Aspen: The Place for Summer Music

The heat wave we have been experiencing has me thinking of cool Colorado mountains and Aspen. Set among the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, Aspen is an exciting city with a small-town charm. Summer may be the slow season in Aspen, but the city is absolutely irresistible at this time, with temperatures averaging in the seventies and hotel packages that are too hard to ignore.

Now that Aspen Food & Wine is over, my favorite reason to visit Aspen during the summer is for the Aspen Music Festival and School. The festival, spanning a period of eight magical weeks from July 1 - August 22, invites attendees to enjoy more than 350 musical events. Whether you love the opera or prefer more contemporary music, the AMFS offers something for everyone. Certain event tickets such as for the Piano Master Class ($25) or the Aspen Chamber Symphony concerts ($75) do need to be purchased; however, attendees can enjoy many free events as well. A full list of events is jam-packed; some highlights include:


  • 7/13: A Baroque Evening with Nicholas McGegan ($65)

  • 7/15, 7/17, 7/19: 2010 Opera Benefit—The Barber of Seville in Aspen (Black-tie evening with dinner at Caribou Club and premiere seats at the opening night performance--$150 for concert and intermission reception; $1,000 for tickets, cocktails, and dinner)

  • 7/24: Season Benefit: Dinner on Stage with Audra McDonald ($150 for reception and concert; $750 for reception, concert, and dinner; $1,000 for premium dinner and concert seats)


  • 7/31, 8/2, 8/4: Aspen Opera Theater Center performs Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro ($82)

  • 8/5: Special Event with Jean Yves Thibaudet, piano ($65)

  • 8/7: Special Event with Sharon Isbin, guitar, and the Aspen Concert Orchestra ($65)

  • 8/19, 8/21: Aspen Opera Theater Center performs John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles ($50)

After a day of exploring the musical and outdoor best of Aspen, treat yourself to accommodations for a king or queen at the St. Regis Aspen . The property recently was placed on the prestigious 2010 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List and is located at the base of Aspen Mountain within walking distance to Aspen’s top restaurants and shops. Whether indulging in an Oxygen treatment or the “Extreme Tranquility” body treatment at the world-class Remède Spa or dining at the hotel’s on-site gourmet restaurant, travelers are sure to feel bathed in luxury. Service is nonpareil as are the delicious trail mix and chocolates left in your guest room each day. The hotel will assist visitors in enjoying the Aspen area’s wonderful outdoor activities including hiking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, horseback riding and paragliding. The St. Regis Aspen's “SunSational Savings” package includes a complimentary third night accommodation, a $50 resort credit per stay, and a complimentary upgrade at check-in. Valid through December 16, 2010. Use promo code ZS3. A second possibility, The “Family Time in Paradise” package includes connecting rooms or a suite (subject to availability) and a $50 resort credit per day. Kids 12 and under can also eat and drink for free. Valid through December 16, 2010. Use promo code LYF. 315 East Dean Street, 970-920-3300, 888-454-9005

Other hotels in Aspen are offering great rates for the Aspen Music Festival and School:

The Gant: The Gant offers guests with lovely one, two, or three bedroom condominiums. The hotel has been listed as a “Top 50 Ski Hotel” by Condé Nast Traveler. The Gant’s “Aspen Music Festival Special” runs through August 21, 2010 and includes accommodations in a one bedroom condo for 4 nights and a three-event festival pass. The rates range from $661-$1,013 for double occupancy, which reflects a 20% discount for each room night. 610 West End Street, 1-800-549-0535

Hotel Aspen: Located right on Main Street, Hotel Aspen is a welcoming place for travelers to stay, with 45 modernly designed guestrooms. The hotel’s “Aspen Music Festival Package” runs through August 22, 2010 and includes a deluxe king bedroom for 4 nights and a three-event pass to the Aspen Music Festival. The rate for the package is $660, which reflects a 15% discount for each room night. 110 West Main St, 1-800-527-7369


  1. Too much to do, too little time! My husband and I love Audra McDonald, so we booked our trip as soon as we found out about the event. Are any restaurants doing anything special for the season?

  2. During the music festival many restaurants will offer specials. Look for special menus at the St. Regis's Restaurant with Champagne sabering every Friday and live piano music in the lounge. Also, the local hidden gems: The Wild Fig & L’Hostaria will have specials and might host a wine maker’s dinner

  3. Great! We will actually be staying at the St. Regis, so I look forward to checking out the specials and live music.


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