About the School

The Aspen Experience

The Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) offers a summer experience like none other.

With ten programs of study, four orchestras, opera, chamber music, performance classes, and lectures, AMFS students receive a combination of intensive one-on-one instruction and professional performance experience. Each student steps into an extraordinary musical world of unparalleled depth and breadth, including the most diverse student body of any summer classical music program. 

Along with private instruction, orchestra/instrumental students rehearse and perform major repertoire side by side with their teachers and/or with principal players from major orchestras, including those of New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Orchestras perform weekly or accompany one of two professional operatic productions. Soloists and conductors vary by week and are among the world's most revered classical musicians. The orchestral experience is available to students ages 18 and up. Students under the age of 18 may participate in private lessons and chamber music.

The Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS (AOTVA) program launched in 2021, under the co-artistic direction of Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers (artistic and music director for Houston Grand Opera). The program trains young singers for a future of vocal artistry including opera and concert work, emphasizing technical skill, process, and versatility.

The AMFS also offers concentrated study and an immersive experience in conducting, composition, contemporary music, classical guitar, chamber music, chorus, as well as collaborative and solo piano.

Students can attend nearly 300 events and, as part of the AMFS community, they make connections that can last a lifetime. While the average age of an Aspen student is 23, the AMFS is open to musicians of any age, at any stage of their careers. The intensity of the professional performance schedule and the exacting standards of quality make it most appropriate for the serious, dedicated musician. The AMFS does not offer housing for students under the age of 18. Learn more about AMFS housing here.

Join Aspen for its seventy-fifth season—a season of illustrious tributes and spirited celebrations of the Festival's past, present, and future—and experience what has made the Aspen Music Festival and School a place of artistic and personal transformation since 1949.

Teaching and Performance Venues

The Aspen Music Festival and School is headquartered at the pastoral 38-acre Bucksbaum Campus located just outside of Aspen among groves of aspen trees, fields, and ponds. In 2013, the AMFS celebrated the opening of the newly redeveloped Campus with two new rehearsal/performance halls, percussion facilities, and practice rooms. Brand new teaching studios were dedicated in 2014, and, in 2016, a third rehearsal/performance hall, dining facilities, additional teaching studios, and administrative offices were unveiled.

For a full list of performance and teaching venues, visit the Venues page.

Aspen by the Numbers
Students Around 470, from approximately 40 states and 31 countries
Ages Approximately 10 to 37
Artist-faculty More than 100 from major orchestras, opera houses, music schools, and conservatories worldwide
Guest artists 100+
Orchestras 4  
Operas 2–3 Productions; Weekly Scenes Program
Performance Venues Michael Klein Music Tent, Harris Concert Hall, Wheeler Opera House, and other smaller venues around the town of Aspen
Total events in eight weeks Nearly 300
Elevation 7908 ft. above sea level
Average daily high in the summer 76 degrees

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO