July 24, 2009
“Azul,” a piece for cello and orchestra by Osvaldo Golijov, seems to be a landmark work. Performed last summer at the Aspen Music Festival with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, it thrilled both hard-core classical listeners and those with less devoted tastes. Conductor Jeffrey Kahane heard the piece in 2007 in New York, and promptly instructed both orchestras he led – the Colorado Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra – to program the work. “Azul,” from 2006, is but a slice of the Argentinean’s output: He has written for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble; collaborated often with the Kronos Quartet; touched on tango and klezmer styles; and composed the opera, “Ainadamar” for the Tanglewood festival. Among his latest projects was the score for the Francis Ford Coppola film, “Tetro.” Aspen is getting a closer look at Golijov and his music; the composer is here for a recital on Wednesday, July 29, by soprano Dawn Upshaw in an all-Golijov program. Next summer, he will be in residence in Aspen.
Jayne Gottlieb says the show that put her eponymous children’s-theater company on the map was “The Wizard of Oz,” in 2005. Gottlieb chalks up the success of that production to the venue – outdoors in Basalt’s Arbaney Park – even though subsequent shows on various stages (“Singin’ in the Rain” at the Wheeler Opera House, “A Chorus Line” on Snowmass’ Fanny Hill) have proved that the talent is extraordinary, and the company can adapt to any venue. Still, the prospects for this week’s show are strong – not only do Gottlieb & Co. return to Arbaney Park, but they do so with “The Sound of Music,” an incomparable musical with a mountainous setting that should resonate perfectly with outdoors Basalt. The hills come alive Friday through Sunday, July 31-Aug. 2.
In his local debut at the 2007 Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, Ryan Shaw showed rare star quality. The young soul singer, 26 at the time, appeared on a side stage, and though the audience didn’t know him from Adam – or Ryan Adams, for that matter – the floor was packed within seconds, grooving to Shaw’s old-school sounds. Shaw has since opened a tour for Van Halen and contributed tracks to a History Channel documentary on Martin Luther King, Jr., but hasn’t appeared locally. Shaw had to cancel a scheduled date for an Aspen fundraiser, and he hasn’t released a CD since his 2007 debut, “This Is Ryan Shaw.” Those streaks are about to come to an end: Shaw performs Thursday, July 30, in the Snowmass Free Concert Series, and has an album due this fall.