2013-2014 Season

  • October 20, 2013
  • November 24, 2013
  • January 19, 2014
  • March 23, 2014

 

Latin Flavor - October 20, 2013

 

 

Alan Polivka, accordion

Alan Polivka has played accordion and keyboards in a variety of bands and orchestras over the past 45 years, including ballroom, big band, jazz, top-40, country, European, and classical. He studied music, electrical engineering, and business while in college and formed the 4-piece Alan Polivka All-Star band, featuring his own arrangements, after moving to southern Colorado in 2001.

Alan sings in eight languages and has performed multiple times with Pueblo Symphony Orchestra. He has also played for local clubs and restaurants, corporate events, political rallies, weddings, anniversaries, parties, Pueblo Heritage Festival, Pueblo Chile Festival, Pike's Peak Jazz Society, Colorado State Fair, and numerous Oktoberfests.

A collector with over 50 accordions, Alan plays the very best accordion available, acoustic or electronic, selected specifically for each venue.

Geoffrey Herd, violin

Violinist Geoffrey Herd is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Rice University as a student of Paul Kantor. He holds an Artist Diploma from Yale University, studying with Ani Kavafian. In May 2010 he received a Master’s of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Herd also received a Bachelor of Music degree in 2008 from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of David Updegraff. He has performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Ithaca College Symphony, and the Finger Lakes Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Herd has studied chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Juilliard, Ying, Tokyo and Cavani String Quartets. Mr. Herd has attended numerous prestigious music festivals including the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Encore School for Strings and the New York String Orchestra Seminar where he was Principal Second Violin. During the summers of 2008 – 2010 he received a fellowship to study at the Aspen Music Festival for nine weeks each summer with Paul Kantor. Previously, Mr. Herd was a member of the first violin section of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and in September 2010 joined the violin section of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Devoted to educating the next generation of classical musicians, he was also a teaching assistant to David Updegraff at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 2008-2010. In addition, Mr. Herd is the founder and director of the Geneva Music Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.

Benjamin Johnson, guitar

As an active performer and teacher Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Classical Guitar professor at CSU-Pueblo.  He has also taught in after school programs at the Weld Opportunity High School in Greeley, CO, workshops such as Camp Jam, and private lessons at the state’s largest and finest guitar retailers.  Mr. Johnson has had the opportunity to perform in many master classes with some of the most renowned guitarists in the world including Paul Galbraith, Judicael Perroy, Nikita Koshkin, Simone Fontanelli, and Wulfin Lieske.  He also received his undergrad training under the internationally renowned guitarist Jonathan Leathwood and his graduate training from Ricardo Iznaola, one of the most sought after guitar pedagogues in the world.  Mr. Johnson has worked with several composers such as Stephen Goss, Chappell Kingsland, and Nicolas Deyoe.  He performed the world premier of two guitar preludes by Nicolas Deyoe and assisted Chappell Kingsland and Safonia, a women’s vocal ensemble, on a Christmas album in 2006.  He also has released a solo album entitled Art of Guitar in 2003.  His guitar duo, Duo Soledad, took home the top prize for professional ensembles at the Guitar Ensemble Competition at the University of Texas, Brownsville in 2008.  When he is not performing or teaching he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.

Jason Crowe, double bass

Well traveled both geographically and musically, bassist/composer Jason Crowe has performed with a variety of artists in many different genres of music.

Originally from Vancouver, WA Jason attended Eastern Washington University where he studied classical Bass with Roma Vayspapir.

Jason has performed or recorded with Marvin Stamn, Ernie Watts, Micheal Abene, Crystal Gayle, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Wynona Judd, Celline Dion, and CeCe Winans.

As a current member of the USAF Academy Band Jason has been part of many projects including the recent Falconaires recording, “Sharing The Freedom. Jason also performed on Ricky Sweum’s recent Origin recording, “Pulling Your Own Strings”. 

Jason is a regular performer with the Worship Band at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs.

Jason Crowe is currently the Instructor of String Bass at CSU-Pueblo.

Dr. Zahari Metchkov, piano

Both a pianist and an organist, Dr. Zahari Metchkov has performed at such venues as New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center. He has concertized in Israel, Bulgaria, and the United States. Dr. Metchkov released his first CD in 2008 ­- a recording of works for piano and orchestra by Franz Liszt and Cesar Franck and is the process of preparing a second recording project featuring solo works for piano and organ to be completed in the  Spring of 2014.

