Where Dreams Begin Campaign


The Where Dreams Begin Campaign concluded in 2019, having revitalized our historic, 38-acre campus and strengthened endowment funding for students, faculty, and programs. Our community of supporters contributed more than $75 million to ensure life-changing experiences for new generations of aspiring musicians—and so that Aspen audiences can continue to share in those experiences. Nearly 1,200 individual contributions were made by over 650 donors – thank you to one and all!


Nestled in the Castle Creek Valley and surrounded by pristine nature, the Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Campus is a unique setting for young musicians to explore their relationship with music. Here there are practice rooms and teaching studios where artist-faculty and students strive for perfection; common areas where musicians mingle and find mutual inspiration; and rehearsal halls where it all comes together. Altogether, the capital improvements included 76,603 square feet of new construction and 24,690 square feet of renovations to existing buildings.

Completed over two phases in 2013 and 2016, the newly renovated Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Campus now comprises:

  • Three new rehearsal halls
  • Thirty-two new teaching studios and an electronic media studio
  • Orchestral and chamber music libraries
  • Sixty-eight practice rooms
  • A dining hall with exterior deck overlooking the ponds
  • Administrative offices
  • Two maintenance buildings
  • Two historic nineteenth-century mining structures, including the Gordon Hardy Building


The AMFS is dedicated to attracting the highest-quality students by offering financial assistance, the world’s best teachers, innovative programs, and creative programming. Thanks to the hundreds of gifts made to the endowment through the Where Dreams Begin Campaign, the AMFS continues to be the preeminent summer institution of classical music education, performances, and presentations.

As part of the campaign, 49 new scholarship funds were created in the AMFS endowment, with $8.6 million raised for financial aid.  In addition, more than $1 million was raised for general scholarship or added to pre-existing funds in the AMFS endowment.


The AMFS celebrates the successful completion of the Where Dreams Begin Campaign and thanks the many donors who helped us reach our goals.

For the full list of donors to the Campaign, click here

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO