Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival begins 18th season Saturday in Silverthorne |

Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival begins 18th season Saturday in Silverthorne

American soprano Ilana Davidson
Special to the Daily |


Soirees: Online at for order form or credit card purchase

Concerts: Online at for order form or credit card purchase or purchase at the door

For more information, contact Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival at (970) 797-4999 or visit Email:

Summit County welcomes the return of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival for its 18th season. Each season, Alpenglow has grown — both in its musical offerings and in the size of the audiences. Under the artistic directorship of Rieko Aizawa and Jesse Mills, the repertoire has expanded from the familiar chamber format of piano and string instruments to include voice, flute and marimba in the last few years. This year, in addition to piano, strings, voice and flute, the artistic directors have included guitar and horn (sometimes called a French horn).


The season opens on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. with a soiree in a private home in Silverthorne. The musicians include Aizawa at the piano, Mills playing violin, Raman Ramakrishnan on cello, soprano Ilana Davidson and Zohar Schondorf on horn. Music will span the Romantic Era through the 21st Century. On arrival, guests will be treated to a champagne reception. Following the performance, guests and musicians will have an opportunity to mingle while enjoying light refreshments and wine. Tickets for the soiree are $75 and seating is limited. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 6:45 p.m. Directions to the private home will be included with the ticket purchase.


Finkel Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge will be the setting for the first public concert of the festival on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. with the same group of musicians. Light refreshments will be available during intermission. Tickets for the concert are $20 for regular admission, $10 for seniors and students are free.


Alpenglow strongly encourages students to attend the concerts to hear full performances. Later in the week, the musicians will give demonstrations and have discussions with students in the guitar class and orchestra class at Summit High School. New Summit High School music director, Karen Olsen, will provide more information to the students about these Alpenglow outreach opportunities.


Praised by The New York Times for an “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing,” Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus.

At the age of 13, she was brought to the attention of conductor Alexander Schneider on the recommendation of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida. Schneider engaged Aizawa as a soloist with his Brandenburg Ensemble at the opening concerts of Tokyo’s Casals Hall. Later that year, Schneider presented her in her United States début concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with his New York String Orchestra. She has since established her own unique musical voice.

Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. Since his concerto début at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Mills has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, including concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Gardener Museum and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared at prestigious venues in Europe, such as the Barbican Centre of London, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Carré Theatre, Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Mills is a founding member of the Horszowski Trio and of Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006.

American soprano Ilana Davidson brings a crystalline soprano, assured musicality and interpretive insight to repertoire spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries. Her recording of William Bolcom’s “Songs of Innocence” and “Experience,” conducted by Leonard Slatkin, won four Grammy Awards including Best Classical Album in 2006.

Upcoming and recent engagements include Mahler 4th with Leonard Slatkin, The Brahms Requiem with Grant Llewellyn, Mahler 2nd with Rhode Island Philharmonic, appearances at Alice Tully Hall, and Constable Burton Hall in the UK. She has performed roles with the Staatsoper Stuttgart, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, Schwetzingen Festival, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Florida Grand Opera, Nationale Reisopera (NL) and Vlaamse Opera (BE).

Born in Haifa, Israel, Zohar Schondorf served in the Israeli Army Band from 1989-92. With Israeli-American Cultural Foundation Scholarships from 1986-1992, Mr. Schondorf completed his Bachelor of Music at The Juilliard School of Music in 1995.

Schondorf returned to Israel as associate principal horn with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and as principal horn with the Israel Symphony/Opera Orchestra, a position he held from 1997 to 2001. While in Israel, he won an Oreq Communication award for his outstanding performance as principal horn in the Classical-Winter-in-Jerusalem Music Festival in 1993 and also played with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta.

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