Native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Dr. Metchkov holds BM in piano and organ performance, MM in piano performance, and DMA in piano performance with a minor in music theory from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2010 he joined Colorado State University-Pueblo’s department of music in the capacity of Assistant Professor of Music, teaching applied piano, piano related courses, as well as music theory. He was the 2013 recipient of the CSU-Pueblo’s Outstanding Service and Transformative Leadership Award. Dr. Metchkov has also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as Youngstown State University.  He directed the Cleveland based Ensemble Secundum Silentium, serves as an artistic adviser for the San Angelo Piano Festival, and in May 2009 co-directed the Youngstown State University Intensive Piano Workshop.

Currently Dr. Metchkov is the Artistic Director of the Pueblo Keyboard Arts Festival and Piano Conversations Concert Series, Pueblo, as well as Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series, Colorado Springs.  As a performer he has appeared in the Mostly Mozart Music Festival, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Bridgehampton Music Festival, Geneva Chamber Music Festival, New Year’s Music Days Festival, and San Angelo Piano Festival. He has appeared live on radio CPR-Denver, WCLV-Cleveland, Bulgarian National Radio, Radio Alma Mater-Sofia.

Placing high priority over the education of young pianists in Southern Colorado, Dr. Metchkov is the president of the Southern Colorado Music teachers Association, a chapter of the Music Teachers National Association. He is a frequent guest adjucator and clinician to numerous piano festivals in Colorado and strives to promote well structured study of music, specifically piano, to young people of all ages and their families. He maintains a private studio, whose members have garnered awards in state competitions and festivals. 

Dr. Metchkov has been enjoying an active artistic life as a soloist, chamber artist, as well as church musician. He has been a guest artist with the Pueblo Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Colorado State University-Pueblo Wind Ensemble, Suburban Symphony, University Circle Chorale, University Circle Wind Ensemble, and Pleven Philharmonic. Besides music, he also enjoys skiing and is steadily working on climbing Colorado’s fifty-four 14ers.

 

 

Going for Baroque - November 24, 2013

 

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NANCY ANDREW is instructor of flute at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and teaches privately in Colorado Springs and Denver. She has taught on the faculties of the University of Oregon, the University of Arizona, and Youngstown State University. Her orchestral experience includes performances with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Boulder Bach Festival, and the New England Bach Festival. She began studying baroque flute during her years at Peabody Conservatory and twice attended the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory in the summers. Ms. Andrew holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory (D.M.A.), the State University of New York at Stony Brook (M.M.), and the University of New Mexico (B.M., B.A.). Originally from New Mexico, she is delighted to make her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys hiking and skiing in our beautiful mountains.

Keyboard artist PETER BIRO is a native of Connecticut and is a graduate of the UCLA School of Fine Arts. He has appeared as soloist and recitalist on piano, organ, and harpsichord here in the United States as well as in Europe. He is also a composer, and several of his compositions have been premiered in Los Angeles as well as in Colorado. He enjoys woodworking and instrument building; in fact, he built the harpsichord in this afternoon’s recital in his workshop in Colorado Springs. He is the organist at St. Mary’s Church in Denver.

THE HARPSICHORD is a copy of a 17th century Flemish instrument built in Antwerp, Belgium, most probably in 1642. It has two manuals of 58 notes each, a French coupling system, and is registered 2x8’, 1x4’. It also features a harp stop. The stand closely resembles a typical Flemish balustrade stand of the period, except for the two crosspieces, which are of original design; that of the large front crosspiece was inspired by the famous strainer arch found in the nave crossing of the cathedral in Wells, England. Both instrument and stand were built in 2010.

THE BAROQUE FLUTE is made by Rod Cameron and is a copy of a flute made by Jacob Denner (1681-1735) of Nürnberg, Germany. Denner was a well-known oboist as well as a member of a distinguished family of woodwind makers. This copy is made of boxwood with four joints and one key. It plays at the neo-baroque standard pitch of A=415 but also comes with an interchangeable middle joint that makes it capable of playing at A=392.

