In 1949, the school and Aspen Music Festival was founded by visionaries Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke. They believed the combination of art and nature improves peoples souls. Hence, the location of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Over 50 years later, their inspirations cover every aspect of the festival and school. From all over the world 800 young musicians attend this renowned school.
Also, every year the school invites more than 70 guest artists and 165 teachers from across the world to attend to and teach the students and also perform. This gives the students opportunities to perform as participants along with some of the greatest musicians in the world as part of their training. It has inspired fledging musicians to mature into some of the most gifted and creative classical artists in the world, from Paris to New York, from Tokyo to Rome. In fact, its one of the world’s premier schools and learning grounds for pre-professional musicians…bar none!
The Aspen Music Festival is in a class of its own. This event takes place every summer in the Aspen area. It’s a classical music festival and is internationally renowned. It presents excellent, beautiful music in a small Rocky Mountain town setting. This nine-week program encourages the students to develop their talent and skills through the classes they attend by playing and performing. Master classes, recitals, individual lessons and concerts are all part of the curriculum and last the entire summer while they are there.
It’s important to point out the lessons for learning are not only limited to the classroom. The students also perform in concerts in which the students perform with their instructors in the Aspen Chamber Symphony and Aspen Festival Orchestras. In addition, students are members of three orchestras maintained by the school. This renowned school alumni fills many music positions who perform in opera houses, school faculties, in music, and other top-tier orchestras across the globe. David Zinman is the music director who has spent half a century in the Aspen Music Festival and school. This year the students will celebrate his birthday along with the birthdays of composers Mozart and Shostakovich.
Normally Aspen is thought of as only a winter ski vacation area. But, as you can see there’s much more to this beautiful town in the Rocky’s than just skiing. It has the beautiful 2,050-seat Benedict Music Tent, This beautifully sounding and award-winning permanent structure debuted in the year 2002 to provide acoustics to the beautiful classical music. So, come on out. If you think you may be interested going to the music festival many of the concerts and events are free. Some cost $70.00, but there are quite a few recitals and performances in the 9$ to $42 range. Of course, if you tired of hearing music, there’s always the famous Aspen nightlife…and celebrities and much more welcoming the new and seasoned vacationer.
Ron Rougeaux has written articles about Aspen, Vail and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. His website can be found at: The Aspen Music Festival