“The Aspen Music Festival and School’s eight-week, 400-event summer 2019 season will explore questions of American identity under the theme ‘Being American,’ ” writes Andrew Travers in Tuesday’s (2/5) Aspen Times (CO). “Orchestral performances and recitals will include Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ … George Gershwin’s ‘Catfish Row’ suite from ‘Porgy and Bess’ … and Leonard Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’ Symphonic Dances … and works by contemporary American and immigrant composers alongside works by icons like Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, Wynton Marsalis, Stephen Sondheim and Philip Glass. The festival is celebrating … its 70th anniversary … Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher said the organization settled on the theme without reference to the current roiling political debate about American identity and immigration…. ‘My interest in it was more historical, but it does link us to the current moment,’ Fletcher said, ‘because classical music in the U.S. has always been very heavily influenced by recent immigrants.’ … Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto will be performed by Nicola Benedetti … with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra…. Literary-themed programs include Holst’s ‘Walt Whitman’ Overture (July 5), Jake Heggie’s Suite from ‘Moby Dick’ (July 14) and Copland’s ‘12 Poems of Emily Dickinson.’ ”

Posted February 6, 2019