 

Aeolus String Quartet - January 19, 2014

 

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Robert Schumann Piano Quintet and String Quartet masterpieces.

The Aeolus Quartet

Praised by Strad Magazine for their "high-octane" performance, the Aeolus Quartet is among the finest young string quartets performing today. Violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce, and cellist Alan Richardson formed the Aeolus Quartet in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since its inception, the all-American quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States, and performed across the globe to great acclaim. Luke Quinton of the Austin-American Statesman writes, "The Aeolus Quartet is a powerful and thoughtful group of young musicians who are plotting an ascending course...this vibrant group shows great promise."

The Aeolus Quartet are Grand Prizewinners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were awarded First Prize at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, a Silver Medal at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and a Bronze Medal at the 2010 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England. The 16th Annual Austin Critics' Table named the Aeolus Quartet their 2010-2011 "Best Ensemble." The Quartet was also the recipient of the 2012 John Lad Prize awarded by St. Lawrence String Quartet in recognition of their “high level of musicianship.... the passion, the dedication, and the great generosity of spirit they have demonstrated...” The Aeolus Quartet has released two critically acclaimed albums of classical and contemporary works through the Longhorn/Naxos label which are available on iTunes, Amazon, and major retailers worldwide.

The Quartet's 2012-2013 season includes multiple performances on the Smithsonian Institute’s rare instrument collection, extended residencies with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, and concerts at the Austin Chamber Music Festival. Additionally, they have been welcomed on to the 2013-2014 Live! On Stage Artist Roster. In past seasons, the Quartet has served as teaching faculty at Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY), the Austin Chamber Music Workshop, and Da Camera of Houston's Music Encounters Program. They have been artists-in-residence at the ScotiaBank Northern Lights Music Festival in Central Mexico, McGill International String Quartet Academy, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, in addition to appearing at the Perlman Music Program, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Music Center, and Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland Kammermusik Course. The Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia, in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Reinberger Recital Hall at Severance Hall, Merkin Hall, The Library of Congress, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.

Dedicated to bringing music into the community, the Aeolus Quartet designed and performed a program for elementary students in the Cleveland Public School system in an April 2009 project made possible by the Frances E. Sykora Outreach Performance Fund. The significant impact of this program has led to its becoming an ongoing project in the Cleveland Public School system. Working in collaboration with the University of Texas through the Rural Chamber Music Outreach Initiative, the Quartet has presented educational programs and performances in communities throughout the state of Texas.

The Aeolus Quartet has studied extensively with the Miro, Juilliard, Takacs, Artemis, and Cavani Quartets. The Quartet's other mentors include artists such as Peter Salaff, William Preucil, Donald Weilerstein, James Dunham, Roger Tapping, Heime Muller, and Itzhak Perlman. The members of the Quartet hold degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Texas at Austin, where they served as the first Graduate String Quartet in Residence. The Aeolus Quartet is currently the Graduate Fellowship String Quartet at the University of Maryland, where they are pursuing Doctoral degrees.

The Quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, the keeper of the four winds. He is known for welcoming Odysseus and his crew with music during their journey back to Ithaca in Homer's Odyssey.

 

Piano Magic - March 23, 2014

 

Piano Magic

 

The Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals and the intimate and romantic Suite No. 1 for two pianos by Sergey Rachmaninoff

Dr. Michael Schneider, piano

Critics have hailed Michael Schneider as “a pianist with exceptional insight” and a “performer with great panache” in performances across the states and overseas to Poland and France. Recently championing the music of Franz Liszt, Michael was awarded the ‘Demonic Liszt’ Prize at the Competition Internationale held in Sante Fe, New Mexico and won six awards at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, including first prize in the Concerto Division and first prize in the Longer Work Category (Dante Sonata). In 2005, he was the 4th prize winner in the 3rd International Franz Liszt Competition held in Wroçlaw, Poland. In May 2008, Michael performed Liszt’s Dante Sonata in the Library of Congress (Washington DC) for the American Liszt Society Annual Festival.

