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SummerArts: Classical Music

Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, CO)

Multiple venues

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(June 28 – August 19, 2012) This jam-packed summer festival offers recitals by the likes of pianists Simone Dinnerstein, Marc-André Hamelin and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Gil Shaham, composer/singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, the Anonymous 4 chamber quartet and the Emerson String Quartet, along with master classes and the free Music on the Mountain series. While the Aspen Chamber Symphony performs works by, for example, Bartók, Ravel, and Stravinsky, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble interprets compositions by Charles Ives, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Libby Larsen, and others, and the Aspen Opera Theater Center presents operas by such vital composers as Verdi and Britten. Esteemed conductors such as Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, and Jeffrey Kahane lead Aspen’s ensembles.

This wealth of concert options is largely made possible by those musicians who participate in the Aspen Festival Music School, which includes such distinctive programs as the American Academy of Conducting, the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and the Edgar Stanton Audio Recording Institute. The festival also maintains a strong commitment to contemporary music through its Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies. Beyond its summer programming, the Aspen Music Festival also presents a winter recital series and “The MET: Live in HD” series. (DK)

Aspen Music Festival and School Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (all venues are easily accessible via RFTA buses. All venues are also within walking distance of each other)
  • Performances/Programs: A classical music festival held in Aspen, annually featuring 350 events during a nine-week season
  • Admission: Varies. Regular performances can cost up to $80 a ticket, while others are offered free of charge. Lawn seats are always free
  • Subscriptions: The Aspen Music Festival offers the following subscription options: the Gold Season Pass ($1,250), which includes entrée to all regularly scheduled events and validation by phone on day of event; the Kickoff Pass ($185), which is good for all regular events through July 3; and the Full Season Pass ($975), which offers unlimited access to the festival’s 350-plus regular events throughout the summer. Children 17 and under are eligible for the $50 Youth Season Picture Pass. Passes are good for all regularly scheduled events except operas, special events, benefits, and films
  • Educational/Community Outreach: The Aspen Music Festival and School is a major training ground for young musicians with programs in performance and composition.