Aspen Music Festival
The Aspen Music Festival and School was founded in 1949 by Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke and is now the United States’ premier classical music festival. It is led by world-renowned music director David Zinman and presents more than 350 musical events during its eight-week summer season. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world for an unparalleled combination of performances and musical education. More than 25 percent of events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free.
The AMFS has four orchestras composed of top professionals and music students, many already beginning their professional careers. Hailing from 40 states and 40 countries, the 750 students begin vying for a spot as early as October of the previous year. Renowned alumni include violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Midori, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Gil Shaham; pianists Ingrid Fliter, Orli Shaham and Joyce Yang; conductors Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James Levine and Leonard Slatkin; composers William Bolcom, Philip Glass, Bright Sheng and Joan Tower; vocalists Renée Fleming and Dawn Upshaw; cellists Lynn Harrell and Alisa Weilerstein; performer Peter Schickele; and bassist Edgar Meyer.