Writers Foundation turns to India for Summer WordsThe Aspen Writers Foundations Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival will feature appearances by Indian writers, including Salman Rushdie. The 32nd annual Writing Retreat & Literary Festival, presented under the theme Passage to India, is set for June 22-27, with events at Belly Up and the Gant condominiums.Rushdie, whose 1988 novel The Satanic Verses led to protests and death threats against the novelist in the Muslim world, will be honored with the 2008 Aspen Prize for Literature. He also will deliver the festivals keynote address, in an event on June 22. Joining Rushdie in Summer Words events, including panel discussions, readings and more, will be writers Anita Rau Badami, Amit Chaudhuri, David Davidar, Chitra Banarjee Divakaruni, Indu Sundaresan, Manil Suri and Sashi Tharoor.Also part of Summer Words is the Writing Retreat, with writers and other publishing world insiders leading workshops on narrative nonfiction, magazine & food writing, writing for young readers, and more. Faculty for the 2008 Writing Retreat include former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, novelists Jan Greenberg, Richard Bausch and others.For tickets for Literary Festival events, to register for Writing Retreat workshops, or for further information, go to aspenwriters.org.Passing on the Aspen Music FestivalThe Aspen Music Festival and School is offering a variety of passes for the upcoming 2008 summer festival season, including the Discount Locals Pass and the new Gold Pass. The 59th annual Aspen Music Festival runs June 19 through Aug. 17 with events daily, including opera, symphonic performances, chamber music, lectures, master classes and more.The Discount Locals Pass costs $125 and offers admission to 10 events six concerts and four master classes. The pass, available to Roaring Fork Valley residents, is good for all events except opera, benefits, special events, house music events, films and Sunday 4 p.m. concerts. Passes may be purchased at the Harris Hall box office. A local drivers license is required, and there is a limit of one per person.The new Gold Season Pass will allow patrons to reserve seats by phone on the day of a performance. The pass, for $1,250, gives unlimited access to the festivals 350-plus regular events through the season.Also available are the Kickoff Pass ($185), good for all regular events from June 19 through July 3, including two Aspen Chamber Symphony performances and two Aspen Festival Orchestra concerts; the Full Season Pass ($975), which includes all regular events but permits reserving seats only at the box office, not by phone; and the Youth Season Picture Pass ($50), available to children 17 and under, and good for all regular events.This years festival is presented under the theme, Once Upon a Time …, and focuses on folklore, mythology and fairy tales. The season includes two opera versions of Cinderella and one of Hansel and Gretel, and the world premiere of John Harbisons The Great Gatsby Suite, conducted by the festivals music director, David Zinman. The season also includes appearances by bassist Edgar Meyer; pianists Emanuel Ax and Simone Dinnerstein; violinists Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Robert McDuffie; conductors David Robertson, James Conlon and Alan Gilbert; and ensembles the Emerson String Quartet and the Takcs Quartet.For further information, go to aspenmusicfestival.com.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.