Winter series brings new faces to Aspen |

Winter series brings new faces to Aspen

Susannah Luthi
Special to The Aspen Times
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos makes his Aspen debut with this winter's classical music series at Aspen's Harris Concert Hall.

The 2006 Aspen Music Festival and School season is but a memory and winter too distant to contemplate, but the lineup for the festival’s winter series of classical music has already been set.

The series will bring some of classical music’s top artists to Aspen’s Harris Concert Hall for performance dates starting in late January of next year and continuing into March 2007.

The series begins Jan. 31 with pianist Vladimir Feltsman presenting a program of Haydn and Schumann. After performing at the summer festival, he’ll return to Aspen this winter, shortly after performing the complete cycle of Mozart sonatas in New York, and conducting Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at St. Petersburg’s Mariinksy Theater.

“We open with a perennial favorite,” said Asadour Santourian, the festival’s artistic advisor and administrator. “But we also welcome major stars who have been long established on the international scene.”

They include acclaimed Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova, coming on Valentine’s Day. Mullova catapulted to fame when, in her teens, she won the gold medal in the Tchaikovsky Competition. Now, she will make her Aspen debut with collaborator Genevieve Soly on harpsichord.

Together they are bringing a program of Bach partitas for solo violin and sonatas for violin and harpsichord. It makes for a fitting introduction to Mullova. As The Guardian in the United Kingdom recently noted, “To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience.”

The season continues Feb. 23 with 2005 Van Cliburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin, a 26-year-old phenom who brings a piano program of Haydn, Brahms, and Schumann to Aspen. Kobrin has already debuted with the New York Philharmonic, and has worked with such prominent European orchestras as the Orchestra Verdi di Milano, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and the Virtuosi of Salzburg Chamber Orchestra. This intimate Harris Concert Hall performance marks his first appearance in Aspen.

March 1 brings festival favorite Robert McDuffie back to Aspen with his acclaimed trio, including violist Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet and cellist Ralph Kirschbaum. Born at the festival in 2004, this trio has garnered national acclaim.

Closing the season on March 17 is another leading violinist, Leonidas Kavakos, making his Aspen debut with a program of Beethoven, Brahms and Busoni. Like Mullova, Santourian says Kavakos is known for his “heroic approach to violin playing.”

Go to for ticket information.

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