Rave reviews as festival and school bids Aspen music lovers farewell | AspenTimes.com

Rave reviews as festival and school bids Aspen music lovers farewell

Steve Benson
From left, Alexandra Prevcil, Celeste Golden and Elena Urioste, students at the Aspen Music Festival and School, share digital pictures and memories as they prepare to return home Monday. Aspen Times photo/Devon Meyers.

The final concert of the 2004 Aspen Music Festival commenced Sunday night, capping off what many consider the strongest year in recent memory. “This is by far the best season I’ve seen here,” said Ed Monarch, a festival volunteer who’s been attending the series for eight years. “It’s a whole different level than we’ve ever had here.” Monarch and fellow volunteer Sam Kenner attributed much of the success of this year’s series to Don Roth, the successor of longtime festival President Robert Harth. Harth died of a heart attack earlier this year in New York.

“He’s enlarged the scope tremendously,” Monarch said of Roth.In addition to the quality of the music, Kenner said the atmosphere of the Meadows, where the concerts are held, makes the festival unique. “This place is extraordinary. There’s no place like it on Earth,” Kenner said. “It’s so warm and welcoming.” And that is what seems to draw many concertgoers, who actually prefer listening outside on the lawn rather than inside the tent.

“I love being in the outdoors on a Sunday afternoon enjoying the music,” said Eveline Hoffman. “I love to see the conductor but there’s something about being outside – it’s such a treat.” Hoffman added that this summer’s lineup was better than usual. “It was a super summer, one of the best,” she said. Some, like Rebecca Despot, plan their evening walks around the festival.

“I just love to take walks around here,” she said. “The tent is too confining.” Tory Harrington, who just moved back to town after eight years away, said she was impressed with how the festival has progressed. “I can’t get over how splendid it is,” she said. “The event’s matured beautifully.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com

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