The final Presidential Chamber Music Series concert for this season features the piano in music by some well-known and not so well-known classical composers. The concert on Friday, April 1 begins at 7:30 at Macey Center and is free to the public thanks to the support of NM Tech President Stephen G. Wells and the Susan Miller Bronze Memorial.

Eris Sewell

Socorroan Eric Sewell, violin, has curated this concert, bringing musicians from Albuquerque to perform for the evening. On the piano will be Luke Gullickson, who is manager and core performer of the innovative Chatter ensemble which presents over 70 concerts a year in Albuquerque. The quintet includes David Felberg, violin, associate concertmaster in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, founding member and Artistic Director of Chatter, and who Socorroans may remember from his concerts with the Helios Quartet; Laura Chang, on viola, new principal in the NM Philharmonic and member of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Central City Opera Orchestra, and Albuquerque native Lisa Donald, on cello.

The program includes a piece by Mahler, one by Beethoven and one by a relatively unknown composer Mieczysław Weinberg, a Jewish composer from Poland who resided in the USSR.

“The Mahler and Beethoven quartets were both written in their composers’ middle teen years and are rarities. They also are immensely accomplished works echoing contemporary masters—Brahms and Mozart—and foreshadowing the iconoclastic younger composers’ later developments,” said Eric Sewell.

“…Weinberg’s relative obscurity outside of Soviet Russia is fading as international recognition of his creative genius rises. His piano quintet (1944) is a modern masterpiece and considered one of his finest compositions. It is just the right moment to bring this composer’s expressive, dramatic music to new audiences,” Sewell said.

The Presidential Chamber Music Series began over 30 years ago by Adam Gonzalez, who was on the faculty of NM Tech Music Program under Michael Iatauro. When Adam Gonzalez left, Willy Sucre picked up the baton, curating programs for over 25 years. He left to pursue other interests just before the pandemic but NM Tech’s Ronna Kalish and the Performing Arts Series have continued the tradition, bringing top-notch musicians mostly from New Mexico to Socorro to perform classical works.

Gwen Roath for NMT PAS