“The Aspen Music Festival and School has played host to generations of promising young musicians since its official founding in 1951,” writes David Mermelstein in Tuesday’s (7/26) Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “And many of those once-callow performers have become famous enough to return, alighting in the Rockies between glamorous summer gigs to offer advice and encouragement to those who may someday prove their successors. This year’s festival welcomed 630 students … to an immersive experience that began on June 30 and runs through Aug. 21. (Most are in their early 20s, though some are more than a decade older, and one pianist is just age 10.) In addition to playing in one of four large ensembles, most of the students participate in chamber music, along with private lessons, master classes, etc. They also compose substantial contingents among the audiences that delight in hearing major conductors and soloists perform repertory staples.” The article discusses a performance of the Goldberg Variations by Simone Dinnerstein, concerto appearances by Midori and Joshua Bell with the student orchestras, and performances by the young musicians of orchestral works by Mahler and Shostakovich led by Robert Spano, Aspen’s music director since 2012, and Vasily Petrenko.

Posted August 1, 2016