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Two Cowboys ride through the snow near a large wooden sculpture.

Winter at Tippet Rise – tranquil, but never still

February 12, 2024

During the winter months, much of the 12,500 acres that encompasses Tippet Rise goes into dormancy, but the quietness of the land does not necessarily reflect the energy of the work taking place in and around it. (After all, even the bears aren’t completely asleep all winter long!)

No matter the time of year, maintaining a working ranch is, of course, a full-time job, which is why we are so grateful to our Ranch Manager, Ben Wynthein, along with colleagues Garth Pelton, Ben Johnson, and Caden Vande Sandt, who work to improve Tippet Rise’s rangeland health. It is currently calving season, which requires Ben and his team to check on the cattle at Tippet Rise and in nearby Columbus every three to four hours. By the end of the season, around 50 calves will have been born.

The off-season is also an opportunity to prepare for warmer months ahead, including wildfire mitigation, in particular within the forested areas of the property. Last winter, Ben and the team even built a fire department, completely out of view to visitors, and two firetrucks, which they are maintaining and updating. Having attended several soil conferences, Ben is also contemplating ways in which Tippet Rise can stimulate growing season and propagate native plant growth this summer.

Recent music releases

We kicked off the new year by releasing a new music video featuring violinist William Hagen performing L’Aurore, the first movement of Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 5 for Solo Violin in G Major, Op. 27. Hagen returned to Tippet Rise in May 2023 to complete this project, which began the previous year – recording the full work in the Olivier Music Barn, and filming a music video of the second movement, Dance rustique.

The filming of L’Aurore, which means “dawn” in French, brought Hagen and Tippet Rise’s team of filmmakers and sound engineers onto the land before daybreak to capture the magic of sunrise, gradually revealing the art center’s vast and majestic landscape. Of the experience, William Hagen shared:

My relationship with Tippet Rise started because of Ysaÿe’s “L'Aurore” from the 5th Sonata. I was (and am) so amazed by how perfectly Ysaÿe captures the energy of the sunrise, and it is easily one of my favorite pieces for solo violin. Being the nature lover that I am, instead of imagining the sunrise illuminating the skyline of Manhattan, I thought more of my early morning drives up Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

I started to imagine a music video of Ysaÿe 5 shot in the mountains, and when I voiced this idea to my manager, he immediately thought of Tippet Rise. Luckily for me, the team at Tippet Rise was enthusiastic about the idea from the start, and in short order we had a plan to record and shoot this video. It’s a thrill for me to see the idea come to life! I’m so thankful to the team at Tippet Rise for taking my idea and running with it.

In addition to special recording and film projects, we regularly release videos of performances from past concert seasons and add these to our Film Library and YouTube page. New releases this year have so far included performances by violinist Jennifer Frautschi and pianist Zoltan Fejervari; pianist Pedja Muzijevic; the Aizuri Quartet; and violinist Geneva Lewis and pianist Audrey Vardanega.

Coming soon…tickets to the 2024 summer season

In early March, we will announce full details of the 2024 concert season, which will take place over five weeks, from August 16 – September 15. We were delighted to preview the season this past fall, and you can read more about some of the artists planning to join us here. Our March announcement will also include dates and details about the annual concert ticket drawing registration period, as well as when and how to make hiking, biking, and sculpture van tour reservations. Please sign-up for our e-newsletter to receive the very latest information.