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Our Story


Photo Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Artistic Directors
Jesse Mills VIOLIN   &   Rieko Aizawa PIANO

Welcome to Summit County's musical gem!  The Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival is a very special place for both of us and for our community. It is where audiences and artists can come together to share the joy of music.  

As artistic directors, we think of Alpenglow as a musical museum where we all get inspired. We curate music in the most creative and enjoyable way - celebrating something familiar and essential, while introducing something new and surprising (such as new contemporary compositions and rarely performed works).  We hope this combination of masterworks and hidden treasures lets you take home the gifts of discovery with a smile.  We also hope that you can make new friends at Alpenglow, meeting fellow audience members and our phenomenal performers.  

Music is a universal language through which people of all ages and backgrounds can connect and feel a full range of emotions together. Please join us on our musical journey!

Rieko Aizawa & Jesse Mills,

Artistic Directors

Pianist Rieko Aizawa has been a participant at the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival every year since it opened in 1998. At that time, the festival was called “Music from the Summit.” It was founded by two distinguished musicians from the Colorado Symphony:  the concertmaster, Steven Copes (currently the concertmaster of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota), and the principal clarinetist, Bil Jackson (current professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee). The festival was immediately supported by the local audience, who wanted to join Mr. Copes’ and Mr. Jackson’s outstanding musicianship with their passion for music.


Since then, the festival has had a very exciting musical journey. There have been some changes. The festival was renamed “Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival,” and was eventually handed over to the artistic directors' colleague, Edward Arron, a wonderful cellist. In the next several years, Mr. Arron kept building Alpenglow, allowing it to reach the high place where it is today. In 2010, Mr. Arron’s colleague and old friend, Rieko Aizawa respectfully took his offer to take the festival over with another close friend of Mr. Arron’s, the long-time Alpenglow violinist, Mr. Jesse Mills (Ms. Aizawa and Mr. Mills are also married!).


Since 1998, Ms. Aizawa has strongly believed in what Mr. Copes, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Arron have brought to Alpenglow. With Mr. Mills, she is eager to continue to bring the highest quality to Alpenglow, and to share the joy of music. Ms. Aizawa and Mr. Mills feel that it is important to reach out to the younger generation, and they give workshops to local students twice a year. Their goal is to let Alpenglow keep growing, nurtured by the community, so that people of all ages can appreciate the arts together!


Ms. Aizawa and Mr. Mills would like to express their gratitude to the board for their great support.

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