Tag Archive | Performance

Q&A with Jack Glatzer

Master Violinist Jack Glatzer Featured Artist
in Kennedy Hall Recital April 5

Dallas-born master violinist Jack Glatzer will share his love of music in a recital on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Kennedy Hall at New Mexico Highlands University. Tickets are $15 per person. The event is sponsored by the Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis.

Jack Glatzer, ViolinistGlatzer’s extensive performance background began with his debut recital at age 13. He had been a student of the instrument since age five. He regularly makes concert tours around the world and has played on every continent and in more than 50 countries. He is comfortable performing before large audiences in elegant settings and equally at ease with students in a classroom or a handful of patrons in small venues. Glatzer has given numerous recitals in Las Vegas over the years, and comes back often to renew old friendships and forge new ones.

He is recognized as a pedagogue, both in master classes and in lecture recitals. His background and interest in the history of culture have led to his highly successful concerts – son et lumiere – in which musical performance is explained by a lecture and illuminated by visual images. His particular focus is the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin, including the works of Paganini and J.S. Bach. He is also open to performing new works by talented composers.

ORP: When did you know playing the violin would be your life’s work?
I began the violin at the age of five. After very few years of study I became so attached to the instrument that I knew it would be my life.

ORP: Who were your mentors as you developed your musical gift and honed your technical skills?
Glatzer: I suffered a great disillusionment with one of my famous teachers – who I won’t name. For a few years, I wanted to be a professor of history and took two degrees in history. Musically I was fortunate indeed to have two of the finest teachers of the last century, Sandor Vegh and Maxim Jacobsen.

ORP: How much of your success is natural ability and how much is practice and dogged perseverance?
Glatzer: I hope that there is some natural talent but there is no doubt that dogged perseverance and pathological obsession is with me every day.

ORP: You have performed all over the world to audiences large and small and have performed in Las Vegas on several occasions. What brings you back to Las Vegas time and again?
Glatzer: I have been fortunate over many years to develop deep friendships with persons and audiences in several cities. Among them is Las Vegas. Truly I have performed countless times there. I have such fond memories of that old series of house concerts – salon concerts to be sure – that took place in the lovely Carriage House. It was called Movable Music. What a joy to enjoy the gracious hospitality of my dear friend, Ann Bradford. I trust there are still friends who remember well those annual concerts. In recent years, my deep friendship and esteem for Ron Maltais has enriched my visits. I now have two works in my repertoire by Ron.

ORP: What size audience is more challenging to you as a performer?
Glatzer: The size of the audience does not matter, although I particularly enjoy intimate and small venues where it is possible to play very softly and hear the breathing and many colors of the violin.

ORP: In some performances you talk about the music and get into a teaching mode. Talk about that experience and how it makes you a better musician.
Glatzer: I enjoy talking to an audience, trying to go on an emotional trip with the public, trying to open the imagination of the listener so that together we voyage beyond the notes. This is particularly interesting in performing for students who are often so unfamiliar with the music.

ORP: Your recitals showcase the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin. Talk about that and how it affects your relationship with your audience.
Glatzer: I particularly enjoy the solo violin repertoire. Only composers of the highest skill would dare to write in this medium, so we have many true masterpieces, especially Bach, Ysaye, Bartok, Paganini. The solo music enables me to explore the many colors, the shading, the breathing, the crying of the violin. Also, people are amazed at how the softest sounds played with care and in tune will have such resonance that the sounds carry through the hall.

ORP: What advice do you give young musicians?
Glatzer: Remember that you are fortunate to be able to seek for the sublime with the sounds of your instrument. Never settle for less than this search.

What: Jack Glatzer Recital
When: Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kennedy Hall, NMHU
Tickets: $15 per person available at the Las Vegas Arts Council
Event sponsors: Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis

Q&A: Music at the Castaneda

A unique concert experience will take place on Sept. 10, in the historic Castaneda Hotel, featuring the works of famous composers and under the guidance of artistic director Ronald Maltais. The program is underwritten by Allan Affeldt, the Las Vegas Arts Council, Southwest Capital Bank, and other donors. Tickets for this first of a planned three-concert series, are $15 per person.

Ron Maltais

Ron Maltais

Maltais, director of music at the United World College USA for 15 years, became involved with the piano at the age of four, and later began formal lessons at age eight. Originally from southern New Hampshire, his studies with Maurice Hoffman led to degrees taken at New England Conservatory (piano performance), and Boston University (music composition). Maltais pursued vocal training and he has devoted significant time to choral directing and artistic direction. His teachers included Jung Ja Kim, Katja Andy, Anthony di Bonavenura, Charles Fussel and Lukas Foss. His Meditation for Viola and Strings was conducted by Foss at Boston University in 1998. Maltais’ travels have led to engagements as a musician and lecturer in several US states and in India, Turkey, South Africa and Peru. Maltais previously composed a work for Jack Glatzer titled Dark Woods. He is currently composing an opera based on the life of Camille Claudel. He premiered his Star Axis Prelude for a select audience at the Light Spectrum Concert in March at the Dwan Light Sanctuary. Maltais recently resigned from his position at the UWC-USA to devote more time to music composition and piano performance.

