Taking place late-July through mid-August each summer, the Breckenridge Music Festival features a resident ensemble of 45 professional musicians who offer orchestral and chamber music experiences throughout Breckenridge. Under the leadership of Artistic Director & Conductor Steven Schick, performances range from traditional to contemporary classical and include multidisciplinary arts collaborations with local and regional arts organizations.
2020 Festival Overview: Landscapes
From Artistic Director & Conductor Steven Schick
There are few landscapes in the world more beautiful, more memorable or more imposing than the high mountains in mid-summer.Making music in this environment means responding to the power of the out-doors; being cognizant and grateful for the world around us, and offering our music as small down payment on the enormous debt of gratitudewe feel for the natural world.
We should call every season “Landscapes!”
But in 2020, we are looking at landscape in three very purposeful ways:as our heritage, as the beauty and power of the earth, and as a promise for the future.We’ve all had conversations along these lines in our everyday lives; now we’ll have them this summer at the Breckenridge Music Festival in the language of music.
For us heritage represents the world we inherited, full of music from all ages that we love and continue to play. To engage this idea, we have invited the extraordinary violinist Aisslinn Nosky, a true force of nature. She’ll perform her favorite music with us, spanning five centuries (!), from Bieber and Bach; Mendelssohn to Oesterle. It will be a veritable masterclass in the connectivity of all music across the ages.
We’ll celebrate the earth itself with several programs, including an evening of light, video, poetry and music in collaboration with video artist Jonathan Gilmer. With Jonathan, we’ll experience a night on earth, starting with the golden late-afternoon music of Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun through the middle-night drama of Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night to the first signs of dawn with Missy Mazzoli’s The Sound of Light and finally a version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring arranged for chamber ensemble and accompanied by a video commissioned from Jonathan Gilmer. Other music during the week will include works inspired by nature from Tansy Davies and Maurice Ravel; Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Andy Akiho.
Finally, we’ll look to the landscapes of the future, inspired by Chou Wen-chung’s evocative first orchestra piece, Landscapes, a love letter to his native China, written in the year (1949) he immigrated to the United States and looked to the West for his future. Tobin Chodos will join us as composer-in-residence and piano soloist in his future-oriented versions of the music of Duke Ellington.And principal bassoonist TK DeWitt solos in Michael Gordon’s concerto, Observations on Air.
Along the way we’ll continue our beloved Champagne and chamber music offerings, along with our spirited Tiny Porches series, which combines newly commissioned music and local storytelling.And, no, we haven’t forgotten it was Beethoven’s birthday.You’ll the First and Fourth Symphonies, seldom played gems of the first order.
Light, sound, air, earth.These are the themes of this year’s Breckenridge Music Festival.Join for Landscapes 2020, us as we honor, celebrate—and listen to—the land.
2020 Featured Artists
Sunday, July 19, 2020
An Evening of Solo Piano with Robin Sutherland
Colorado pianist Robin Sutherland grew up in Greeley, and began his lessons at the age of three with Dr. Rita Hutcherson, head of the piano department at the Univerdity of Northern Colorado. His other teachers have included Rosina Lhevinne at Juilliard and at Aspen, Rosalyn Tureck, Earl Wild, and Paul Hersh at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In September 2018 he retired from a uniquely remarkable 45-year career as Principal Pianist of the San Francisco Symphony, a position created for him by Seiji Ozawa in 1973.
Robin takes enormous pride in having been associated with the Breckenridge Music Festival since its very earliest days.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
A versatile and dynamic violinist, Aisslinn Nosky has enraptured the world with her impeccable technique and innovative curiosity. Her fierce passion for early music and skills as soloist, director, and conductor have created a robust appreciation by press and audiences alike. Hailed as, “a fearsomely powerful musician” by The Toronto Star and called, “superb” by The New York Times, demand for Aisslinn spans continents and continues to grow.
Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Aisslinn has also recently collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Holland Baroque, and the Charlotte Symphony. From 2005 to 2016 she was a member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Transfigured Night: An Exploration of Light & Sound
Jonathan Gilmer is a California based director and designer whose work is primarily based in drama and opera. He recently directed Noel Noel with the San Diego Symphony in collaboration with Ted Sperling. Other recent projects include Rite of Spring (San Diego Symphony), As One (San Diego Opera), The North Plan (ION Theatre), Shostakovich Day (Barbican Centre), Whistleblower (Waterloo East Theatre). Jonathan was a member of the design team for the UK Student Exhibit at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. He received his B.A from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2020
Ellington & Mendelssohn
Asher Tobin Chodos is a pianist, composer and musicologist. He is a graduate of the Dave Brubeck Institute, Columbia University (where he studied ancient Greek and Latin) and the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a Ph. D. in 2019. He has played with some of the biggest names in jazz music, and his compositions have been performed by many noted contemporary music ensembles. Ongoing projects include an academic study of the automated music recommendation industry (think of Spotify and Pandora), and an opera about the life of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. You can see more about these and other projects at www.tobinchodos.com.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Closing Night: Brahms Symphony No. 2
Thomas DeWitt is currently the Associate Principal Bassoon and Contrabassoon of the Kansas City Symphony. Previously, he was the Second Bassoon with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen. At UT, he was a winner of the Winds Concerto Competition, which led to a performance of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. He continued his studies at Rice University, earning a Master of Music studying with Benjamin Kamins. This is his tenth season with the Breckenridge Music Festival.