2007 - 2008 Concert Season

  • October 6, 2007
  • December 1, 2007
  • March 8, 2008
  • April 5, 2008

 

James Houlik - October 6, 2007

 

James Houlik, Tenor Saxophone
Michael Baron, Piano

 

James Houlik

James Houlik is the leading performer on his instrument in the world. The listener will be astonished to hear the extraordinary emotional range, unexpected virtuosity, and witty remarks in this rare opportunity to attend a classical tenor saxophone concert. Joined by longtime partner, pianist Michael Baron, this will be an event not soon forgotten.

Mr. Houlik's pioneering efforts on behalf of the tenor saxophone have resulted in the composition of more than eighty new concert works for the instrument, and important performances around the world. From the East Room of the White House for President Clinton, to solo appearances with orchestras in London, Prague, Istanbul, Berlin, Chicago, Phoenix, and New York, to recitals in the music capitals of the world, James Houlik has redefined the tenor saxophone.

Mr. Houlik was born on the south shore of Long Island, New York where he began his lifelong love affair with the tenor saxophone as a junior high school student. Intending to become a high school band director, he attended the State University of New York at Fredonia, and later the University of Illinois. He studied privately and at the Eastman School of Music with Sigurd Rascher, the great alto saxophone pioneer. Rascher, impressed with Houlik's uncommon affinity for the tenor, encouraged him to pursue the instrument as his personal voice. Houlik began his teaching career at East Carolina University where he built a large and successful saxophone program. In subsequent years, he became the founding professor of Saxophone study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and he is currently Professor of Saxophone and Chair of Woodwinds at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Simultaneous with his first teaching position, Houlik began his performing career with a particularly well received Washington DC, debut at the Phillips Collection. Following Rascher's example, he has worked closely with many composers to foster the development of a repertoire for his previously neglected instrument. Among the more than seventy pieces composed for him are concerti by Robert Ward, Morton Gould, David Ott, Sherwood Shaffer, Eric Ewazen, Walter S. Hartley, Russell Peck, Paul Harvey, Vache Sharafyan as well as dozens of other works with band, piano, and in chamber settings by prominent composers.

Through the years, James Houlik has appeared in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall in Toronto, The Smithsonian Institution, and London's Barbican. He regularly appears on university campuses throughout the United States as a performer and as a teacher of clinics and master classes. His concerto performances have included those with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony, the San Remo Orchestra (Italy), the Istanbul Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Milan, the New Art Philharmonic of Pretoria, South Africa, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the United States Navy Band, and dozens more.

With a combination of landmark performances and tireless efforts to build a repertoire for his instrument, Houlik has taken the tenor saxophone to unimagined heights. Moreover, audiences and critics alike have celebrated the remarkable artistic achievements which have placed James Houlik among the leading saxophonists of our time.

"The world's great saxophone virtuoso."

-The London Daily Mail

"A performance that might exhaust one's supply of superlatives."

-The Washington Post

"With his genial commentary and virtuoso performing talents, Mr. Houlik could probably convince any doubter that the saxophone deserves a prominent place in any concertgoer's heart."

-The New York Times

 

Michael Baron

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron performs more than forty concerts each year, including annual tours of Europe and engagements throughout the United States. Equally at home as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber musician, Baron commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque compositions to world premieres of contemporary pieces. His virtuosity and musicianship regularly garner the highest critical acclaim. Il Tempo (Rome) praised his "spellbinding recital. Baron kept the audience enthralled with a combination of touching poetry and superhuman virtuosity." Baron received his doctorate in Piano Performance from The Ohio State University where he studied with the legendary American pianist Earl Wild. He also worked extensively in Italy with the renowned pianist Orazio Frugoni.

Dr. Baron has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida where he heads the keyboard area. A distinguished educator, Baron has presented masterclasses and workshops at schools, festivals, and universities across the United States and Europe. He was formerly Artist-in-Residence, Head of Keyboard Studies, and a tenured Associate Professor of Music at Mesa State College. He has previously taught at universities in Colorado, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio, as well as many institutions throughout Italy. He regularly serves as a jurist on regional, national, and international piano competitions.