The performing artists for the Sept. 10 concert include Pleiades String Quartet: Elena Sopoci, violin and viola; Elizabeth Young, violin and viola; Carla Kountoupes, violin and viola; Dana Winograd, cello; Roberto Capocchi, guitar; and Ronald Maltais, piano.

ORP: How did the Concert Series idea come about?
Several weeks ago I was given a personal tour of the Castaneda Hotel by Allan Alfeldt who is the present owner. Allan plans to restore the hotel and he will hopefully begin this project very soon. I was struck by the acoustics in the large dining room, and immediately imagined the possibilities for concerts in that space. A few days later I called Allan and asked if we could perform a concert in the dining room before the renovation begins. We discussed the logistics and decided that it would be interesting to schedule a concert there in its present condition. This first event will be one of three being planned for this concert season. Hopefully on Sept. 10, we will announce the other program dates. There is tremendous interest and support from the community already, given that the series was only announced in mid August.

ORP: As a musician, why do you want to perform in the Castaneda?
Ron: I often walk into rooms and have visions of what could happen there musically. There is something special about the Castaneda; the sound, feelings about the history of the place and the events which happened there in the past. Surely there must be a few ghosts around? I have also seen historic photographs of musicians holding mainly brass instruments outside of the building.

Pleiades String Quartet

Pleiades String Quartet

ORP: You’ve selected works of Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Boccherini. Why this selection for the first concert of the series?
Ron: I checked with a violinist (Elena Sopoci) who is a long time colleague of mine. She has pulled together a standard string quartet and they will give their premiere performance as the newly formed Pleiades String Quartet on Sept. 10. Most of the music reflects romantic (mid to late 19th century) esthetics. The exception is the Vivaldi which is Baroque, but we will perform a newly arranged version of the autumn concerto. In this piece I will join in as a pianist. The Boccherini will feature another wonderful colleague (Roberto Capocchi) who will play classical guitar in an ensemble with the string quartet. Boccherini loved the guitar, and included it in many ensemble pieces. We attempted to include some late 19th century music because of the age of the hotel.

Roberto Capocchi

Roberto Capocchi

The arrangement of the Autumn Concerto for Vivaldi’s The Seasons is by Max Richter. The String Quartet No. 2 in A minor is a very early work, which already foreshadows Mendelssohn’s genius. The Dvorak Cypresses impressed me greatly when I saw the American Ballet Theater dance to them years ago. The Boccherini Guitar Quintet in D Major Fandango is well known, and demonstrates the wonderful blend of Guitar with strings.

I have asked many ticket holders to wear 19th century dress to the concert if possible. That will be interesting!

ORP: As a concert pianist what do you like most about performance?
Ron: Well, all I can say is that it was my dream (even as a young child) to perform in front of audiences. I was a shy and introspective child and teenager. Music was my way of communicating, and it allowed me to transport myself; I felt at home with composers I admired when I delved into their music.

ORP: What is the most difficult aspect of putting a concert together as artistic director?
Ron: It always seems to evolve quickly from a vision which can be quite powerful. Invariably it begins with an interesting performance space; a musician or group of musicians, which I am impressed with. The program evolves rather quickly once negotiations begin. Artists do want direction, and this is the kind of work which excites me. Sometimes I participate in portions of a program (as a pianist or singer). A critical factor in the success of a concert is to plan a program which is the right length for the audience; a program which offers variety, excitement and a bit of challenge for the listeners.

ORP: Who influenced you as a performing artist?
Ron: There are many musicians I have seen in my lifetime who have influenced me greatly. I saw Arthur Rubinstein in recital when I was a conservatory student in Boston. He played a magnificent all-Chopin recital; that was a life changing experience not only for me but for the entire audience. He played eight encores, and the management began to protest. I went backstage to meet him.

ORP: Talk about your work as a composer and if you plan to perform original works in future concerts.
Ron: I will devote much more time to composition this year. There are literally dozens of works in my mind, and I am presently working on a string quartet and a piano concerto with string orchestra. The piano concerto is really a challenge for myself to keep a touch of tendonitis (right arm) at bay. Playing is the best therapy for sure, but within a proper balance. I composed works for colleagues in the past, and premiered two piano preludes in the Light Spectrum Concert (Dwan Light Sanctuary) in April 2016. The preludes were an experiment in that they were half composed and half improvisations. They continue to evolve, and there will be several preludes in all.

