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This Week in Aspen History: Aspen will have opera, concerts, lectures

For Aspen Times Weekly
The Saarinen Music Tent, circa 1950.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society (Durrance Collection)

“Aspen will have opera, concerts and lectures,” proclaimed The Aspen Times on Oct. 18, 1951. “Onward and upward go the Aspen summer festivals! Now comes news from Richard Leach, Director of the Festival, from his New York office, that the Summer ’52 plans are set for an 8-week event which will bring to Aspen residents and visitors opera, concerts, recitals, lectures, forum discussions and films from the Library of the Museum of Modern Art. Joseph Rosenstock will continue as Musical Director of the Aspen Festival (we erred a couple of weeks ago in giving this title to Victor Babin, who will be Director of the Music School). His summer commitment will not conflict with Mr. Rosenstock’s activities at the New York City Center, in Vancouver, where he is a guest-conductor of the Orchestra, or in Tokyo, where he is the permanent leader of the Nippon Philharmonic. Tentative program for the summer will list sixteen concerts of orchestral and chamber music, eight recitals, eight lectures, eight forum discussions, and eight films. So successful was the Aspen School of Music in its 1951 session (says Mr. Leach) that it will expand its curriculum from eight to ten weeks next year. Victor Babin, who, with his wife, Vitya Vronsky, has been participant in the Festivals of 1949, 1950, and 1951, is the new Director of the School. The faculty will be announced in full next month.”

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