphic Fire brings two of the greatest Requiems of all time -- those by Faure and Mozart -- as the 2018 season of the Aspen Mussic festival comes to a close. Host Chris Mohr talks with all three on this week's Festival Showcase.

 

Aquatic Berlioz Image
Richard Termine

Music's most famous stalker, Hector Berlioz, composed his Symphonie  Fantastique to impress a famous actress after suicide threats and impassioned letters failed to move her. The symphony tells the  story of a despiairng man poisoning himself with opium and having a series of dreams of ever-escalating sexual madness until he murders his beloved.

South Florida Opera

Offenbach's greatest opera, Tales of Hoffman, is the only opera we know of where the hero falls in love with a nineteenth century wind-up doll, a dying singer and a courtesan. Listen as our miserable Hoffman looks for love in all the wrong places for almost three hours. A live broadcast courtesy of the Aspen Music Festival and School this Thursday, August 16, 7:00 pm, exclusively on Aspen Public Radio. Host Chris Mohr will walk you through the story line and share interesting information about the opera.   

Every day in the summer, Aspen Public Radio offers two-minute previews of the day's concerts at the Aspen Music Festival. Here are the next five days.

This week we talk with guitarist Sharon Isbin in anticipation of her concert August 9, and Tenor Ben Bliss (who sings Britten on August 10 and 13).

 

Alan Fletcher in conversation with Tenor Richard Smagur and conductor Jane Glover in anticipation of performances of Das Lied von der Erde on Sunday August 5, and a Tchaikovsky/Haydn chamber orchestra concert Friday August 3.

Two-minute previews of the day's activities at the Aspen Music Festival and School, every weekday on Aspen Public Radio.

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton sings Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde this Sunday at 4:00, and talks about everything from opera directors who have Carmen kill Don Jose -- and other feminist twists -- to her childhoood in Rome Georgia. We also talk with conductor and author Jane Glover, who is teaching conductors this Saturday morning at the Opera Scenes Master Class, and performs Tchaikovsky with cellist Alisa Weilerstein Friday evening August 3. Finally, we chat with Zaray Rodriguez about her upcoming role in Bernstein's Trouble  in Tahiti August 2.

Upcoming events at the Aspen Music Festival, listed every day and aired Mondays through Fridays at 8:59 and 9:59 am only on Aspen Public Radio.

Alan Fletcher chats with soprano Golda Schultz and pianist Inon Barnatan. 

Chris Mohr chats with members of the Pacifica Quartet, pianist Anton Nel and Disney conductor Richard Kaufman. On July 30, the Festival Orchestra joins the Disney crew for a live orchestral concert alongside clips of some of the most popular animated films of the past decade.

Alan Fletcher hosts this weekly chat with AMFS artists. This week he talked with Lawrence Power and Alexander Shelley. Audio file below!

Two-minute daily summaries of what's coming up at the Aspen Music Festival!

Alan Fletcher shares his experiences during the evacuation from his home during the fire; the American Brass Quintet talks up their July 19 concert; violinist and pedagogue Paul Kantor talks about his July 23 recital.

A chat with conductor Nicholas McGegan about his July 12 concert and pianist Orli Shaham's July 14 recital. 

 

You know the song from the days you watched Bugs Bunny cartoons. You can listen to the famous tune right here, and you can enjoy the entire opera, Rossini's timeless Barber of Seville, live from the Wheeler Opera House on Aspen Public Radio Monday, July 16 at 8:00 pm with host Chris Mohr. Broadcast with the help of the Aspen Music Festival and School. It's funny, it's beautiful, and it is a great chance to enjoy hearing  youth and love win out over power and corruption!

High Notes 

Alan Fletcher in conversation with Daniil Trifonov and Steven Hartke.

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