Willy & Friends Present Free Chamber Music Concert

SOCORRO, N.M. January 17, 2011 – Chamber music aficionados in Socorro love it when violist Willy Sucre and violinist Krzysztof Zimowski come to town.

The popular musicians will be back to perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, as part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series at Macey Center, along with Julanie Collier Lee on violin, and cellist James Holland.

Willy Sucre
Krzysztof Zimowski

The concert is the first 2011 offering in the PAS Presidential Chamber Music Series. Admission is free, courtesy of New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López and with support from Socorro Springs Restaurant and Brewery.

Before the concert, Tech Club/Club Macey will host a social in Macey Center from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with light snacks. The group is a social club for people 21 and over.

On the program are works by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) and the Bohemian-born Bedřich Smetana (1828-1878).

“Willy and Krzysztof must know every inch of Macey Center after the dozens of concerts organized and played on its floorboards over the past three decades,” series director Ronna Kalish said.

She said the two musicians were members of the Helios String Quartet, New Mexico Tech’s ensemble-in-residence in Socorro from 1987 to 1997.

“They, along with other well known New Mexico musicians, have been a part of the chamber music tradition at Tech for a long time,” said Kalish.

“We’re delighted they’ll be performing in the inaugural PAS event of the new year in the company of two other extraordinary musicians,” she said, adding that the evening’s program is rich in texture and emotional nuance.

The Bolivian-born Sucre studied in both his home country and on the eastern seaboard, and has played with and been guest conductor for prominent orchestras both stateside and in Canada and Bolivia.

At present, Sucre is a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and is the driving force behind the “Willy Sucre & Friends” concerts across the state.

Zimowski is one of those “friends.” He was born in Poland and began his studies at age six, has performed with orchestras in Germany, Montreal, Brussels and Paris, and as soloist in Poland and four other countries.

In 1986, Zimowski moved to New Mexico to help form the Helios String Quartet. Currently he is concertmaster and featured soloist of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque.

Lee began playing the violin at the age of five in Lexington, Ky., and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory. She is a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has maintained a studio of violin students throughout her career.

She and her husband, Jae, are co-presidents of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Parent Association and have three children.

Holland, a native of Florida, has a long list of performing credentials, including a tour of Japan with the Piano Trio at the University of Alabama, ,his alma mater; and has held the position of principal cellist for the Breckenridge Music Festival, a summer chamber music and orchestra festival, since 1998.

He is an active and enthusiastic cello teacher and chamber music coach, and recently relocated to Albuquerque with his wife, Megan.

The composer Bacewicz was a child prodigy who played with several violin concerti before the age of 12, and left a rich legacy of works impressive in quantity and diversity. She was also a great literary talent who managed to write four novels, a television play and several essays.

Smetana, as a young man, composed music that captured the flavor of his region’s folk song and dances, thus contributing to the rising spirit of Bohemian nationalism. At the age of 50, he became totally deaf. His most celebrated composition, “From My Life,” is on the program for the Jan. 24 concert.

(Notes about the composers adapted from Melvin Berger’s Guide to Chamber Music.)

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