Aspen Festival Announces 2006 Season

Classic Arts News   Aspen Festival Announces 2006 Season
The Aspen Music Festival and School's 2006 season will include a celebration of music director David Zinman's 70th birthday and performances of Ned Rorem's Our Town.

The festival's 57th season will run June 21-August 20.

Our Town, based on the classic Thornton Wilder play, will get its world premiere at Indiana University on February 24. The libretto is by poet J. D. McClatchy. The Aspen Festival is one of several co-commissioners; its staging, to run July 29-August 2, will mark the opera's debut in the Western U.S., according to the festival. Zinman will conduct.

The celebrations of Zinman's birthday will include the world premiere of Kevin Puts' Cello Concerto, commissioned in the conductor's honor; Yo-Yo Ma is the soloist. On July 8, pianist Yefim Bronfman, members of the Emerson String Quartet, violinist Gil Shaham, and other musicians will pay tribute to Zinman at a benefit concert.

Other highlights include mini festivals devoted to Shostakovich and Britten, Mozart, and underground music in the Stalinist Soviet Union; a "concert-drama" by conductor Murray Sidlin titled "Who Killed Mozart"; and productions of Verdi's La traviata and Britten's Albert Herring at the Aspen Opera Theater Center.

Soloists making their Aspen debuts include soprano Jane Eaglen, who will perform the immolation scene from G‹tterd‹mmerung and appear in Britten's War Requiem, and violinist Hilary Hahn. Other soloists scheduled to appear include pianists Lang Lang and Leon Fleisher, violinists Sarah Chang and Gil Shaham, and cellist Lynn Harrell; conductors include James Conlon, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Robert Spano, and Leonard Slatkin.

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