The 69th season of the Aspen Music Festival and School will run June 29 to August 20, offering more than 400 events and featuring its signature wide variety of musical works, periods and performers. Audiences will be offered an intelligently curated mix of concerts exploring the season theme of “enchantment” through the lenses of myth, fairy tales, magic spells, forbidden love, transformation, and the transcendent delights of nature. Theme words include Ravel’s opera “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” (“The Child and the Enchantment”), which sees fairy tale characters, furniture, crockery, plants and stuffed animals chastise a peevish child who has been tormenting them (conducted by AMFS Music Director Robert Spano in a concert presentation, July 21), Zemlinsky’s “The Mermaid,” Symphonic Fantasy (July 23), a musical telling of the classic tale of a mermaid who wishes to become human to be with her true love; Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” (July 26), about the spellbinding power of storytelling; Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” (Aug. 16), about three puppets come to life; Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite (Aug. 6), based on this compelling figure popular in Russian fairy tales; Mozart’s Overture to “The Magic Flute” (July 7) ; Prokofiev’s Symphonic Suite from “The Love for Three Oranges” (July 14), a setting of an almost absurdist Italian fairy tale; Christopher Theofanidis’ “Dreamtime Ancestors” (July 30), based on an Australian aboriginal myth; and Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” (July 15), a gossamer work portraying the shifting moods of a faun through an afternoon.
AMFS alumna Renee Fleming will be back (July 30), as well as alumna violinist Sarah Chang who will play a special evening featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (July 19), pianist Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Russian blazing star Nikolai Lugansky. Rufus Wainwright will be back for an intimate evening in Harris Hall (July 24). Symphonic masterpieces to be performed include works by Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Strauss, and Stravinsky. The season closes with the large forces of Berlioz’s “The Damnation of Faust,” with full chorus (August 20).
There are more than 400 events in 7-1/2 weeks and the world’s very best students from 40 countries around the globe.
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