A season of chamber music

An influx of small businesses is breathing new life into the Union Avenue historic district. Locals looking to keep their dollars in the community and visitors searching for unique items to take back home can find an array of interesting things along the avenue and the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk.

Classical music may not be the typical sounds emanating from one’s speakers after pressing play, but beginning this October, the music that has paved the way for past revolutions will flow from the quaint walls of Ascension Episcopal Church.  A registered historic landmark in Colorado, this gothic style church sits snugly on the corners of 18th Street and Grand Avenue, and because of its brick structure, ornate woodwork, and vaulted ceilings, it is the ideal locale for the chamber music concert series which is prepared to leave spectators in auditory delight.

Geoffrey Herd, violin and Zahari Metchkov, piano (Photo Courtesy Zhari Metchov)
Geoffrey Herd, violin and Zahari Metchkov, piano (Photo Courtesy Zhari Metchov)

Originated by CSU-Pueblo’s Assistant Professor of Music–and world renowned pianist–Dr. Zahari Metchkov, Piano Conversations will begin its third season as a crowd pleaser.  From its opening night on October 18th, the concert series showcases a boisterous multi-cultural collaboration of Latin music consisting of local musicians and fellow CSU-Pueblo faculty, Benjamin Johnson on guitar and Jason Crowe playing double bass, along with accordion player and guest performer for the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra, Alan Polivka, and renowned violinist and founder of the Geneva Music Festival, Geoffery Herd.  (Not to mention Argentinean Tango master, Astor Piazzolla.)  The season consists of four chamber concerts, all open to the public, with tickets priced at $10 for adults and free for children and students with ID, beginning promptly at 7:00 p.m.  Not only will patrons experience high-level musicianship at a very affordable price, they will also have a chance to witness and interact with the local talent that call Pueblo home.  

The second concert of the season is scheduled December 6th and is a solo keyboard recital headed by Dr. Metchkov as a preview for his upcoming album, spanning over four hundred years of classical music featuring the likes of Beethoven, Liszt, and Mendelssohn.  Following this concert, on January 17th, 2014, is “An Evening of Chamber Music Classics with the Aeolus String Quartet” featuring the Aeolus String Quartet and the Schumann Piano Quintet.  This concert is an opportunity for parents to expose their children–rather, future musicians– to young, award- winning artists that are not only dedicated to their music, but who also provide music programs to elementary children in their home state of Ohio, as well as in Texas.

Zahari Metchkov and Geoffrey Herd rehearse before the concert at Ascnecion Church. (Courtesy Zahari Metchov)
Zahari Metchkov and Geoffrey Herd rehearse before the concert at Ascnecion Church. (Courtesy Zahari Metchov)

Families will be delighted to know that the fourth and final concert of the season, “Piano Magic²,” consisting of Dr. Metchkov on piano as well as multi-award winner and internationally renowned pianist, Dr. Michael Schneider, is devised to get young children involved with music by making it entertaining.  It will comprise of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, incorporating poetry and animals and will be an interactive piece, encouraging children to become engaged in the music as well as to participate in a painting segment rewarding first, second, and third place winners.  Experiencing any of these concerts will ensure a return to the 2014-2015 Piano Conversations season.

Filip Fenrych, Zahari Metchkov and Katherine Knight (Courtesy Zahari Metchkov)
Filip Fenrych, Zahari Metchkov and Katherine Knight (Courtesy Zahari Metchkov)

Dr. Zahari Metchkov envisions Piano Conversations progressing throughout the years, with more Puebloans partaking in the community event, and he is diligently working toward expanding music education and the way it is introduced to young children.  He is interested in devising new ways to provide music lessons to children, regardless of their parents’ financial capabilities, and is considering developing a music learning camp for kids.  His primary devotion is to enrich the Pueblo community with classical music by way of his concert series held at Ascension Episcopal Church.  For more information regarding Piano Conversations or Dr. Zahari Metchkov, log on to www.ZahariMetchkov.com.

by Suzanne Hall

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