Featured Articles

Now Neri is in his fourth summer studying at the AMFS, where he’s a recipient of a Vincent Wilkinson Scholarship and studies with artist-faculty member Victoria Chiang, with whom he also studied while at Peabody. The opportunity to continue studying with Chiang is what brought him to the AMFS for the first time, and a big reason why he’s continued to return. But he’s also drawn by the musical inspiration a summer in Aspen can provide, which he says is even more valuable now that he’s completed his degrees.
Read entire article from "Student Spotlight," Aspen Music Festival Program Book, 2016

Preparing for a competition offers the opportunity to learn a large amount of repertoire and to present it at one’s highest level of artistry. So much is valuable about that process in developing one’s own voice.
Read entire article from "10 Tips and Tricks From Experienced String Musicians About Competing," Strings Magazine, June 2015

Playing chamber music pushes me to contribute fully as a musician. It requires me to come to the rehearsals with a comprehensive understanding of the work and a compelling musical view. Then to engage with colleagues who may fortify or challenge that understanding is inspiring.
Read entire article from "Why I Play Chamber Music," Strings Magazine, February 2015

Searching for good solo viola repertoire may sometimes feel like looking for a vegetarian at a Texas barbeque. It’s true; the viola is often overlooked by composers when it comes to creating good solo music. As a result, alto-clef players frequently have difficulty tracking down compositions that speak to them—musical jewels that are simultaneously beautiful, engaging, and challenging.
To help uncover these hidden gems, we queried eleven well-known violists and asked them to share their all-time favorite viola work, as well as a beloved unknown or overlooked piece. The resulting collection from these accomplished violists includes some music that you’ll undoubtedly recognize … but may introduce you to some lesser-known works as well.
Read entire article from "Living in Alto Clef," Strings Magazine, December 2007

One of the greatest musical experiences I have had in my life happened in Aspen, but it was not in a tent or a hall, at a concert or in a lesson. It was walking home from a production of Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream...
Read entire article from "City in the Clouds," Aspen Music Festival Program Book, 2001

Does August find you grinding through studies or guiltily abandoning your instrument? Sarah Mnatzaganian looks at novel approaches to staying motivated during the summer.
Read entire article from "School's Out," The Strad, August 2000

Playing in tune is a MUST! The surest way to be eliminated from any playing opportunity, professional or otherwise, is to play out of tune. Some violists are gifted with excellent ears and hands, or, in other words, with a natural propensity for playing in tune. Most violists, however, must think about intonation and work on it intensely before mastering it.
What does playing in tune mean? It means hitting the pitch directly, so that it literally rings true with the pitches surrounding it. The two primary keys to playing in tune consistently are (1) hearing well in tune and (2) having a left hand set-up that allows for consistent finger placement. Do you hear the pitch in tune, and if so, does your left hand set-up allow you to put your fingers down consistently where you hear the pitch?
Read entire article from "One Week to Better Intonation in 20 Minutes a Day,"
Journal of the American Viola Society: Vol.16, No.1, 2000

Team teaching gives viola students at Aspen the wisdom of three very different advisors, performance experience and group support. Barbara L. Sand discovers how it works.
Read entire article from "Triple-stop Teaching," The Strad, December, 1996