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Presidential Chamber Music Series III: Eric Sewell Quintet


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Showtime: 7:30pm
Location:  Macey Center
Online Location: Facebook ; YouTube

Eric Sewell Piano Quintet

About the Concert

Mahler: Piano Quintet in A minor (1876)  Quartet for Piano, violin, viola and cello

Beethoven:  Piano Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major Wo0 36

Weinberg: Piano Quintet, Op. 18

Writes curator of this concert, Socorro's own violinist Eric Sewell, "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.

Emerging as a peer of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, 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."

Eric Sewell holds degrees in Violin Performance and Musicology from the University of Alabama and Columbia University, and is an alumnus of the Alabama School of Fine Arts. His primary instructors were J. Patrick Rafferty, violin; Jeffrey Milarsky, conducting; Stephen Peles, composition. He has performed in orchestras across New Mexico and is the Assistant Principal Second Violinist of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

While in Alabama, Eric performed regularly throughout the Southeast appearing with numerous regional orchestras, and as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. During that time he performed at festivals of contemporary music across the country; collaborated with local composers on premieres of their works; and spent two summers at the Brevard Music Center as a Repertory Training Fellow. In 2001, he completed a concert tour of South Korea which included live broadcasts on radio and television.

Eric has put together a variety of unique concerts in Socorro, bringing together some of NM's finest Chamber musicians.  Last season, for NMT PAS, he co-organized a concert with Steel Pan virtuoso Mike Schwebke, forming a project ensemble +PAN Quartet, featuring contemporary international works re-arranged for steel pan, violin,  cello and piano, plus one commission for this concert.

As an academic, Eric received a grant to research the musics of Harrison Birtwistle and Rebecca Saunders and has written on topics from serialism and temporality to gender and avant-rock. He continues to curate a series of community concerts in Socorro and Magdalena featuring music of the last 100 years. Highlights include Stockhausen’s complete Zodiac and an extemporaneous accompaniment to silent films by Maya Deren.

Eric is also a paper sculptor, with a handful of commissions and a solo exhibition under his belt. He enjoys hiking and occasionally runs triathlons. His violin, The Traveler, was made for him by Anne Cole.

 The Presidential Chamber Music Series
The Presidential Chamber Music Series began 30+ years ago, conceived by Adam Gonzalez, faculty in the NM Tech Music Program under Director Michael Iatauro.  The first incarnation was supported by then NM Tech President Dr. Laurence Lattman, with all concerts free to the community, a tradition that continues, and featured The Helios Quartet, of which Adam Gonzalez was the cellist.  That group had a variety of members but the two with the longest tenure were principal violinist and concertmaster of the NM Philharmonic, Krzysztof Zimowski, and NM Philharmonic violist Willy Sucre.  When Adam Gonzalez left the Southwest, the Helios Quartet stayed together for only a short time, but the baton was picked up by Willy Sucre who curated these chamber music concerts, developing the works to be performed and bringing together the mostly NM musicians. These four concerts per year featured classic mainstays in chamber music literature as well as unique and lesser known compositions, often by international and/or South American composers.  The program continued to be sponsored by NM Tech President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez and now Dr. Stephen G. Wells.  It was an amazing 25+ years under Willy Sucre, who decided to take a break the year before the pandemic to pursue other musical passions.

The tradition continues with the NM Tech Performing Arts Series collaborating with NM performers and arts organizations to curate interesting and unique programs that feature stellar in-state, regional and national artists and chamber ensembles.

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