An acclaimed master teacher, Dr. Baron's students regularly win competitions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a popular teacher and presenter for teacher groups. Baron co-directs the Corsi Internazionali di Musica summer music festival at the University of Urbino, Italy (http://urbino.beadlam.us) and is Artistic Director of the Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

 

An Evening of Mozart - December 1, 2007

 

An Evening of Mozart

Michael Baron

Michael Baron, piano
Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Thomas Wilson, Music Director

Join Michael Baron and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs under the direction of Thomas Wilson for an Evening of Mozart.

Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K466

Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K504, "Prague"

 

 

Chamber Orachestra of the Springs - Thomas Wilson, Music Director

The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, now entering its twenty-fourth season, is a semi-professional chamber orchestra of the highest caliber and the longest continually-performing orchestra in the Pikes Peak region. The orchestra presents a minimum of five concert series each season of great classics, forgotten gems and new music, including world premiers by Colorado Springs composers. Guest artists are the finest in the Pikes Peak region and a select number of nationally recognized musicians. The Chamber Orchestra regularly hosts collaborative performances with other Colorado Springs performing arts groups. Under the baton of Music Director Thomas Wilson, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs has achieved the highest level of artistry in its history, all in the spirit of our motto, "For the Love of Music."

 

Mark Nuccio - March 8, 2008

 

Mark Nuccio, Clarinet
Michael Baron, Piano

 

Mark Nuccio

Want to hear the great versatility of the clarinet in the hands of a master? Come hear Mark Nuccio, whose performance will showcase a wide ranging program of virtuosity and warmth. He will be joined by pianist Michael Baron for a concert which will fill the senses to overflowing.

 

Critics have praised clarinetist Mark Nuccio for both solo and chamber appearances, citing his “first-rate solos,” “fluent shaping of lines,” and “effortless soft playing.”

Mr. Nuccio joined the New York Philharmonic in 1999 as Associate Principal and Solo E-flat Clarinetist. He previously held positions with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, Savannah (Georgia) Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra in Tampa. Mr. Nuccio has also performed with orchestras in Minnesota, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Charleston, S.C. He has worked with distinguished conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Erich Leinsdorf, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, André Previn, and Christoph von Dohnányi. Additionally, Mr. Nuccio has toured with both the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in numerous countries, recorded with both orchestras and performed with the Philharmonic on the award-winning series, Live from Lincoln Center, broadcast on PBS.

An active solo and chamber musician, Mr. Nuccio has been the featured performer with several orchestras in the United States and multiple times at the International Clarinet Association conventions. He made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001, his Japanese recital debut in 2002, and now regularly performs in recital in the Far East and Europe, as well as across the United States. In New York, he often can be heard at Merkin Concert Hall and the 92nd Street Y as well as at Carnegie Hall. During summers, Mr. Nuccio performs chamber music at the Strings in the Mountain Music Festival in Steamboat, Colorado, and at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado.

As a studio musician, Mr. Nuccio is featured on several movie soundtracks, including Launch to Failure, The Last Holiday, The Rookie, The Score, Intolerable Cruelty, Alamo, Pooh’s Heffalump, Hitch, The Manchurian Candidate, and numerous television commercials. He also performed on the Late Show with David Letterman as well as on the 2003 Grammy Awards.

In November 2006, Mr. Nuccio’s first CD, Opening Night, featuring the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms, was released, and is available at dorian.com.

A Colorado native, Mr. Nuccio holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with renowned pedagogue Robert Marcellus. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

Beyond his active performing schedule, Mr. Nuccio is committed to training the next generation of musicians. He currently serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and teaches master classes in the U.S. and abroad. He is an artist/clinician for Buffet Crampon and performs exclusively on Buffet clarinets.

 

Michael Baron

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron performs more than forty concerts each year, including annual tours of Europe and engagements throughout the United States. Equally at home as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber musician, Baron commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque compositions to world premieres of contemporary pieces. His virtuosity and musicianship regularly garner the highest critical acclaim. Il Tempo (Rome) praised his "spellbinding recital. Baron kept the audience enthralled with a combination of touching poetry and superhuman virtuosity." Baron received his doctorate in Piano Performance from The Ohio State University where he studied with the legendary American pianist Earl Wild. He also worked extensively in Italy with the renowned pianist Orazio Frugoni.

