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Music Festival - Local Events and Things to Do in Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Music Festival Fills Colorado Rocky Mountains - Summer Events

local events in aspen, aspen events, winter events in aspen, aspen information, aspen info, about aspen Colorado, about aspen co, Molly Gibson LodgeIn just a few short weeks, the Aspen Music Festival beings.  Marking one of the most fantastic and notable events of the Aspen summer season in Colorado, the festival delivers an incredible experience combining elegant music with rocky mountain beauty. Beginning on June 28, the season runs for eight weeks and the calendar is full of events to please your musical senses.

Though a local event, the Aspen Music Festival and School is one of the country’s premier classical summer music festivals, and will present more than 300 musical events during the 2-month season. This summer’s festival has a patriotic theme, “Made in America”, perfectly suited for our colorful, vibrant summer here in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The programming will feature works from three different groups of composers: American composers working today, American composers who left for a time to study in Europe and then returned, and European composers who emigrated to America. This summer as always, the festival features a bountiful array of singers, conductors, composers, chamber groups and orchestras who line up the calendar with talent. Performances will be held in various beautiful indoor and outdoor venues around Aspen, including the airy and acoustically spectacular Benedict Music tent, the intimate Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Concert Hall, and the historic Wheeler Opera House, as well as many family friendly casual outdoor venues.

The 2012 festival is blessed to have world-acclaimed conductor-in-residence Robert Spano at the helm. This Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the most brilliant conductors in the world. In 2012 Mr. Spano was named the music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and as such he will also head the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, an exciting addition to the festival this year. Mr. Spano plans a big, crowd-pleasing big band opening to the season on June 28 with A Gershwin Celebration.

There is a myriad of other notable events in Mr. Spano’s repertoire to look forward to this season. A trio of diverse operas has something for every music lover’s taste, with Mozart’s The Magic Flute (June 12, 14, 16), Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (July 26, 28, 30) and the jazz- inspired adaptation of the The Great Gatsby (August 16, 18) by John Harbison. In addition look forward to Handel’s Water Music Suite (July 5) and Grammy-nominated trumpeter Chris Botti’s return to Aspen for An Evening of Jazz and Popular Music (July 7).

Also an acclaimed school for musicians of all ages, the festival attracts some of the world’s finest classical musicians for a very unique experience combining classical music performance and education. Now in its 63rd year, the Aspen Music School and Festival brings together the world’s top classical professionals and most promising students for a demanding and distinctive training experience. The school presents a very busy and diverse performance schedule, ranging from operas, chamber music, and children’s events to master classes and panel discussion, many of which are free. There are recurring events each day of the week, and you can count on seeing performances at these times no matter which week of the summer you’re in town:

MONDAYS          6 pm        Chamber Music
         1 pm         Harris Concert Hall Master Classes

                           4 pm         American Academy of Conducting Orchestra
                           Evening Artist Recitals
WEDNESDAYS   12 pm       High Notes Discussions
                           Evening Artist Recitals
      10 am       Piano Master Classes,6pm "An Evening with..." Recital Series
            9:30 am    Aspen Chamber Symphony Dress Rehearsals

                           4:45 pm    Overtures (performances of Beethoven chamber music)

                           5 pm         JUSTIN Time for Friday, sponsored by JUSTIN wine
                           6 pm         Aspen Chamber Symphony
10 am       Opera Scenes Master Classes

                           1 pm         Music On The Mountain (gondola ticket required)

                           4 pm         Chamber Music
Evening Artist Recitals
          9:30am     Aspen Festival Orchestra Dress Rehearsals
                           3 pm         Prelude Preconcert Talks
4 pm         Aspen Festival Orchestra

Monday August 6, marks the season’s biggest benefit at The Benedict Music Tent. Begin with a not-to-be-missed evening of song in Harris Concert Hall as the festival presents a Night of Cabaret with Nathan Gunn- one of today’s reigning baritones. The concert is followed with and Dinner on the Stage with Nathan Gunn in the Benedict Music Tent. Tickets for this event are very popular and more information can be found at

We look forward to enjoying outstanding music with you in Aspen this summer. Keep in mind that many events are free, such as all the performances taking place at the David Karetsy Music Lawn and the Music Garden. For tickets and a full calendar of events, as well as registration information for the school, please visit

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