Music in the Mountains: The First Fifty Years of the Aspen Music Festival

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9781555663117: Music in the Mountains: The First Fifty Years of the Aspen Music Festival

So synonymous have music and Aspen become that after fifty summers the Music Festsival seemed more a product of nature than of human design. Sucessive tents have swelled, subsided, breathed like living creatures. Indeed, the summer festival has steeped so long in sagebrush and canvas that, as one resident put it, the Music Tent came to be as much a symbol of Aspen as the Eiffel Tower is a symbol of Paris.

The Festival grew from the efforts of Walter Paepcke, a Chicago industrialist looking to establish a cultural center in a mountain setting. The resulting Goethe Bicentenniual in Aspen in 1949 attracted celebrated musicians and writers from all over the world, including Albert Schweitzer in his only visit to America, and the two-week event drew an audience of some 2,000 people—more than Aspen's population at the time. By 1998, the Aspen Music Festival attracted audiences of more than 100,000 to 260 concerts put on by more than 1,000 faculty members, guest artists and students.

Bruce Berger's lively book reads like a Who's Who of classical music, featuring a parade of international greats—from Arthur Rubinstein, Igor Stravinsky, and Aaron Copland to Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and James Levine—as well as thousands of students and enthusiasts, who transformed this historic mountain mining town into a world stage.

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From the Publisher:

A lively insider's history of the Aspen Music Festival and the visionaries and world-famous musicians who have made it one of the world's most renowned centers for classical music.

About the Author:

Bruce Berger came to Aspen in the fifties and has been a friend and devotee of the Festival ever since. He is the author of The Telling Distance, Notes of a Half-Aspenite, A Dazzle of Hummingbirds, Hangin' On, There Was a River, Almost an Island, and Facing the Music. He now divides his time between Aspen and Baja California.

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