Aspen Music Festival And School

Robert Spano, Music Director
Alan Fletcher, President and CEO

About the Season

July 2–August 23, 2015

Composers have long enriched their music through encounters with other cultures. Whether through imagination or their own actual travels, they evoke or invoke the unusual, the exotic, the different, and the exceptional. Travels to distant lands, in dreams or in reality, bring new and colorful sounds, exotic instruments, songs and dance rhythms, and the adaptation of memories, to composers as different as Bach, Verdi, Debussy, Ravel, and Golijov. Our 2015 season theme, Dreams of Travel, explores works trading on these cultural odysseys.

The Aspen Opera Theater Center will produce Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, a double bill of Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style and Christopher Theofanidis’s Cows of Apollo or The Invention of Music, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Summer 2015 will also include highlights of the stellar orchestral repertoire, including music of Beethoven, Debussy, Dvořák, Berlioz, Ginastera, Janačék, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky, Wagner, Weber, and Tchaikovsky, with a focus on the music of Jean Sibelius on the occasion of his centenary.

Verdi’s Aida will be the centerpiece of the summer.  Conducted by Robert Spano, directed by Edward Berkeley, the semi-staged performance will take place in the Benedict Music Tent with international cast of singers and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra chorus. 

In addition to our artist-faculty and our music director Robert Spano, guest artists invited to the 2015 season include violinists Veronika Eberle, Daniel Hope, Stefan Jackiw, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, Simone Porter, Sarah Chang, Robert McDuffie; pianists Inon Barnatan, Yefim Bronfman, Jeremy Denk, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Conrad Tao, Vladimir Feltsman,  Wu Han, Jan Lisiecki, Garrick Ohlsson, Nikolai Lugansky, Marc-André Hamelin, Vadym Kholodenko, Yundi Li, Orli Shaham and Joyce Yang; bassist Edgar Meyer; cellists Lynn Harrell, Alisa Weilerstein, and David Finckel; singers Sasha Cooke, Susanna Philips, Michelle DeYoung, and Isabel Leonard; conductors include music director Robert Spano, Ludovic Morlot, Nicholas McGegan, Thomas Sondergard, Jeffrey Kahane, Hugh Wolff, David Robertson, Jane Glover, Jun Maerkl, George Manahan, Larry Rachleff, Johannes Debus, Patrick Summers, Hannu Lintu, Joshua Weilerstein, among many others.

Ensembles-in-residence include the Takács Quartet, Jupiter String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, the American String Quartet, and the American Brass Quintet, with Steven Stucky, Christopher Theofanidis, Shulamit Ran, Sebastian Currier and George Tsontakis as composers-in-residence.

Another hallmark of the Festival has been a wide variety of lectures and enrichment events, as well as collaborations with organizations such as the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Aspen Institute, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, The Aspen Art Museum, and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

Baroque music has elicited a tremendously positive reaction in recent years, so another evening of Baroque music will once again feature guest artists and artist-faculty, side by side with our 2015 students.