Dr. Baron has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida where he heads the keyboard area. A distinguished educator, Baron has presented masterclasses and workshops at schools, festivals, and universities across the United States and Europe. He was formerly Artist-in-Residence, Head of Keyboard Studies, and a tenured Associate Professor of Music at Mesa State College. He has previously taught at universities in Colorado, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio, as well as many institutions throughout Italy. He regularly serves as a jurist on regional, national, and international piano competitions.

An acclaimed master teacher, Dr. Baron's students regularly win competitions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a popular teacher and presenter for teacher groups. Baron co-directs the Corsi Internazionali di Musica summer music festival at the University of Urbino, Italy (http://urbino.beadlam.us) and is Artistic Director of the Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

 

Jeanie Darnell - April 5, 2008

 

Jeanie Darnell, Soprano
Michael Baron, Solo Piano

 

Jeanie Darnell

The Rocky Mountain Music Association is pleased to welcome back the wonderful soprano Jeanie Darnell who together with pianist, Michael Baron presented such a moving recital on our series last season. This season Dr. Darnell and Dr. Baron will be presenting a highly unusual program that is sure to capture the interest of all music lovers. The program will consist of pieces chosen from the great repertoire of song and opera presented in their original form followed immediately by Michael Baron presenting the same piece in a version for solo piano as arranged by Franz Liszt and other great masters of the piano in highly ornamented and virtuoso versions. Commentary will be given on the pieces and the circumstances surrounding their arrangements. A unique concert not to be missed!

Concert artist Jeanie Darnell has been hailed by critics throughout the United States and in Europe for her “wonderfully bell-like tones” (Wertheimer Zeitung). A regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1998, she has recently performed as soloist in the Mozart Requiem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and presented songs by featured composers Richard Hundley and Lori Laitman at the Songs Across the Americas Festival in 2006. She has sung the title role of Suor Angelica with the Operafestival di Roma in Italy, and has been in demand as soprano soloist of major concert and oratorio repertoire, including the Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Omaha Symphony, Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Denver Bach Festival, Mozart’s Dominican Vespers with the Arkansas Chamber Orchestra, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Lindsborg Messiah Festival in Kansas.

Dr. Darnell, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Voice at Florida Gulf Coast University, completed her DMA in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2002 while already heading the voice area as an Assistant Professor at University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has lectured on recital repertoire from Schubert to Berg at College Music Society (CMS) conferences and has performed the songs of Robert Boury in CMS recital performances. Dr. Darnell presented her research on “The Songs of Robert Boury” at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Conference in Minneapolis last summer, and presented her research on “Training Male Adolescent Voices in Private Studio” at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Vancouver, British Columbia in August 2005. In 2004 she as selected to participate in the NATS Intern Program under the master teacher Dr. Robert McIvor, Voice Chair at Eastman School of Music. Darnell also has served on faculty at Ouachita Baptist University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas Technological University, and worked as a Part-time Graduate Instructor of Voice while at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her voice pupils have placed at district and regional NATS Student Auditions and university sponsored voice competitions, and have been chosen to participate in summer internships and programs such as the Stephen Foster’s Story Music Festival, the Memphis Playhouse, and Operafestival di Roma

 

Michael Baron

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron performs more than forty concerts each year, including annual tours of Europe and engagements throughout the United States. Equally at home as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber musician, Baron commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque compositions to world premieres of contemporary pieces. His virtuosity and musicianship regularly garner the highest critical acclaim. Il Tempo (Rome) praised his "spellbinding recital. Baron kept the audience enthralled with a combination of touching poetry and superhuman virtuosity." Baron received his doctorate in Piano Performance from The Ohio State University where he studied with the legendary American pianist Earl Wild. He also worked extensively in Italy with the renowned pianist Orazio Frugoni.

Dr. Baron has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida where he heads the keyboard area. A distinguished educator, Baron has presented masterclasses and workshops at schools, festivals, and universities across the United States and Europe. He was formerly Artist-in-Residence, Head of Keyboard Studies, and a tenured Associate Professor of Music at Mesa State College. He has previously taught at universities in Colorado, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio, as well as many institutions throughout Italy. He regularly serves as a jurist on regional, national, and international piano competitions.

An acclaimed master teacher, Dr. Baron's students regularly win competitions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a popular teacher and presenter for teacher groups. Baron co-directs the Corsi Internazionali di Musica summer music festival at the University of Urbino, Italy (http://urbino.beadlam.us) and is Artistic Director of the Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado.