Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Festival Orchestra

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With special thanks to Lisa and Will Mesdag
Local business support provided by The Aspen Times
4:00 PM MT
$90
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KAIJA SAARIAHO: Ciel d’hiver
BRAHMS: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, op. 102
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SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 6 in D minor, op. 104

Gil Shaham returns! His impeccable technique, inimitable warmth, and infectious joy in music-making have made him one of the foremost violinists in the world. He'll be joined by rising cello star Sterling Elliott​, a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition, for Brahms's ravishing Double Concerto. Brahms and the violinist Joseph Joachim were close friends, and Brahms even composed his famous – and only- violin concerto for him. Things went sour when Joachim accused his wife of infidelity, and Brahms sided with her during the divorce. Brahms eventually reached out to Joachim by floating an idea of a concerto for violin and cello. The piece worked to reconcile the two, and is very much like a conversation between two friends, ranging from playful to competitive, sweet to gruff. The slow movement has one of the most gorgeous melodies of all time, and the infectious gypsy-inspired finale will make you want to dance.

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is best known in the U.S. for her opera “L’amour de loin,” which received acclaim at The Metropolitan Opera several years ago. Le Ciel d’Hiver is an adaptation of the middle movement of her symphonic work Orion. She depicts that constellation by passing a brief melody around the various instruments of the orchestra in the manner of stars crossing the sky. Enter a hypnotic, spectral world as the piano part glistens mysteriously and the woodwinds add to the ethereal mood.

Another Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, appears on the program with one of his most serene and optimistic works. Like Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, Sibelius’s Sixth can also be considered his “Pastoral Symphony.” Even the tempi are cheerful, with no slow movement at all.

Experience the “thrill of Gil” and a wide-ranging sonic journey to Finland with this exhilarating program.

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Performances will have a 20-minute intermission.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO