Renowned concert pianist and Aspen Music Festival and School teacher William John Nauman made his first court appearance Monday to face charges of making sexual advances toward a 17-year-old student earlier this year.

Nauman, 42, waived advisement of the charges, and was represented by Aspen attorney Lauren R. Wolpin and his newly appointed lawyer, Woody Creek's John Van Ness, who specializes in criminal defense.

District Judge James Boyd granted Nauman's request to return home to Maryland in between court appearances and reside with his father, who attended the hearing in Pitkin County District Court.

"Maryland is a very good place for him to be at this time and obviously this is a very trying time for him," Wolpin told the judge.

Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills did not contest the motion, but did take issue with Wolpin's effort to revise conditions of Nauman's bond that prohibit him from discussing the case with people other than his attorneys.

Wolpin told the court that Nauman should be allowed to talk about the case with people, for example, such as his father and perhaps a therapist. But Wills suggested that the 42-year-old teacher "would retaliate by slamming the name (of the alleged male victim) within the music community."

Nauman rolled his eyes when hearing Wills' statement, and Judge Boyd modified the provisions so that Nauman can discuss the case with others, but still cannot have contact with any persons under the age of 18.

Nauman has been coming to Aspen for the last seven years as a teacher with the prestigious music school. Authorities say that as a person in a position of trust, he tried to sexually assault a student and also tried to provide him with alcohol.

The name of the victim, who took piano lessons from Nauman, has been withheld.

A preliminary hearing has been schedule for Nov. 5.

Rick Carroll can be reached at