Snapshots |


The Aspen Music Festival and School has released a preview schedule of its 2009 summer festival season. The 60th annual festival is set for June 25-Aug. 23, with daily events including orchestral concerts, opera, chamber music, lectures and more.

Season highlights include performances of Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos over two nights; a song recital of works featured in the 1949 Aspen Music Festival; a genre-jumping concert featuring Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas; and a season-ending performance of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. There will be world premieres of a Concerto for Two Violins, by former composer-in-residence George Tsontakis, and of Peter Lieberson’s Suite from “Ashoka’s Dream.”

Collaborations with other local arts organizations include a concert by singer Natalie Cole, with bassist Christian McBride and an orchestra, co-presented by Jazz Aspen Snowmass; and a dance program, accompanied by live music, presented with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

The Aspen Opera Theater Center’s season includes productions of Puccini’s “La boheme,” Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Among the instrumentalists set to appear are violinists Gil Shaham, Robert McDuffie and Sarah Chang; pianists Yefim Bronfman, Joyce Yang, Joseph Kalichstein, Wu Han and Vladimir Feltsman; cellists David Finckel, Lynn Harrell and Alisa Weilerstein; guitarist Sharon Isbin; and soprano Dawn Upshaw. Conductors for the season include James Conlon, David Robertson, Nicholas McGegan, James DePreist, Murry Sidlin, and Music Festival music director David Zinman.

The complete program will be released in April. For tickets and further information, go to

Old Snowmass writer Jay Cowan will have a book reading and signing event for his memoir of his late friend, Hunter S. Thompson, at 5 p.m. on Feb. 27. The event will be held at the Aspen Book Store, in The Little Nell.

“Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider’s View of Deranged, Depraved, Drugged Out Brilliance” is due for publication by The Lyons Press early next month.

Cowan, who first met Thompson when the former was a student at Aspen High School in the late ’60s, became caretaker of Thompson’s Owl Farm ranch in Woody Creek. The book relates first-person accounts of Thompson’s writing feats, political activity, suicide and drug use, which Cowan estimates cost the gonzo journalist $2 million over his lifetime.

Carbondale-based Thunder River Theatre Company has canceled its scheduled production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and is replacing it with performances of “Parallel Lives.” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” Edward Albee’s Tony-winning drama, is being re-scheduled for mid-winter next year.

“Parallel Lives” will be presented at the Thunder River Theatre Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 19-22, and Feb. 26-28. The sketch comedy was written by Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney. A production by Aspen Stage starred local actors Wendy Perkins and Peggy Mundinger and was directed by Brad Moore; that entire crew returns for the upcoming engagement. The production earned numerous awards, including the top prize, at the 2006 Colorado Theatre Festival.

For tickets and further information, go to, or call 963-8200.

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