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Aspen Music Festival and School

The Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) normally puts on some 300 concerts in eight weeks. This summer, they were all canceled. One would think that would leave the staff with little to do. But as Alan Fletcher said, organzing a video virtual concert and master class series meant that the everyone on board worked twice as hard.

Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr caught up with Alan to talk about the first virtual season in their history, as well as plans for next summer's Beethoven-infused season. 

Strings For Peace

Aug 21, 2020

Guitarist Sharon Isbin is well known to Aspen Music Festival and School audiences, having taught master classes and put on concerts here for decades. This past year, she has released no less than three albums. She has collaborated with other classical guitarists, as well as guitarists of almost every genre in the world. Now she performs with Indian sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan. Isbin has loved Indian classical music since disccovering it in her college days at Yale, and it was a real artistic challenge for her to play with this fast-fingered virtuoso from twelve time zones away! 

John Rojak has played bass trombone with the American Brass Quintet for almost 30 years, and is a regular as both a performer and a teacher at the Aspen Music Festival and School. We just discovered this album in our Aspen Public Radio library, released back in 2001. Rojak says it could have been titled "Music My Mother Would Like," because all the tunes are so melodious. Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr caught up with him and asked about the faux-seductive cover shot (complete with a glass of red wine) and the beauty of the music he arranged. 

Yes, you read it right. Beloved virtuoso violinist Augustin Hadelich, who closes out the Aspen Music Festival's Virtual Season on Sunday, August 23 at 3 p.m. is also a virtuoso pianist. So, with the miracle of technology, he will be accompanying himself, thereby guaranteeing no spread of the coronavirus.

In his conversation with Alan Fletcher, President of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he talks about this recital and more. Also on the program are opera conductor Patrick Summers and Flute Master Class teacher Demarre McGill.

Mezzo-soprano Michelle deYoung has taught a number of master classes here in Aspen, and sung the music of Wagner and other composers with Aspen Music Festival orchestras. She sings all over the world, but, like other musicians, is at home waiting for the curtains to rise again on the major concert halls and theatres of Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr caught up with her to talk about her recent performance at Harris Hall in honor of Robert Spano with a worldwide virtual audience.

Aspen Music Festival concertgoers are familiar with guitarist Sharon Isbin, who has put on dozens of concerts at Harris Hall over the last twenty years. In the past nine months she has released three new albums, including Affinity. This recording is a collection of world-premieres written especially for Sharon and includes Chris Brubeck's "Affinity" with Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony.

Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr chats with Sharon about this album and the special joy of collaborating with a living composer.

Aspen Public Radio is partnering with the Aspen Music Festival and School this month to air a six-part virtual concert series highlighting the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Jointly hosted by Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr and Aspen Music Festival and School President Alan Fletcher, the schedule features the following hour-long performances:

Friday, August 14, 8:00-9:00 p.m.: James Ehnes violin and Andrew Armstrong piano in Beethoven Violin Sonatas

Both Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Music Festival and School are celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday with a vengeance. That's a challenge these days, but this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.,  pianist Behzod Abduraimov will be playing on the livestream for the Aspen Music Festival's virtual concert series. Among other favorites, he'll be playing Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata.

2020 is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and host Chris Mohr will be celebrating his music this summer weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Aspen Public Radio starting on Monday, June 22.

To mark the milestone, Classical Music from Aspen will feature a journey through Beethoven’s life and music. Beethoven endured deafness, illness, war, a violent alcoholic father, political turmoil, and even a major epidemic. His music is known to bring triumph, revolutionary spirit, humor, pathos, and transcendence.

Leonard Slatkin and Seong-Jin Cho perform Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto July 21, and most people may not know that conductor Leonard Slatkin has been an occasional classical music DJ since 1968! Pianist Arie Vardi also talks about his all-Bach program where four nine-foot Steinway grands and an orchestra will all be onstage at Harris Hall July 20!

Anton Nel, Seong-Jin Cho, Anneleen Lenaerts all chat with Alan Fletcher about their upcoming concerts with the Aspen Music Festival.

On June 24, hundreds of students, a hundred teachers, and a brass section of 60 people convened for the annual Convocation. Starting with a rousing Strauss work, the featured speakers included Robert Spano, Alan Fletcher, and keynote speaker Conrad Tao. Here are some highlights, including an  impassioned speech from Conrad Tao covering a wide range of topics from deep listening to climate change.

Every week, Alan Fletcher hosts a conversation with some of the musical luminaries  before they go onstage and perform. This week, Alan talks with pianist Joyce Yang and violinist Simone Porter.

Aspen  Public Radio's Chris Mohr chats with violinist Simone Porter, opera directorf Ed Berkeley, the piano/cello duo of Wu Han and David Finckel, and pianisst Anton Nel. A bust week of music at the Festival!  

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Music Tent at 4:00 p.m., or celebrate at home with Aspen Public Radio's live broadcast! Full orchestra conducted by Lawrence Isaacson in music of Sousa, Berlin, John Williams, and Copland. Fire up the grill and crank up your radio for some all-American favorites!

A brief summary of the upcoming events for each day's Aspen Music Festival. Listen live every weekday at 9:00 am and 10:00 am.

Pianist Joyce Yang talks up her Gershwin concert June 30 and her recital July 3, 2019. Alan Fletcher and Asadour Santourian talk about the upcoming 2019 Aspen Music Festival season.  

Aspen Music Festival and School

The Aspen Music Festival and School explores what it means to be an American in their 2019 season.  

The Aspen Music Festival and School is offering free tickets to federal workers who have been furloughed.

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.

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.   

The Lincoln Center

Creating a memory is more like writing a song than taking a photograph. The emotions and prior experiences that come into play when we form a memory, make things like eyewitness testimony pretty unreliable. Composer Bruce Adolphe and neuroscientist Assal Habibi were in Aspen last week as a part of a series called “The Science of Music."

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.

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.

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