The Aspen Music Festival and School will host a free virtual summer festival online, opening July 4 and including live recitals, panel discussions and seminars through Aug. 23.
The festival canceled its summer-long in-person session in early May due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The virtual season will carry on the Aspen tradition of Sunday afternoon concerts, with virtual recitals by festival favorites including pianist Daniil Trifonov (July 19), cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan (July 26), violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jeremy Denk (Aug. 9) and violinist Augustin Hadelich (Aug. 25). Other familiar elements include the festival weekly High Notes panel discussions, at which festival president and CEO Alan Fletcher interviews guest artists and faculty.
The festival also will host a Faculty-Student Showcase on Wednesdays, offering a look inside the teaching process with private virtual lessons by faculty including soprano Renée Fleming (Aug. 19).
In two interactive seminars, the Music Fest will tackle the history and current realities of women composers (“Uncommon Women of Note,” July 15) and Beethoven’s legacy (“Beethoven at 250,” Aug. 12).
“We posed ourselves the question, ‘Can we do anything that is really lasting? Not just a fill-in, but something really fresh?’” Fletcher said Wednesday of the planning process for the free virtual lineup. “That is here in the interactivity that will be available and the fact that we can present our core work of education to the whole world. People in Hanoi and Mumbai and Capetown can really see what we do in a fresh and interesting way.”