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Alpenglow Music Festival: Inspired By Nature

Nathan Heffel
Frisco, Colorado

With fall colors across Summit County providing visual beauty, the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Summit County brought aural beauty to Colorado’s High Country.

Musicians from across the country and globe travel to Summit County to play with Alpenglow, now in its 17th year. The week long festival hosts two public concerts at the Lord of the Mountains Church in Dillon, along with two ‘soiree’ concerts in private homes in the area.

Violinist Jesse Mills is an artistic director with the festival.

“Alpenglow and its supporters are like a musical family for us.  We aim to bring the highest level of artists to Summit County for the festival, and also to work with the community as much as possible.  We have been playing at Summit County high school at least once a year as well, working with the students, and opening their eyes to the vast world of chamber music,” Mills said.

Mills said artists from around the world take part in the festival which in some respects may prove challenging. However, practicing for the festival can be very enjoyable.

Credit Alpenglow
Violinist Jesse Mills is artistic director of Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival

“We are so fortunate as artistic directors to have the chance to invite some of the world's best musicians to Alpenglow.  We really admire these people, and enjoy the rehearsals as much as the performances,” he said.

“In other festivals and in various contexts throughout the year, we have the chance to meet and work with other musicians.  Some players especially inspire us, and it's those players whom we consider for Alpenglow.  It just so happens that many of the musicians we invite also happen to be friends of ours.  We hope that the closeness we share also makes the performances stronger.”

Mills said a lot of the music chosen for the Alpenglow festivals was inspired by nature.

“I should mention that we especially enjoy spending time in these beautiful natural surroundings.  A lot of the music we have played over the years at Alpenglow was inspired by nature, and it makes sense to bring these pieces here.  We try to do some hiking while we're here, despite our busy rehearsal schedule,” he said.

The final concert of the 2014 festival takes place Saturday evening in Dillon, Colorado.

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