2008 - 2009 Concert Season

  • February 14, 2009


The Colorado Springs Woodwind Quartet - Feb. 14, 2009


Colorado Springs Woodwind Quintet

The Piano and Woodwind Music of Francis Poulenc

Francis Poulenc’s music has been described as witty, tuneful, fun, joyful, beautiful, and meaningful. This concert affords an opportunity to hear all of his major works for piano and winds played by masters of their instruments. The concert includes the Flute Sonata, Clarinet Sonata, Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, and Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Horn. A concert guaranteed to please everyone!

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron (not pictured) performs approximately 50 concerts each year, including annual tours of Europe and engagements throughout the United States and Asia. 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 serves as Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida. A distinguished educator, Baron has presented masterclasses and workshops at schools, festivals, and universities across the United States, Europe and Asia. 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 is the director of summer music festivals in Italy and is Artistic Director of the Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Paul Nagem has been principal flute for the Colorado Springs Symphony/Philharmonic since 1994. A native of San Diego, he studied flute there with Damian Bursill-Hall, then principal flute of the San Diego Symphony and now with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony. Mr. Nagem is the Instructor of Flute at Colorado College, as well as Principal Flute with the Colorado Ballet, and a member of the Colorado Chamber Players. He has performed with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony and the Singapore Symphony. Mr. Nagem plays Straubinger flutes.

Sarah Balian, oboe, is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia. She holds Bachelor of Music Performance and Bachelor of Arts in French Studies degrees from Northwestern University, where she studied with Chicago Symphony oboist Ray Still. She has also studied with Roger Cole and with André Berthéas at the Université de Paris. Sarah was a member of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra from 1997-1999 and a member of the Boulder Philharmonic from 2002-2004. She has also performed with the Colorado Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Richmond Symphony. Sarah has performed with The United States Air Force Academy Band since 1999. In 2004, Sarah became a member of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra, where she currently plays both oboe and English Horn. She is a member of the performance faculty of the Colorado College in 2008, and spends her spare time playing with her twin daughters, Grace and Violet.

Heike J. Gazetti, clarinet, received her Master of Music degree from Yale University in 1998 and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Louisville in 1996. A ten year member of the United States Air Force Academy Band, she performs as principal clarinetist with the Concert Band, in the Marching Band, and The Academy Winds woodwind septet. She has also performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1996 Heike competed as a semi-finalist in the International Clarinet Association's Youth Artist
Competition held in Paris, France. While attending Yale, Heike competed in the 1998 Carmel Chamber Music Competition with her woodwind quintet, which placed first. Heike has studied with Bil Jackson, David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Ronald DeKant, and Dallas Tidwell.

Alejandro Vieira, bassoon, is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was a winner of the annual concerto competition, and held the position of second bassoon with the Northern Kentucky Symphony prior to joining the Colorado Springs Symphony (now the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra) in January, 2001, as Second Bassoon and Contrabassoon. Alex also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he participated in ensembles ranging in specialty from music of the medieval period to contemporary music. He has performed in many countries and festivals, including France’s Evian Festival; Italy; Austria; Hungary; Ireland; the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon, Portugal; the Sarasota Music Festival in Sarasota, Florida; the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California; and the National Orchestral Institute in College Park, Maryland. His teachers include William Winstead, Linda Harwell, Phillip Kolker, Denis Michel, Manuel Zegler, and David Fedderly.

Alex became a member of the United States Air Force Academy Band in 1998. He currently serves as principal bassoonist of the Concert Band and as bassoonist of the Academy Winds, a unique and dynamic group that blends the sounds of a woodwind quintet plus percussion. Through the United States Air Force Academy Band, he has had the opportunity to travel across the United States giving performances and masterclasses, and has worked closely with music students ranging from middle school to college. Mr. Vieira has been featured several times as a soloist with the Concert Band and Academy Winds and has recently recorded the Concerto for Bassoon and Winds by Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas with the United States Air Force Academy Band. Alex is a regular recitalist in Colorado Springs, having been featured in the band’s Fine Arts Recital Series at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Packard Hall, and also the Thursday Night Recital Series at the Colorado Springs School’s Louisa Center for the Performing Arts.

Alex enjoys making music with his extremely talented wife, violinist Azi Vieira, whenever they get a chance. When they are not making music together, they enjoy many outdoor pursuits such as cycling, hiking, camping, and tinkering with their growing collection of bicycles and vintage Volkswagens.

Michael Yopp, horn, finished studies at Northwestern University in 1997 with a degree in Music Performance and a minor in Computer Science. While there, he studied under several exceptional teachers including Gail Williams, Norman Schweikert, and Barry Benjamin. Mr. Yopp then took up the position of third horn with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra in 1997. He is now third and associate principal horn with its successor organization, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. In addition, he is now the principal horn of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Yopp has performed extensively in the region, including engagements with ensembles such as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Brass, the Denver Opera Company, Opera Theater of the Rockies, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Central City Opera, as well as numerous local churches and other engagements. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Mr. Yopp also has a wife and two wonderful children and owns an IT consulting company in Colorado Springs.