NMT Presidential Chamber Music Concert to Feature French Horn in Jan. 28 Concert
SOCORRO – French horn takes the spotlight for the third of four concerts in the 2018 - 2019 Presidential Chamber Music Series, when Willy Sucre and Friends take the stage at N.M. Tech’s Macey Center at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 28, 2019.
The performance is free to all, courtesy of N.M. Tech President Stephen G. Wells. The concert series is offered through the University’s Performing Arts Series (PAS).
On the program are works by four composers who wrote for horn and strings featuring Peter Erbon horn, violinist Krzysztof Zimowski, Justin Pollak on violin and viola, cellist Joan Zucker and Sucre on viola.
Prior to the concert, Tech Club Macey (TCC) will host its Canvas and Cocktails social and arts event starting at 5:30 p.m., featuring Natasha Isenhour, well known among art circles for her nationally recognized paintings and pastels, to teach the “canvas” portion. (Please see related story.)
Isenhour will lead participants through a still-life study in pastels. Cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members for this special event. Advance tickets are required. Mediterranean Market hors d’oeuvres will be served: cumin-marinated chicken skewers, roasted red pepper and eggplant, hummus, feta, basil and baby greens served with flat breads and crostini, along with a cash bar featuring wine and cosmopolitan drink specials.
“A moody evening in late January in Socorro is the ideal time to shake loose those leftover holiday doldrums, and embrace something new and inspiring,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish.
“Anyone not familiar with Natasha’s work will be absolutely amazed,” she continued. “She offers a complementary prelude to the chamber music performance itself.”
Willy and Friends always turn in a masterful performance, and horn lovers especially will enjoy the program they’ve arranged for the Socorro concert, she said, adding that loyal chamber music goers will recognize the names of the other musicians joining him, several of whom have played with Willy for many years.
“I play French horn, love it, and applaud Willy and Friends for arranging such a beautiful program for the evening,” said Kalish. According to program notes, the concert opens with Romanze for Horn and String Quartet, Op. 3 by Leone Sinigaglia (1868 – 1944) and written in 1889, followed by Canzona for Horn and String Quartet by Richard Edward Wilson (b. 1941), Appel Interstellaire (Interstellar Call) for Solo Horn by Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992), and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Quintet in E-flat Major for horn, violin, two violas and cello, K. 407.
Sinigaglia was born into a prominent Italian upper-middle-class family and grew up in Turin. A lover of literature and mountaineering from an early age, the young Sinigaglia spent many holidays in or near Cavoretto, just outside the city, where he found much inspiration. Among the works composed in these Turinese years are the Romanza opus 3 for horn and string quartet.
The 77-year-old Wilson taught at Vassar College from 1966 to 2016, where he was MaryConover Mellon Professor of Music. Since 1992, he has been composer-in-residence with the American Symphony Orchestra. An online reviewer described Wilson’s Canzona as a work that in time “sang to (him)” and not only made sense, but “it sang nobly.”
Messiaen a French composer, organist and ornithologist, was one of the major composers of the 20th century. He travelled widely and wrote works inspired by diverse influences ranging from Japanese music, the life of St. Francis of Assisi and the landscape of Bryce Canyon in Utah, which inspired him to compose Appel Interstellaire.
Mozart composed his Quintet in E flat major for horn, violin, two violas and cello, possibly in Vienna in 1782. A work in three movements, the Quintet is essentially a horn concerto scored for chamber ensemble, with the horn dominating the ensemble in the two outer movements. The central Andante reflects the tenderness of the horn matched by the gentleness of the violin, producing a duet of graceful perfection and profound humanity.
May we introduce the musicians: New Orleans native Erb, on French Horn, joined the New Mexico Philharmonic as principal horn in 2013. He has held positions with the Phoenix Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and continues to perform as principal horn in the Arizona Opera Orchestra. As a member of the “Star Wars in Concert” orchestra in 2010, he toured the United States and Mexico, performing John Williams’s movie scores. He lives in Albuquerque with his wife Emily, a clarinetist with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Violinist Zimowski, concertmaster of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Opera Southwest Orchestra, was concertmaster and featured soloist of the former New Mexico Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade. Born in Wroclaw, Poland, he began his musical studies at the age of six. He moved to New Mexico in 1986 to help form the Helios String Quartet, and lives in Albuquerque with his musician wife, Urszula.
As a student at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe native Pollak studied viola with Leonard Felber, Bernard Zinck and Kimberly Fredenburgh. From 2001 to 2011, he was a violinist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He frequently performs with Chatter on both violin and viola. In the winter and spring of 2012, he played concerts with the Figueroa Project and Opera Southwest.
Zucker, principal cellist of the New Mexico Philharmonic, has been a major player in the New Mexico music scene for the past 30 years. She was principal cellist of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra from 1987 to 2010, and has played with many of New Mexico’s finest ensembles, from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Opera, to Pro Musica and Chatter. Her frequent televised performances with Cuarteto Internacional met with high critical acclaim.
Violist Sucre is a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and the driving force behind the “Willy Sucre & Friends” concerts. A native of La Paz, Bolivia, his experience includes chamber music concerts, lectures, school demonstrations, CD recordings and television performances. He enjoys performing with ensembles of diverse instrumentation.