Aspen Music Festival

Aspen Music Festival,

classical music festival held annuallly each summer in Aspen, Colo. Chicagoans Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke established the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (now the Aspen Institute) in the former silver-mining boomtown, and the Aspen Music Festival and School was founded in 1949 under the auspices of the Institute. Originally a two-week event, it is now an eight-week festival led by music director Robert Spano. Artists from all over the world perform in recitals, concerts, operas, and other events and teach several hundred young music students.

Aspen Music Festival

Late June to late August
One of the finest and most important musical events in the United States, this event was founded in 1949 in Aspen in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Symphonic orchestra and chamber-music concerts are staged in the white-tented amphitheater designed by Finnish-born architect Eero Saarinen, and smaller presentations in a renovated opera house and a church. Programs range from baroque to modern. Each season new compositions are introduced by "composers in residence"; Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland have been among them. A school of music operates along with the festival and has an enrollment of more than 900 students.
Aspen was a wealthy silver-mining town in the 1880s, but lost its glitter when silver prices collapsed in the 1890s. Its rebirth began in the late 1930s, largely because of the enterprise of Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke, who thought Aspen would be suitable for a Platonic community. It is now a popular though pricey skiing resort.
CONTACTS:
Aspen Music Festival and School
2 Music School Rd.
Aspen, CO 81611
970-935-3254; fax: 970-925-8077
www.aspenmusicfestival.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 23
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 42
MusFestWrld-1963, p. 277
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