For classical music lovers, summertime means great music in the out of doors, and the United States hosts some of the world’s premier summer music festivals in some of the most fabulous outdoor settings imaginable.
One of the leading events is the annual Aspen Music Festival, held in Aspen, Colorado, deep in the Rocky Mountains. The Aspen Music Festival has been held annually for more than sixty-five years and has a tradition of attracting some of the world’s great musicians performing the music of the great composers, from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky to Bach to Copland. And it isn’t limited to just classical music. Jazz and popular music stars have also made appearances in Aspen.
Something about the Rocky Mountains seems to cry out for classical music, because it is the host of another great summer music festival. Bravo! Vail has headlined such leading orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, playing music by such greats as Richard Strauss and Bela Bartok.
But there is plenty of great music at summer festivals away from the mountains. In the Midwest, Chicago has played host to the Grant Park Music Festival each summer for more than eighty years and focuses entirely on the classics. One of its great features is that it is free. Not to be outdone, New York is the site each summer for the Mostly Mozart festival that features the music of, well, Amadeus Mozart, mostly.
Midwest Musical Imports, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a staple at many of the great music festivals around the United States each summer. Founder and owner Michael Aamoth has a particular affection for the Aspen Music Festival. He is a professional oboist himself, and has played with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.