Music festival gets personal | AspenTimes.com

Music festival gets personal

The Aspen Music Festival and School will delve into the music of autobiography in its 2005 summer season.

The season, under the theme of “Self-Portraits,” will highlight composers who have told the stories of their lives in their music. Among the notable works falling under the theme are Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and a semistaged performance of Strauss’ comic opera “Intermezzo.” Also to be presented are intensely personal works by Elgar, Mahler, Berg and Shostakovich.

The 56th Aspen Music Festival presents daily events June 22 through Aug. 21, including opera, orchestral concerts, chamber music, lectures, master classes and benefit events.

Highlights of the 2005 season include the concert-drama “Shadows and Voices: The Last Days of Tchaikovsky,” illuminating Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and featuring actor Michael York; a season-long exploration of the music of K.A. Hartmann and Enescu; pianist-conductor Leon Fleisher conducting a master class with full orchestra; a benefit celebrating music director David Zinman’s 69th birthday, with Zinman conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; and a festival-closing performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Music Festival alumnus James Conlon.

The Aspen Opera Theater Center will present three staged operas: Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen,” inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”; Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and a rare production of Cavalli’s “Giasone,” a comical interpretation of the ancient Greek tale of Jason and the Argonauts performed on period instruments.

Continuing a component instituted last year, the music festival will present three mini-festivals designed to broaden the historical context of the music. Forbidden Music: Conscientious Objectors is a tribute to World War II-era artists who challenged Nazi Germany; Postcards from Latin America explores the evolution of various Latin music genres; and A Grand Tour of the Baroque offers an investigation into the music of the Baroque era.

Composers in residence for the 2005 season are Christopher Rouse, who returns for his ninth summer, and Robert Beaser, whose “Souvenirs” will have its world premiere. In residence for the second half of the season will be Steven Stucky, whose “Spirit Voices” will have its world premiere.

Among the conductors scheduled to appear this summer are Marin Alsop, Sergiu Comissiona, James DePreist, Sir Neville Marriner, Peter Oundjian, David Robertson, Julius Rudel, Murry Sidlin, Leonard Slatkin and Michael Stern.

Guest artists for the 2005 season include violinists Joshua Bell, Robert McDuffie, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, Gil Shaham and Pinchas Zukerman; pianists Vladimir Feltsman, Jonathan Biss, Joseph Kalichstein and Orli Shaham; cellists David Finckel and Ralph Kirschbaum; mezzo-soprano Suzanne Mentzer; double bassist Edgar Meyer; guitarist Sharon Isbin and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Ensembles set to perform include the Kronos Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Takacs Quartet and the Zukerman Chamber Players.

For further information, including a 2005 summer season preview and calendar of events, go to http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com.

Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com


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