Aspen Music Festival and School Announces its 58th Season, Themed 'Blue Notes' June 21 to August 19, 2007

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More than 350 public events feature appearances by Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, James Conlon, Emerson String Quartet, Vladimir Feltsman, Julia Fischer, Leon Fleisher, Jane Glover, Hilary Hahn, Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas McGegan, David Robertson, Gil Shaham, Leonard Slatkin, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Tafelmusik, among others From Baroque to bebop, sonatas to swing -- this summer the Aspen Music Festival and School explores the influence of jazz on the classical tradition, June 21 through August 19, 2007. The theme for the 58th season, entitled Blue Notes, examines how jazz's uniquely American musical style has left its imprint on such works as Gershwin's An American in Paris, June 27; Ellington/Tyzik's Ellington Portrait, June 30; George Antheil's A Jazz Symphony, July 6; Ravel's Violin Sonata, July 10; Milhaud's La création du monde, July 20 and Stephen Hartke's Clarinet Concerto, Landscapes with Blues, July 20, among many others.

From Baroque to bebop, sonatas to swing -- this summer the Aspen Music Festival and School explores the influence of jazz on the classical tradition, June 21 through August 19, 2007. The theme for the 58th season, titled Blue Notes, examines how jazz's uniquely American musical style has left its imprint on such works as Gershwin's An American in Paris, June 27; Ellington/Tyzik's Ellington Portrait, June 30; George Antheil's A Jazz Symphony, July 6; Ravel's Violin Sonata, July 10; Milhaud's La création du monde, July 20 and Stephen Hartke's Clarinet Concerto, Landscapes with Blues, July 20, among many others.

David Zinman appears in his tenth summer as music director, conducting the first of his six 2007 Festival performances on June 24, when he leads pianist Peter Serkin and the Aspen Festival Orchestra in a program of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 and John Corigliano's Symphony No. 3 Circus Maximus. Through the summer season, Zinman will conduct many extraordinary performances with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and many guest performers. A highlight of the summer season will be the last concert on August 19 with Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Orff's dramatic choral opus Carmina burana, conducted by Zinman, who will be joined by soprano Eglise Gutiérrez, tenor Eric Cutler, the Colorado Symphony Chorus and the Colorado Children's Chorale. It will be the first time Carmina burana has been performed at the festival in 22 years.

Another highlight of the 2007 season led by Zinman will be a semi-staged production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly on August 11. AMFS alumna Barbara Shirvis as Butterfly and Roy Cornelius Smith as Pinkerton are joined by members of the Aspen Opera Theater Center and the Aspen Chamber Symphony.

In addition, the season brings Aspen's world-class cultural and intellectual organizations together for one-of-a-kind presentations. Notably, Aspen's nationally acclaimed ballet troupe will dance in the Benedict Music Tent to live chamber music (July 16, in association with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet).

Renowned opera star Kathleen Battle makes her Aspen debut this summer at the Season Benefit entitled "Rhapsody in Blue" on July 14, led by Zinman. She will perform all Gershwin songs, most for the first time in her career. Battle is legendary for her glamour, dramatic performances and gorgeous soprano voice. Joining her on the program will be pianist Simon Trpčeski playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

In another significant collaboration (with Jazz Aspen Snowmass), jazz icon and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis will conduct the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) in Congo Square, his tribute to New Orleans, June 26. Marsalis' work was inspired by the public square in New Orleans which was, from the mid-1700s to the late-1800s, the only public space in America where Africans could gather and share their unique rhythms, songs and dances. For this, JLCO will be joined by Congo Square co-writer and Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy and Addy's nine-piece ensemble of Ghanaian drummers/vocalists Odadaa.

Three years ago, the Festival introduced mini-festivals to help audience members gain a greater understanding about a musical topic and/or composer. This summer's mini-festivals are: Beethoven's Power of Music (July 21-28), Made in America: Jazz (July 30-August 5), and Stravinsky Rex (August 6-12).

Three staged operas will be presented at the Wheeler Opera House featuring the talented students of the Aspen Opera Theater Center (AOTC), directed by Edward Berkeley, director of the AOTC, director of undergraduate opera studies at The Juilliard School and co-founder of the Willow Cabin Theater Company.

This summer the AMFS introduces a new series: Aspen Late, musical explorations into jazz, crossover and more. The three concerts feature violinist Hilary Hahn with singer-songwriter Josh Ritter (July 27), the Turtle Island Quartet along with the Ying Quartet (August 3), and a jazz artist to be announced (July 20, presented in association with Jazz Aspen Snowmass). All 90-minute presentations are at 9 p.m. at Harris Concert Hall.

More than 750 music students from more than 40 countries come each summer to play in five orchestras, sing, conduct, compose, and study with more than 150 top artist-faculty. Students represent the field's best talent; many have already begun their professional careers, others are just about to.

In addition to the 150 members of the AMFS's highly accomplished artist-faculty, 2007 guest artists and conductors include Adele Anthony, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, James Conlon, Julia Fischer, Hilary Hahn, Nicholas McGegan, David Robertson, Julius Rudel, Gil Shaham, Orli Shaham, Lan Shui, Leonard Slatkin, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the Emerson String Quartet and the Takács Quartet.

Aspen offers the ultimate in flexibility for patrons with passes, the most self-directed and convenient way to attend concerts. The Kickoff Pass ($175) is good for all regular events through July 3. The Full Season Pass ($975) offers unlimited access to the Festival's 350-plus regular events throughout the summer. Children 17 and under are eligible for the $50 Youth Season Picture Pass. Passes are good for all regularly scheduled events except operas, special events, benefits, house musics and films. Tickets and passes may be purchased by Internet: http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com; by phone: 970-925-9042; by fax: 970-925-8077 and by mail: AMFS Box Office, 2 Music School Road, Aspen, CO 81611.

The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States' premier classical music festival, presenting more than 350 musical events during its nine-week summer season in Aspen. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world to this charming Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. More than 25 percent of events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free.

The AMFS's orchestras are composed of top professionals and music students, many on the cusp of, or already beginning, their professional careers. Hailing from approximately 40 states and 40 countries, the 750 students begin vying for a spot with the AMFS as early as October of the previous year.

Images available upon request.

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