Summer Aspen Music Festival – What Is It?
The Aspen Music School, widely regarded as the country’s premier musical training program for young musicians, has reduced its competitive acceptance rate for musicians from over 600 to around 270 this year as a COVID-19 precautionary measure. They had to submit a digital recording of their two solos, three orchestral and chamber pieces (all in one take), a written portion, a performance resume, and letters of recommendation in order to be considered. Students receive a combination of intensive one-on-one instruction and professional performance experience during the summer. Five orchestras, an opera, chamber music studies, master classes, lectures, and panels are all part of the festival. Harmsworth will perform for seasoned orchestral musicians from New York, Vienna, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia while in Aspen. Only the most serious, dedicated young musicians from around the world are accepted into the rigorous weekly schedule of playing and performing – the ideal environment for Harmsworth, who is studying cello at UM under Adam Collins.
What is it?
The Summer Aspen Music Festival is a festival that has classical music in Aspen, Colorado that takes place every year. It is known for its concert programming as well as the musical training it provides to mostly young adult musicians. The typical eight-week summer season includes about 400 classical music events, with 70,000 audience members, including concerts that were performed by five orchestras, solo and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming. The AMFS hosts a small series of recitals and Metropolitan Opera Live in HD screenings in the winter. The AMFS attracts over 650 students from 40 states and 34 countries, with an average age of 22 years old, as a training ground for young adult classical musicians. Students participate in lessons, coaching, and public performances in orchestras, operas, and chamber music while in Aspen, frequently performing alongside AMFS artist-faculty.
The $75 million, 105,000-square-foot Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Campus, which serves as the centre of the AMFS’ teaching activities and also Summer Aspen Music Festival, was completed in 2016. The Campus is two miles from downtown Aspen and sits on a 38-acre site that is shared by the AMFS during the summer and Aspen Country Day School during the school year. The Bucksbaum Campus includes three large rehearsal halls, numerous teaching studios and practise rooms, a percussion building, administrative offices, and a glass-enclosed cafeteria, all designed by architect Harry Teague, who also designed the AMFS’ Harris Concert Hall and the Benedict Music Tent.