Robert McDuffie closes Aspen Music Festival winter recital series |

Robert McDuffie closes Aspen Music Festival winter recital series

Robert McDuffie will perform Saturday evening at Harris Concert Hall, closing the Aspen Music Festival and School's winter recital series.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

Who: Robert McDuffie

Where: Harris Concert Hall

When: Saturday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.

How much: $55

Tickets:; 970-925-3254

More info: McDuffie’s program will include John Adams’ ‘Road Movies,’ Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1, Alan Fletcher’s ‘Study: Music, Pink and Blue No. 2,’ Ravel’s Violin Sonata No. 2 and Stravinsky’s “Suite italienne.”

When violinist Robert McDuffie performs the third and final concert of the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Winter Music Recital Series on Saturday, he’ll invite listeners to journey through a century and a half of music, some of it familiar, some of it a rare treat. McDuffie has crafted a program offering a fascinating comparison and contrast of American music and the classic European sound.

McDuffie’s program spans more than a century of the repertoire, from Brahms’ lyrical, singing First Violin Sonata (1878) to Alan Fletcher’s 2015 composition “Study: Music, Pink and Blue No. 2,” a response to the Georgia O’Keeffe painting of the same name. The concert begins with Ravel’s second violin sonata, a remarkable work composed in the 1920s and inspired by the increasingly popular jazz and blues music coming out of America at the time. Stravinsky’s “Suite italienne” follows, an arrangement of movements from his ballet “Pulcinella.” Also on the program is John Adams’ 1995 “Road Movies,” a piece for piano and violin inspired by ragtime and swing music.

McDuffie is an Music Festival and School alumnus and celebrated violinist who has appeared with most of the major orchestras of the world, including the New York, Los Angeles and London Philharmonics and the Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal and Toronto Symphonies. Philip Glass dedicated his Second Violin Concerto, “The American Four Seasons,” to McDuffie, and just last summer McDuffie performed the U.S. premiere of Mike Mills’ Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and Orchestra at the Benedict Music Tent. Mills, of the rock band R.E.M., was commissioned by McDuffie to write this high-energy piece that expertly blurs the lines between pop and classical music.

After more than 40 consecutive summers, Robert McDuffie has become an Aspen staple, and he sees the town as a second home.

“Aspen is really where I grew up musically,” McDuffie said. “Everything keeps me coming back—the memories, the history. I feel like I grew up here. I have more of a history with Aspen than I do with my own home town in Georgia. It really is a second home in many ways.”

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