U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Speaks and Performs Chamber Music at Music Tent in Aspen on August 2

July 31, 2008  • Institute Contributor

July 31, 2008



Open Press
Press Must Arrive to The Benedict Music Tent by 1 pm on August 2
Credentials Required

RSVP to Melissa Carson, carsonmm@state.gov
by Noon on Friday, August 1

Contact: Melissa Carson
U.S. Department Of State

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Speaks and Performs
Chamber Music at Music Tent
in Aspen on August 2

Appearance will be only the second public musical performance for Secretary Rice,
 a devoted pianist, since becoming Secretary of State

Performance marks Secretary Rice’s return to the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied piano as a seventeen-year-old music student, prior to changing her college major from music to international relations

Aspen, Colo. — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Aspen Institute in an afternoon of “Words and Music,” Saturday, August 2, at 3 pm in the Benedict Music Tent. The event will begin with a conversation between Secretary Rice and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Afterwards, Secretary Rice will be joined by current Aspen Music Festival and School music students to perform two chamber music works.

Says Secretary Rice, “I am honored to have been invited to return to the Aspen Music Festival and School, and I am looking forward to performing with the students. The Aspen Music Festival and School gives musicians the opportunity to learn and cultivate their talents in one of the most inspirational settings in our country. As a musician and educator myself, I value the vision of this institution, and I am excited to take part in this year’s festival.”

Performed first will be the first movement of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A major, B. 155, op. 81 and to follow will be the 2nd movement of Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34. Secretary Rice has said publicly that her favorite composer is Brahms.

Secretary Rice began piano lessons with her grandmother when she was three and remains a devoted amateur player, maintaining an active chamber group in Washington D.C. She attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a 17-year-old student pianist and consequently decided a career in music was not in her future.

Secretary Rice went on to earn her PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University Denver. As professor of political science, she has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors — the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984). She also has authored numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy. In June 1999, she completed a six-year tenure as Stanford’s provost, during which she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer.

From 1989 through March 1991, Secretary Rice served in the first Bush Administration as director, and then senior director, of Soviet and East European affairs in the National Security Council, and a special assistant to the president for national security affairs.

Secretary Rice became Secretary of State on January 26, 2005. Prior to this, she was Assistant to President George W. Bush for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, since January 2001.

The event will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 3 pm in the Benedict Music Tent. Tickets are $60 and $30 and are available at the AMFS box offices at Harris Concert Hall or the Wheeler Opera House, or by calling 970-925-9042 or visiting www.aspenmusicfestival.com.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: 1) Seminars, which help participants reflect on what they think makes a good society, thereby deepening knowledge, broadening perspectives and enhancing their capacity to solve the problems leaders face. 2) Young-leader fellowships around the globe, which bring a selected class of proven leaders together for an intense multi-year program and commitment. The fellows become better leaders and apply their skills to significant challenges. 3) Policy programs, which serve as nonpartisan forums for analysis, consensus building, and problem solving on a wide variety of issues. 4) Public conferences and events, which provide a commons for people to share ideas. The Institute is based in Washington, DC and Aspen, Colorado and has an international network of partners.

The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States’ premier classical music festival, led by music director David Zinman and presenting more than 350 musical events during its nine-week summer season in Aspen, including orchestra concerts, opera, chamber music, lectures, and children’s events. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world to this charming Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. More than 25 percent of events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free. Next summer the festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary.

The AMFS has five orchestras composed of top professionals and music students, many already beginning their professional careers. Hailing from 40 states and 40 countries, the 750 students begin vying for a spot as early as October of the previous year. Renowned alumni include violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Midori, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Gil Shaham; pianists Ingrid Fliter, Orli Shaham and Joyce Yang; conductors Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James Levine and Leonard Slatkin; composers William Bolcom, Philip Glass, Bright Sheng and Joan Tower; vocalists Renée Fleming and Dawn Upshaw; cellists Lynn Harrell and Alisa Weilerstein; performer Peter Schickele; and bassist Edgar Meyer.


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