Tonight, maestro David Zinman will be conducting a performance of Madame Butterfly at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, where he spends his summers teaching and leading musical ensembles.
The man who led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is now 71, and he is as busy as ever. His bags are always packed and ready to go. In his 13 years with the BSO, he became known for championing American music, much of it commissioned by the Baltimore ensemble.
Though he says he spends 30 to 40 days a year at his home in Cape May, N.J., he also lives four months in Zurich, Switzerland, where he leads the Tonhalle Orchestra and is recording a complete series of the Gustav Mahler symphonies. He has an apartment there and uses it as a base for trips and conducting assignments.
"I enjoyed my years in Baltimore very much, and I miss my friends," he said the other evening from his summer home in Aspen. "But I'm now on to new challenges."
There are 800 students at Aspen this summer, and he's teaching conducting.
A busy conductor does a lot of traveling. He has appeared in London and Paris and spent five weeks with the Chicago Symphony and another stint with the San Francisco orchestra.