January 25, 2007
Much as you might love the artists who regularly appear at the Aspen Music Festival, you can’t help begging for fresh faces. (The Music Festival does tend to love its favorites nearly to death.) So it’s notable that of the five concerts in this year’s Winter Music series, three feature musicians in their local debuts. Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova, winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition (Feb. 14); pianist Alexander Kobrin, winner of the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (Feb. 23); and Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos (March 17) are added this season’s AMF roster of performers. The series opens, however, with an Aspen mainstay who doesn’t seem in danger of wearing out his welcome. Pianist Vladimir Feltsman, who has become accustomed to making two visits to the festival each summer, performs Wednesday, Jan. 31, with a program of Haydn sonatas and Schumann’s “Carnaval.” Rounding out the series are more Aspen regulars, but with a twist: violinist Robert McDuffie, cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and violist Lawrence Dutton, who debuted as a trio in 2003 in Aspen, return for a March 1 concert. All Winter Music performances are at Harris Hall.
No, the new Aspen Gallery does not limit itself exclusively to local, female artists. But Aspen-area women more than pull their weight in the Highlands Village space formerly occupied by the Aspen Artists Cooperative. Among the art currently being exhibited are the colorful, comical, folk-art-inspired creations of Dasa Bausova; the evocative black-and-white paintings of Shelly Safir Marolt; the distinctive sculpture of Alicia Matesanz de las Heras; and abstracts and nudes by Shannon Neumann. The gallery, which also features national and international artists, has its first opening Saturday, Feb. 3, from 4-8 p.m.; artists featured in the first show are Matesanz and painters Terry Fontaine and Amy Tessier.
When husband-and- wife team Javier Gonzalez-Bringas and Laura Maine sold Mambo Italiano last year, it wasn’t to escape the dining biz. It was to get away from the Carbondale strip mall that housed the restaurant. The two upgraded to a prime spot in old-town Basalt (site of the old Primavera), and opened their new place, Tempranillo, Dec. 1. Location in this case means a lot, but give the food its due as well. Tempranillo – named for an early season grape popular in Gonzalez-Bringas’ native Spain – delivers the food and atmosphere as well. The huge menu covers both tapas and larger plates; the former includes fine takes on Spanish specialties like albondigas (seasoned meatballs in a rich sauce), and a mix of artichokes with sausage. The atmosphere is balanced in noise, size and light; a dining bar that runs the length of one room makes for ideal casual dining and conversation. The wine list, like the food, is exclusively from Spain and Italy. The formula has been a quick hit; a recent visit had us wondering how the weekend hit so quickly. It was a Tuesday, which meant little to the diners who packed the place.