The Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 15th season Sept. 9-14, including two public concerts and two soirees at private homes. Created to fill a niche in classical programming during the late summer/early autumn in Summit County, the festival features Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills and Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa, both longtime participants, who took the helm as co-artistic directors last year. This season, five guest musicians join, including a vocalist. Here, Aizawa gives an inside glance into the 2012 festival's creative direction:Q: You will have a larger group of musicians performing this year. How will it change the concerts?Rieko Aizawa: This will be our 15th season, and this year we will be introducing a double-bassist and a soprano to our audience for the first time. More variety of instrumentation allows us to have a bigger palette of musical colors; we are excited to share with our audience all the wonderful works we've missed before. Q: Tell us about the double-bassist.RA: In our first concert on September 11, we will present the "must-have" masterpiece, Schubert's "Trout" quintet, which includes the double bass. The bass often plays a supporting role, behind the scenes. However, this giant version of the cello also has a very unique singing voice. You'll be able to hear its distinctive warm tone very closely, especially in a duo for cello and bass, written by John Harbison (one of America's most significant living composers). We are welcoming Zachary Cohen, who is the principal bassist of the renowned Milwaukee Symphony. He's such a versatile musician, and his effortless technique is quite unusual.Q: And the vocalist? RA: Music was originally born with the elements of song and dance; therefore, including a singer in our chamber music festival is very logical. A gifted soprano, Ilana Davidson has an incredibly pure voice, and she moves the hearts of audiences all over the world. In our second concert on September 14, one will hear Ms. Davidson's memorable voice in the joyful "Shepherd and the Rock" by Schubert and in an exotic and fun piece by Villa-Lobos, who composed with his native Brazilian folk melodies and rhythms.Q: Who else will make an appearance?RA: We will also be joined by Brant Taylor, the fantastic and immensely refined cellist from the Chicago Symphony, as well as violist Masumi Rostad from the Pacifica Quartet, one of the most successful string quartets in the world today - we are thrilled that his schedule worked out for this year's festival. Lastly, we are delighted to again welcome everybody's favorite clarinetist from last year, Igor Begelman. His musicality and instrumentalism are exceptional. Igor will be taking part in our performance of Alpenglow's grand finale on September 14, "Quartet for the End of Time" by Olivier Messiaen.Q: Last year you and Jesse Mills served as creative directors. How did it go? What are your goals for this year?RA: Since both Jesse and I have been a part of the Alpenglow family for many years, making the transition to this new role as co-artistic directors feels very natural. I have personally been a participant of the Alpenglow since its very beginning in 1998, and it has been a pleasure to see how the festival has developed such a wonderful audience. We need to keep growing, and I'd like to keep bringing the highest quality artists and programs to this area, with ever-creative perspectives and the utmost joy of music. I believe we can make Alpenglow into a most special and unique musical place, attracting enthusiastic audiences and musicians from all over. Alpenglow needs to be nurtured by the community, and we musicians need to reach out to the community as well - especially the younger generation - through our visits to schools, etc. Q: Any final thoughts? RA: Music is one way we can all appreciate the beauty of humanity; arts enrich our lives. We hope that many people can join us for the Alpenglow concerts!
What: Alpenglow Chamber Music FestivalDetails: Concerts will be held at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church, 56 Hwy. 6 in Dillon Sept. 11 & 14; soirees will be held at private homes on September 9 & 13. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.Info: (970) 468-4774 or http://www.alpenglowchambermusic.org