One last chance to catch Swanson on the ivories

Fans of pianist Adam Swanson have one more chance to hear this ragtime wizard before spring turns to summer.

Fresh from his triumphs at the first Ragtime Piano Festival at the Strater Hotel and his recent appearance with the Four Corners Youth Symphony, Swanson will give his junior recital tonight in Roshong Recital Hall. You read it right, his junior piano recital.

Swanson is a bit of a miracle, having performed at Carnegie Hall as a teenager and now completing one strand of his music education at Fort Lewis College with Professor Lisa Campi Walters. She will join Swanson in the recital for a two-piano version of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” That marvelous, jazzy concerto got a full reading when Swanson served as soloist with the Youth Symphony. At the Ragtime Festival, he and Campi Walters played the double piano version. If somehow all of that slipped your attention, here’s your last chance to hear pure musical energy as you’ve rarely heard it before.

In addition to the centerpiece Gershwin, Swanson will open with a Rachmaninoff prelude, perform Beethoven’s “Tempest Sonata,” and one part of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona y Casado’s “Andalucia Suite.” Because that work resides somewhere between European classicism and contemporary Latin dance rhythms, it seems a perfect choice for someone such as Swanson. He’s comfortable in both worlds.

If the piano gods are smiling, Swanson may play a ragtime encore as he did at the Youth Symphony concert. The audience wouldn’t let him leave until he did. The recital is free, so be smart and get there early. Roshong Recital Hall is inside Jones Hall and seats only 135 people.

Campi Walters herself is having a big week. She will be the featured soloist in the final recital of the St. Mark’s Series. On Friday (at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary at St. Mark’s, 910 East Third Ave.), Campi Walters will play works by Beethoven, Chopin, Ginastera and Debussy. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children.

This is the time of year when many FLC music majors give recitals. Flutist Delana Pleasants gave her senior recital last Sunday. I have been looking forward to percussionist Michael Morris’s performance Thursday. Alas, I just got word that he’s rescheduled for next fall. He’s not quite ready, not quite up to his personal standard, I was told.

In last week’s Percussion Ensemble concert, Morris played in just about every part of the program. If you’re game for new music, the Percussion Ensemble is your universe. I’m hoping the players will reprise Pat Metheny’s “Minuano.”

jreynolds@durangoherald.com. Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic.

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