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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!

Sorting through the 300 concerts this summer at the Aspen Music Festival, Festival Notes points you to the highlights every day so you can plan your musical journeys throughout the season!

Interviews with exuberant conductor Nicholas McGegan in anticipation of his Baroque Concert July 12; pianist Orli Shaham talks about her recital July 14. Aired July 9, 2018

Summer classical music host Chris Mohr will be broadcasting LIVE at the Benedict Music Tent July 4 at 4:00 pm! It's a gift from the Aspen Music Festival and School to everyone in the valley. If you want to hear some great American music while having an Independence Day party at your home or while driving around the valley, tune in to Aspen Public Radio to enjoy Sousa marches and much more, with Lawrence Isaacson conductor, a trumpet soloist and some suprises. Enjoy great music on Aspen Public Radio while you celebrate July 4!  

Our weekly interview program for the Aspen Music Festival, featuring a season preview by two of the AMFS's top people, and a chat with pianist Conrad Tao.

 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.

brico_bundesarchiv_bild_antonia_brico conducting in 1930

The final Festival Showcase program of the season is a wrap-up interview with Alan Fletcher and Asadour Santourian. What were the highlights for them of the season? What were some of the challenges? I asked them to spill the beans about what we can look forward to in 2018, and they obliged.

The final week of the Aspen Music Festival attracted a large array of musicians to this week's High Notes with Alan Fletcher, including cellist Alisa Weilerstein and singers for the upcoming production of Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, the final concert of the season with over 350 musicians performing onstage! Here is Alan in conversation with a number of musicians who are helping bring the 2017 season of the Aspen Music Festival to a rousing close.

Lots of things happening this last week at the Aspen Music Festival! And the musicians are sometimes getting a little giddy. Bassist Edgar Meyer says when he's walking around with his instrument in its case, he sometimes sees people looking at him in a way that he knows they're about to say something stupid! And bass trombonist John Rojak has been so busy preparing for Saturday's concert with a bass trombone concerto, he says his lips are so strong they could pull a tractor! World-class cellist Alisa Weilerstein and 

Mozart's final opera, La Clemenza di Tito, was composed in a white heat of inspiration in only two weeks. Mozart died shortly thereafter at the age of 35, having composed more than a dozen operas and over 1,000 compositions altogether, starting at the age of five.

Aspen Public Radio's live broadcast of this ravishingly beautiful opera takes place Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.Our intermission feature will include interviews with director Ed Berkeley and Ian Koziara, who sings the role of the Emperor Titus.

AMFS President Alan Fletcher in conversation with a trio consisting of violinist Augustin Hadelich, cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and pianist Martin Helmchen.

Pianist Nicha Stapanukul will be part of this Friday's Piano Project Liszt marathon. It's free, and starts at 8:30 pm at Harris Concert Hall. She asked for a selfie after the interview, and said some amazing things about Franz Liszt the womanizer as well as Liszt the pianist/composer.

Two-minute mini-features previewing every day at the Aspen Music Festival! Plan your day right here.

What is Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin doing with Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld? What will she be doing this Saturday, August 5 at 8:00 pm at Harris Concert Hall at the Aspen Music Festival? Classical Music host Chris Mohr asked Sharon about both of these, and Sharon even volunteered how she is coping with what she calls the dismantling of our democracy. Sharon's concert may well be a sellout, so we will be broadcasting it exclusively on Aspen Public Radio with Chris Mohr as your host.

On Saturday, July 29, the Pacifica Quartet performs a new quartet  by Daniel Kellogg. And on Sunday, July 30, music by Christopher Theofanidis and Alan Fletcher get performed at 4:00 pm at the Benedict Music Tent. Today's High Notes conversation features all three composers in conversation.

Andrew Eccles

This Sunday, July 30 at 4:00, the Aspen Festival Orchestra presents a concert featuring the very popular Theofanidis's Dreamtime Ancestors, the world premiere of Alan Fletcher's Piano Concerto, Stravinsky's Firebird, and Renee Fleming singing songs of Michael Tilson Thomas and Bjork/Hans Ek. 

For the third time this season, Aspen Public Radio's Classical Host Chris Mohr will be hosting a live broadcast of this Sunday afternoon concert. We'll also include extensive interviews with pianist Inon Barnaton, who is performing the concerto premiere, and superstar soprano Renee Fleming.

Opera superstar Renee Fleming will be in Aspen to host a Master Class Thursday, July 27 at 10:00 am and then to sing in a concert Sunday, July 30 at 4:00 pm at the Tent.

APR Classical Host Chris Mohr had a phone chat with Renee, touching on her student days in Aspen, her upcoming Broadway performances in Carousel through much of 2018, and more. 

Plan your day around these great Aspen Music Festival concerts -- day by day! Over 300 concerts in the course of the 2017 season -- APR host Chris Mohr helps you sort through them, every morning, complete with musical examples.

Conversations with pianist Jean-Yves Thibeaudet and American Brass Quintet Bass Trombonist John Rojak about the upcoming concerts with the Aspen Music Festival.

 

July 19th's 2017 High Notes with AMFS president Alan Fletcher, violinist Jennifer Koh, and opera director Ed Berkeley, airs Friday, July 21 at 2:00 pm on Aspen Public Radio. Here is the audio of the conversation.

Plan your musical day at the Aspen Music Festival with Festival Notes on Aspen Public Radio! Our two-minute previews every day give you a few musical examples, and a listing of the highlights of the 300 concerts taking place over the eight weeks of the Festival. Listen mornings on APR or right here!

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