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The Aspen Music Festival will present its 2008 summer season under the theme of “Once Upon a Time … ,” and will highlight music that explores folklore, mythology and fairy tales.

The 59th Aspen Music Festival runs June 19-Aug. 17, and features daily performances, including opera, orchestral concerts, chamber music, lectures and more.

Among the story-oriented pieces to be performed are two opera versions of the “Cinderella” tale ” Rossini’s farcical “La Cenerentola,” and Massenet’s “Cendrillon” ” and Humperdinck’s opera, “Hansel and Gretel”; the world premiere of John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” Suite; Wagner’s Overture to “The Flying Dutchman”; and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheheazade.” The season closes with Music Festival music director David Zinman conducting Schoenberg’s epic love story, “Gurre-Lieder.”

Additional season highlights include cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han performing the world premiere of Pierre Jalbert’s Cello Sonata; an appearance by the trio of pianist Yefim Bronfman, violinist Gil Shaham and cellist Lynn Harrell; a performance of Peter Lieberson’s acclaimed “Neruda Songs”; the Aspen debut of the eclectic duo of bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile; and a concert featuring four of the world’s greatest pianists: Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Yefim Bronfman and Misha Dichter.

Other musicians set to appear this season include violinists Joshua Bell, Robert McDuffie and Julie Fischer; pianists Jonathan Biss, John O’Conor and Vladimir Feltsman; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; guitarist Sharon Isbin; mezzo-soprano Jane Eaglen; ensembles the Emerson String Quartet and the Takacs Quartet; and conductors Marin Alsop, James Conlon, David Robertson, Nicholas McGegan and Leonard Slatkin.

The Music Festival will collaborate with Jazz Aspen Snowmass to present two concerts: a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with vocalist Patti Austin and the Count Basie Orchestra, and the debut of Cuban singer Isaac Delgado. A collaboration with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will have the local dance company performing with backing by the Aspen Concert Orchestra.

For tickets, season passes and a full preview of the 2008 schedule, go to

The Glenwood Springs-based Symphony in the Valley will present its Symphony Swing concerts next month in Glenwood and Battlement Mesa. The annual concerts, which feature the music of the big-band swing era, were not presented last year.

The Symphony Swing event, in Glenwood, including dinner and dancing, is set for March 1, at 5:30 p.m., at the Hotel Colorado. In Battlement Mesa, the event, with wine, cheese and dancing, is scheduled for March 2 at the Battlement Mesa Activity Center. Both performances will feature Symphony in the Valley conductor and director Wendy Larson and associate conductor John Bokram, along with several guest vocalists and instrumentalists.

Also, Symphony in the Valley has announced the winners of its 2008 Young Artists Concerto Competition: vocalist Zoe Levine, a seventh-grader from Carbondale; pianist Jenear Rader, a ninth-grader from Fruita; and violinists William Ronning, a senior from Glenwood, and Sylvia Tran, a seventh-grader from Aspen. All will be featured in the annual Mother’s Day concerts, May 10-11, with locations to be announced.

For reservations for the Symphony Swing concert in Glenwood, call Marice Doll at 947-1389. For the Battlement Mesa event, call Fran Storm at (970) 285-9480. For further information on Symphony in the Valley, go to

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