David Zinman appears in his tenth summer as music director. He will conduct a number of programs, including pianist Peter Serkin and the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 and John Corigliano's Symphony No. 3, Circus Maximus; violinist Gil Shaham and the Aspen Chamber Orchestra in what the festival is calling "jazzy classical works" and Beethoven's Violin Concerto; and violinist Julia Fischer in Nicholas Maw's Violin Concerto.
The season closes August 19 with Zinman leading Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Orff's Carmina Burana with soprano Eglise Guti_rrez and tenor Eric Cutler (baritone soloist to be announced), the Colorado Symphony Chorus and the Colorado Children's Chorale.
Operatic highlights include a semi-staged production of Puccini's Madame Butterfly with Barbara Shirvis as Cio-Cio-San and Roy Cornelius Smith as Pinkerton. Edward Berkeley directs.
Three staged operas feature students of the Aspen Opera Theater Center (AOTC), directed by Edward Berkeley. Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte will be conducted by George Manahan and Bizet's Carmen will be conducted by Julius Rudel.
Cavalli's Eliogabalo will receive its North American premiere with a period-instrument ensemble conducted by Jane Glover. The opera, edited by Harvard scholar Mauro Calcagno, is about a Roman emperor whose brief reign became legendary for its sexual excesses and political corruption. It was never performed when written in 1668; it was revived in 2004 by Ren_ Jacobs at the Monnaie opera house in Brussels. Edward Berkeley directs.
Kathleen Battle makes her Aspen debut with a program of Gershwin songs, most of which she will be performing for the first time in her career, according to a statement. Joining her on the program will be Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
Wynton Marsalis will conduct the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) in Congo Square, his tribute to New Orleans. 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 Aspen Festival introduced mini-festivals. The first of three this summer will be "Beethoven's Power of Music" (July 21-28), focusing on sonatas, trios and orchestral repertoire. Repertoire to be performed includes Symphony No. 5 and the late string quartets played by the Brentano and Ying Quartets.
"Made in America: Jazz" runs July 30-August 5 and examines the influence of jazz on classical repertoire; the lineup includes Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety; Ellington Portrait, a suite of the Duke's tune arranged by Jeff Tyzik; George Antheil's A Jazz Symphony; Ravel's Violin Sonata' Milhaud's La Cr_ation du monde; and Stephen Hartke's Clarinet Concerto.
"Stravinsky Rex" from August 6-12 features Petrushka and the Scherzo fantastique, Op. 3.
Performers making their AMFS debuts include Guti_rrez, mezzo Michelle DeYoung, pianists Ingrid Fliter and Yevgeny Sudbin, cellist Daniel M‹ller-Schott and conductor Xian Zhang. The guest conductor lineup also includes James Conlon, Mikko Franck, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Nicholas McGegan, Peter Oundjian, David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin and Osmo V‹nsk‹.
Tafelmusik, the acclaimed period-instrument irchestra from Toronto, offers a program called "Metamorphoses: From Myth to Music," led by music director/concertmaster Jeanne Lamon.
World premieres planned for Aspen this summer include Steven Mackey's Ground Swell and Daniel Kellogg's Piano Quintet.
On the dance front, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dances to live music performed by AMFS artist-faculty. Festival premieres include Left Unsaid (Nicolo Fonte, choreographer) and Pointeoff (Jorma Elo, choreographer).