For more than a decade, since he played Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” in the first summer concert in Harris Hall, pianist Vladimir Feltsman has engaged with Aspen audiences in a dialogue about the great piano literature. Feltsman has performed Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” and more in recent years. And the conversation continues: In the Artist Recital concert, Saturday, Feb. 19, at Harris Hall, the all-Beethoven program features the “Pathetique” and “Appassionata” sonatas. On the just-released Aspen Music Festival summer 2005 program, Feltsman makes two more appearances, playing an all-Brahms chamber music program and a recital of Haydn, Mussorgsky and more Beethoven.
Colorado’s String Cheese Incident hasn’t appeared in Aspen in way too many years, so local fans should be happy with even a small slice of Cheese. String Cheese singer-guitarist Billy Nershi, with his wife, vocalist Jilian, form the duet Honkytonk Homeslice, which makes its local debut at the Blue Door in Snowmass Village Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 16-17. Also on the bill is Hot Buttered Rum String Band, a California quintet which made a splash at the Wheeler Opera House last month, opening for the Drew Emmitt Band. Word is to expect sets by each group, followed by a big, stringy jam session.
All the live performances are gone, but there are a few last breaths of laughter from the 11th annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Sunday, Feb. 13, features a roundup of the best films from the festival’s Film Discovery Showcase, with re-screenings at the Isis Theatre of the Jury Award Winners in various categories. Among the favorites: “The Thing About My Folks,” a father-son road film starring Peter Falk and Paul Reiser; the performance documentary “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic”; and the Phyllis Diller profile “Goodnight, We Love You.”
Not far from the end of his life, Aspenite Harley Baldwin lamented that locals never used the Baldwin Gallery the way he hoped. Baldwin wanted his museum-quality downtown gallery to open a wide door to top-grade contemporary art for viewers of all kinds. But while the gallery established itself among art collectors, it never drew in droves the merely curious. Baldwin, who died last month, would have liked nothing more than for locals to check out the new exhibit: Glenn Ligon’s drawings, inspired by the writings of black American James Baldwin, as well as selected drawings and sculpture by the late James Lee Byars, and Milton Rosa-Ortiz’s sculptural project “The Seven Deadly Sins.” An opening reception is set for Thursday, Feb. 17.
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