By my reckoning, I've got about five Music in the Mountains stories left to write, and because the musicians played the final note Sunday, I'd better get going.
Since reaching adulthood, I've subscribed to the notion that if we want to eat dessert first, we can. So I'll start at the end and work my way backwards.
Conservatory Music in the Mountains student Randall Goosby, 13, was the man of the hour - well, young man of the hour - at Sunday's Fiery Finale. He won the first Young Artists Competition during a three-part contest, sponsored by Bill Ballantine, Elizabeth Ballantine and Helen Ballantine Healy. In addition to a cash award of $750, as the Grand Prize winner, Randall won the opportunity to perform with the full Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra at the season's final concert.
The right came with some logistical challenges. He and his family had planned to be here only through the Conservatory Gala, which took place July 25. Afterward, he and his mother, Jiji Goosby, flew to New York City for a previous commitment, then down to Memphis, Tenn., to meet the rest of the family, dad, Ralph, sister, Gina, 11, and little brother, Miles, 8, who had flown back to Tennessee after their stay. (They live in Bartlett.)The whole Goosby clan made a mammoth cross-country drive back to Durango for his big moment. They then turned around and started the trip back at 4 a.m. Monday, because Ralph Goosby was scheduled to fly to India on Tuesday morning for business.
Randall has a great deal of stage presence, and not only got a standing ovation on the piece he won the competition with, he sealed the deal with his performance of No. 16 of Paganini's 24 Caprices. He announced the encore as a small one, but Maestro Guillermo Figueroa said: "It's a short piece, not a small one." Indeed. The Caprices were designed to showcase every technique on the violin, and Randall showed that he has learned them.
He studies with Music in the Mountains favorite Philippe Quint, flying to the Big Apple once a month for the lessons.
Music runs in the family. Mom plays the piano for pleasure, dad played the trombone as a child, Gina is a flutist who learned right before the trip that she has been accepted in the band of the middle school she will begin attending this fall, and Miles loves the cello - particularly the fast pieces. He tells his family, "Just call me Yo-Yo Miles."
The Goosbys make balance a priority. Randall is also a member of the Junior Honor Society and the National Junior Beta Club, tutors math and social studies and spends his spare time playing team sports, reading and hanging out with his friends.
Bravo to young Randall - and remember his name.
I don't want to take anything away from the rest of Sunday's concert, which as always was a delight. It featured pieces on the theme of ¡Pasión! by Granados, Moncayo and Gimenez, along with a Frenchman's more Hollywood-style perception of Spain, Chabrier's "España." (Having lived around the corner from the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Spain, I particularly liked Figueroa's homage to the zarzuela, Spain's version of light opera, the intermedio from "La Boda de Luis Alonso.")And David Korevaar never ceases to impress. After Dohnányi's Variations on a Nursery Tune for Piano and Orchestra (Op. 25), no one in the audience will ever hear "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in the same way again. It was, quite simply, a delight.
- - -The Conservatory Music in the Mountains continues to be relatively unknown to the public, which is a real shame. The Conservatory Gala, which conservatory director Arkady Fomin calls "just the summary," is one of the best musical values in the festival, and now having seen the results of the Young Artists Competition, next year's promises to have a lot more special events.
While Randall Goosby won the Grand Prize and the right to perform with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, 13 finalists shone and presented the judges with a challenge.
In the end, pianist Hanna-Mari Kousa from Finland won the first prize in the String Orchestra Category, receiving a cash award of $500 and the opportunity to perform her competition piece with the conservatory's Chamber Orchestra at the Conservatory Gala on July 25. Her piece was Haydn's Concerto in D Major Hob XVIII:11.
Cellist Taide Prieto from Peru won the second prize, an award of $250 and the opportunity to play a solo at the gala. During the competition, she played the allegretto movement of Shostakovich's Concerto in E Flat Major, Op. 108, but she selected Bach's Suite No. 3 in C Major BWV1013, Allamande, Sarabande and Gigue.
The future of classical musicians is looking bright, if Conservatory Music in the Mountains is any example. Chloe Trevor, who grew up coming to the conservatory, is now a member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra.
Now, if we can only start getting a young audience excited about classical music.
- - -Enjoying funnel cakes at the La Plata County Fair for their birthdays are Debbe Speck, Natasha Galston, Sue Johnson, Esai Gomez, Jaylie Burns, Jeff Davis, Pat Wainwright, Lynda Berger, Haleigh Lyon, Dan Harms, Jim Callard, Evan Hening, Charon Wimp, Brad Stamets, Ernie Gregg, Tina Trotter, Susan Rambo, Sherri Gaugh, Cherie Hughes, Nicholas Betts, Ryan Zollinger, Sandy Hoel, Max Ponce, Jordon Helms and Cameron Barnhardt.
And to placate my colleague, Allison Hull, happy belated birthday greetings.
- - -Unfortunately, my schedule in the newsroom and the chamber music schedule at Music in the Mountains do not coincide. But I managed to make it two special concerts I'm so glad not to have missed.
On July 27, Guest Conductor Arthur Post, musical director of the San Juan Symphony, directed the Festival Chamber Orchestra in an evening of baroque delights wrapped around the music of Handel. It was the first time the festival was able to afford to put together a chamber orchestra, and I certainly hope it won't be the last. This concert was thanks to Katie Freiberger and her family in honor of the late Jack Freiberger, Katie's husband of 58 years. He loved Handel, and I guarantee he would have loved this performance.
Marilyn Garst on her own harpsichord made music that Handel himself would have appreciated, and Post's wife, Gemma Coma-Alabert, brought her rich mezzo-soprano to the stage with three arias. (In Europe, Post is known as Coma-Alabert's husband, so it balances in the end.)I wasn't sure how the acoustics of the festival tent at Durango Mountain Resort would treat her voice, but she was as wonderful as I've ever heard her. After the concert, we talked about how she's used to singing baroque music in baroque settings in Europe, so this was definitely a change. That might be why the music from that period, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, may not appeal to American audiences quite as much. We just don't have that splendor to surround the performance.
Jean Larson Garver, whose artistry on the flute shines year after year, had the chance to show just how good she is on Telemann's Suite in A minor for Flute and Orchestra.
And the entire orchestra's performance of Handel's Water Music made one want to frolic on a barge on the Thames River in England with all the nobles of the king's court.
Afterward, Freiberger threw a reception for the musicians and festival supporters at the Community Center at DMR. Cocina Linda put together a spread the hungry crowd demolished. On the menu were delights such as squash-blossom tamales, garlic shrimp and specialties from India, lots of goodies and almost all using locally grown products. Delish.
And Thursday, I was one of about 80 lucky guests to enjoy a performance by Vadim Gluzman and David Korevaar at The Glacier Club. To be in the front row, watching the details of both musicians' performances like fingering and bowing while hearing glorious pieces framed by our gorgeous San Juan Mountains, was indescribable. Mother Nature added her own bravos to the performance with a lightning show over the mountains, but no thunder disturbed the concert indoors.
So that's one of the two most amazing moments (of many moments) of the 2009 Music in the Mountains Festival for me, along with Philippe Quint's performance of Sibelius' Violin Concerto D minor (Op. 47) on July 19. That was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
- - -Nothing says happy anniversary like a delightful summer evening stroll hand-in-hand for Robin and Natasha Galston, Bruce and Jane Carman, Chad and Erin Cook, Steve and Patti Dedrick, Len and June Hahl, Don and Bertie Brown, Ted and Nancy Carr, James and Anne Dickson, Curt and Angie Raulston, Shawn and Leslie Slater and Richard and Norene Smith.
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