Violinist Kasia Sokol-Borup has made a lot of music here in four years. On Aug. 15, 2007, she came to Durango to join the music faculty at Fort Lewis College. Since then, she has taught violin, viola, theory and other music courses at FLC; revived the Red Shoe Piano Trio; served as concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony; conducted the Durango Youth Symphony; taught at the summer conservatory and performed with Music in the Mountains; and inaugurated the Durango Chamber Music Festival.
The intimate May festival is her particular favorite, she said in a recent interview. Shes the artistic director and collaborates with C. Scott Hagler of 3rd Avenue Arts to put it on. This year, it will serve as Sokol-Borups farewell to Durango.
I am so excited about this festival, she said. Weve all played together before in different settings all my musical friends.
Beginning Friday, Sokol-Borup and 23 regional musicians will present a stunning group of three concerts on successive Fridays.
They will perform in the acoustically inviting St. Marks Episcopal Church.
The first concert will focus on wind and brass instruments. The second brings two eminent musicians from out of state: violinist Hasse Borup and pianist Mary Kathleen Ernst. The Borup-Ernst Duo is based in Salt Lake City, where both are on the faculty of the University of Utah.
In fact, Hasse will be flying in from a performance in Australia, Sokol-Borup said of her husband of not quite a year.
He is professor of violin and director of chamber music at the university. He has an incredibly demanding schedule, yet hes been able to play in our festival more than once. Two years ago when he and Mary Kathleen came to Durango, I got to perform with her, too. One of their recordings, the Borup-Ernst Duo, has been nominated for a Grammy.
On May 20, the Borup-Ernst Duo will perform works they have taken on tour in America and abroad: Beethovens Sonata for Piano and Violin, Op. 96 and John Cages Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard. The second festival program will also feature flutist Rochelle Mann and Sokol-Borup playing an unusual work, The Kole Suite for Flute and Violin by Leroy Osmon. To conclude, Sokol-Borup will join cellist Katherine Jetter and pianist Ernst to perform Haydns Trio No. VIII in E flat.
The May 27 farewell concert will showcase something Sokol-Borup is particularly proud of a festival orchestra.
Ive asked many of my San Juan Symphony colleagues if they were interested in developing an ensemble for chamber works, Sokol-Borup said. We know each other so well, and we have the ability to pull things together quickly. Ill conduct from the first desk. Its a wonderful program.
The concert will open with Corellis Concerto Grosso No. 4, she said.
Then well play the waltz from Tchaikovskys Serenade for Strings. Its absolutely beautiful. Well conclude with what else? Mozarts Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Many people hear it at weddings or other occasions, but you dont hear it often in the concert hall. We all wanted to play it for the finale.
When everything is over, Sokol-Borup said she will give herself two days to pack and be on her way. She and her husband will finally be together full time in one town Salt Lake City.
I have developed a proposal for a college-preparatory program there, Sokol-Borup said. Its been in my head for years. I love teaching young people, and one of my degrees is in pedagogy. In Utah, Ill begin by teaching individual students violin, viola and theory. It will become a clinic for college-bound students. Then in about two years, I hope this college-preparatory program will be attached to the University of Utah. Thats the plan.
Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.