Mr. Schneider has performed in such venues as the legendary château of George Sand in Nohant, France, performing an all-Chopin recital as a guest artist in the International Chopin Festival, and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as a prizewinner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, also winning the prize for the best performance of a work by an American composer. Recently he was a featured guest artist at the Music Festival of the Hamptons, directed by Lukas Foss. In the ’07-’08 season, Michael performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Irving New Philharmonic Orchestra, the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos with the UT University Orchestra, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F with the San Angelo Symphony. Other concerto appearances have been with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Richardson Symphony Orchestra (TX), the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra (OK), the Harding University Orchestra (AK), and the Big Spring Symphony (TX).

Mr. Schneider is a laureate of many international piano competitions, including the 10th Pacific Piano Competition in Vancouver, the 7th San Antonio International Piano Competition, the 4th International Paderewski Piano Competition held in Poland, the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition in New York, the Texas Steinway Society Career Development Award, and the Grace Welsh Prize for Piano in Chicago.

Mr. Schneider’s love for unusual works takes shape in many forms. In 2004, he brought the little-known Piano Concerto by Jules Massenet to Oklahoma as a guest artist of the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, home of the summer OK Mozart Festival. As a devotee of the music of Ignaz Jan Paderewski, Mr. Schneider brings this music to a variety of venues. At the 8th Annual Paderewski Festival in California, his performance of the grueling Paderewski Sonata prompted three standing ovations and three encores. Other recent projects include performances of the Schubert Trout Quintet at the Palace Theatre in Grapevine, a solo concert of the works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and collaborative performances with violinist Jun Iwasaki (now concertmaster of the Portland Symphony Orchestra) and violinist Frank Almond (concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony).

Michael is the creator and artistic director of the San Angelo Piano Festival (SAPF), a classical music festival in West Texas with an emphasis on the piano repertoire. Annual events include guest artist recitals, impromptu musicales, a composition contest, and a young artist program that includes a competition, master classes and a showcase recital. The 5th Festival took place in April 2009 and plans are underway for the 6th festival in March 2010.

Dr. Zahari Metchkov, piano

Both a pianist and an organist, Dr. Zahari Metchkov has performed at such venues as New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center. He has concertized in Israel, Bulgaria, and the United States. Dr. Metchkov released his first CD in 2008 ­- a recording of works for piano and orchestra by Franz Liszt and Cesar Franck and is the process of preparing a second recording project featuring solo works for piano and organ to be completed in the Spring of 2014.

Native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Dr. Metchkov holds BM in piano and organ performance, MM in piano performance, and DMA in piano performance with a minor in music theory from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010 he joined Colorado State University-Pueblo’s department of music in the capacity of Assistant Professor of Music, teaching applied piano, piano related courses, as well as music theory. He was the 2013 recipient of the CSU-Pueblo’s Outstanding Service and Transformative Leadership Award. Dr. Metchkov has also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as Youngstown State University. He directed the Cleveland based Ensemble Secundum Silentium, serves as an artistic adviser for the San Angelo Piano Festival, and in May 2009 co-directed the Youngstown State University Intensive Piano Workshop.

Currently Dr. Metchkov is the Artistic Director of the Pueblo Keyboard Arts Festival and Piano Conversations Concert Series, Pueblo, as well as Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series, Colorado Springs. As a performer he has appeared in the Mostly Mozart Music Festival, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Bridgehampton Music Festival, Geneva Chamber Music Festival, New Year’s Music Days Festival, and San Angelo Piano Festival. He has appeared live on radio CPR-Denver, WCLV-Cleveland, Bulgarian National Radio, Radio Alma Mater-Sofia.

Placing high priority over the education of young pianists in Southern Colorado, Dr. Metchkov is the president of the Southern Colorado Music teachers Association, a chapter of the Music Teachers National Association. He is a frequent guest adjucator and clinician to numerous piano festivals in Colorado and strives to promote well structured study of music, specifically piano, to young people of all ages and their families. He maintains a private studio, whose members have garnered awards in state competitions and festivals.

Dr. Metchkov has been enjoying an active artistic life as a soloist, chamber artist, as well as church musician. He has been a guest artist with the Pueblo Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Colorado State University-Pueblo Wind Ensemble, Suburban Symphony, University Circle Chorale, University Circle Wind Ensemble, and Pleven Philharmonic. Besides music, he also enjoys skiing and is steadily working on climbing Colorado’s fifty-four 14ers.