orchestral
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Conrad Tao Plays Rhapsody in Blue and More

July 15
6:00 pm
$75
Add to calendar
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Please Note:

Tickets will go on sale in April.

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orchestral
02

Conrad Tao Plays Rhapsody in Blue and More

July 15
6:00 pm
$75

Add to calendar
01

Please Note:

Tickets will go on sale in April.

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PROGRAM
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MILHAUD La création du monde, op. 81
CONRAD TAO New Work (AMFS co-commission) 
GERSHWIN/GROFÉ Rhapsody in Blue

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Exceptional AMFS alumni join forces for two jazz-inspired 20th century favorites Conrad Tao has been called “a magical pianist, with a scholar’s mind wrapped in an almost impossible technique” (San Diego Union-Tribute) Charismatic, award-winning conductor Piotr Waclawik attended the Aspen Conducting Academy and was chosen as assistant conductor for the 2024 season. He is also the assistant conductor of the Warsaw Philharmonic.

Darius Milhaud taught at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1951 to 1968. Fascinated by jazz, he counted Dave Brubeck as one of his famous students. His five-part 1923 ballet La création du monde was inspired by African creation myths. Leonard Bernstein described it as “not a flirtation but a real love affair with jazz.” Milhaud himself said, “This is a work making wholesale use of the jazz style to convey a purely classical feeling.”

Rhapsody in Blue, presented here in its original jazz band arrangement, was Gershwin’s first work that fuses classical and jazz in a revolutionary new way. His compositional signature was so successful that both Nadia Boulanger and Maurice Ravel refused to teach him, afraid that classical instruction would detract from his jazz style. Ravel wrote, “Why become a second-rate Ravel when you’re already a first-rate Gershwin.” Schoenberg also rejected him as a student, saying, with your income, I should be taking lessons from you!

Also on the program will be a new work composed and performed by Conrad Tao, a co-commission by the Aspen Music Festival and School. It will respond to and be inspired by Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Hear one of the most riveting performers of his generation when Conrad Tao returns to Aspen!

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With special thanks to Barbara and Jon Lee
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FEATURED ARTISTS
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