Aspen audiences have seen close up the rise of the Takacs Quartet. The quartet, formed in Hungary in 1975, moved to Colorado in 1983, when it began a residency at the University of Colorado. In the decades since, along with earning a Grammy Award and Gramophone’s 2002 award for best chamber music recording for its version of Beethoven’s middle quartets, the Takacs has become an institution in Aspen. A quartet-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Takacs has performed a huge chunk of the quartet literature here; last year, they outdid themselves with a six-concert cycle of all the Beethoven quartets to open the summer festival. Change is in the air, however; Roger Tapping, the violist for nine years, is leaving the Takacs, to be replaced by Geraldine Walther, who has spent nearly three decades as principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony. In addition to two appearances this summer, audiences can see Tapping perform with the quartet in the season’s final Winter Music Artist Recital, on Saturday, March 12, at Harris Hall. The program includes works by Bartok, Shostakovich and Debussy.
Before there was Carrie Bradshaw, and groups of single women gathering in front of the television on Sunday nights, there was Candace Bushnell and her New York Observer column, Sex and the City. The column celebrated the urban female single life, from bed- and bar-hopping to clothes-shopping, that became the subject of the hit series of the same name. The series made Bushnell the rare celebrity writer, a role in which she apparently revels. The celebrity side shouldn’t obscure Bushnell’s literary ambitions: her 2000 collection of novellas, “Four Blondes,” and the 2003 novel “Trading Up” wittily pierce the lives of the rich and frisky. Bushnell appears at an Aspen Writers’ Foundation Winter Words event Thursday, March 10, at the Hotel Jerome.
Tucked in among the singer-songwriters, jazz players and bluegrassers – and opera – the Wheeler Opera House has hosted a fair amount of rock. It might come as a surprise to know that Phish, Widespread Panic, INXS and String Cheese Incident have all played the century-plus-old venue. But the Wheeler has probably never been as loud as it will be Wednesday, March 9, when the North Mississippi Allstars and Rose Hill Drive play. The Allstars, led by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, rocked the house last year with their updated blues-rock. Throw in opening act Rose Hill Drive, a Colorado trio whose hard rock has been compared to no less than Led Zeppelin, and it makes for a rare roof-raising at the Wheeler.
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