What: Castaneda Concerts
When: 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Where: Historic Castaneda Hotel
Cost: $15 per person
Where to purchase tickets: Las Vegas Arts Council and online at lasvegasartscouncil.org


Making Music: The Impalas Reunited

Impalas Reunited

There is nothing like live music. It tunes you in and turns you on. If variety is the spice of life, then music is the marinade that makes it all come together. The Impalas of today have added to their special sauce over the years, transitioning from The Ravens and emerging to become the band it is today. I asked Bob Rivas to canvass the group and come up with answers to a series to questions. What you will read here is the story of people who love music and who love to share it with others by performing, jamming, creating, laughing and having a plain old good time, in which you as an audience member are invited to participate.

Information provided by Bob Rivas and members of the band: The Impalas early history  began in 1962 when a band named The Ravens was formed. It lasted two months. In July 1962 Nash Montoya joined the band and decided to name it Nash and the Impalas. Members were Nash Montoya, Eloy Montoya, Teddy Trujillo,  Lou Dan Salazar and Timmy Lucero.  This group played together until mid-1963. When Nash moved to California, the group reorganized to form The Impalas,  at which time Mike Kavanaugh joined the group replacing Timmy Lucero. From this point on The Impalas played together until 1967. At that time, some members of the band left Las Vegas to pursue careers elsewhere. Others continued to play together in different bands. For example, Eloy and Bob played together in a group called The Guitar Ensemble in the early ‘70s, and worked as a duo in clubs in Las Vegas, such as La Casita.

Q. What brought you all together as a band?
In 2014 a concert was held to pay tribute to musicians in the Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. After this successful concert Eloy Montoya and Mike Kavanaugh (members of the original Impalas) decided to get a band together and keep The Impalas name in honor of the original group. Thus The Impalas Reunited was reborn with band members Eloy Montoya, Mike Kavanaugh, Leroy Lucero, Bob Rivas, Bobby Duran and Salomon Gomez.

The Impalas at the Plaza BarQ. What’s more fun, playing the music you like or playing to an audience’s expectations?
The Impalas
enjoy playing what they like, and more importantly to an audience’s expectations. The band likes to get the audience involved in singing and encourages audience members to ask for songs they want to hear. We consider ourselves a success when we get people to dance, and they do!

Q. When the band started back in the day, what kind of music did you consider to be your signature style?
Signature style back in the ’60s was rock (American Band Stand style), especially ‘50s and ’60 songs. The band also played Northern New Mexico Spanish music and some Country and Western.

Q. What is your style now and has it changed, or do you like the idea of being flexible and playing a variety of styles?
Today The Impalas play a variety of styles and try to cater to the occasion and the audience. The band can be very flexible and plays a wide variety of music.

Q. Describe the practice experience. Is it collaborative or do you kind of “play it by ear” in terms of developing a program?
All members of the band suggest songs to play and discuss the program according to what occasion they are playing for. They also figure out what type of music they need to learn to keep a variety of music fresh.

Q. What bands do you try to emulate or do the Impalas strive for a distinctive style?
Because of the variety of music The Impalas plays, we emulate a wide variety of music artists and bands. We especially like the “oldies” and traditional Hispanic music.

Q. What bands have taught you all the most about performance and presentation?
The Impalas
try to dress for the occasion and strive to look professional whenever they play for an audience. Each member has 40-50 years of experience playing and has developed his own performance style.

Q. What are your fondest musical performances?
Some of the fondest musical performances have been back in the ’60s when the original Impalas played for Johnny’s Record Party in Albuquerque. They enjoyed playing for the local schools, weddings and local night clubs. Most recently, the 2014-15 Las Vegas Musicians Reunited concert will always stand out as a fond and successful memory. We also remember fondly our opening of the Las Vegas Arts Council’s Studio Tour when we played in the Breezeway on Bridge Street. We had people dancing in the street. The Friends of the Museum annual dance in 2016 at the Plaza Ballroom was packed. It was one of our best performances.

Q. What do you most want people to know about the band?
We want people to know that all the current members thoroughly enjoying playing again and love the idea that so many people of the community still remember The Impalas.  To quote a band member: “It keeps us young at heart (because we’re all seniors now) and we enjoy seeing people going back down memory lane. Many people have told us that our music brings back many fond memories.”

Q. Where do you perform next (or regularly)?
We are booked for the opening of the Las Vegas Arts Council Studio Tour in the fall. This event will also mark the opening of this year’s Meadow City Music Festival. We will be playing in August at the 3rd Annual Musicians Reunited Dance at the Rialto. We are hoping to appear at the Fiestas de Las Vegas in July.

Bookings and venues are difficult to find in Las Vegas. There are few places for bands to play. We love playing family parties and class reunions. We have also played numerous events for various charitable events.

Q. How do people reach you for bookings?
People can contact any of the band members:
Eloy Montoya • 505-231-0930  agmont@q.con
Mike Kavanaugh • 595-259-9054  m_kavanaugh@comcast.net
Bob Rivas • 454-3867 rivas@siena.edu and
Leroy Lucero • 505-426-4935
Salomon Gomez • 505-415-0163
Bobby Duran • 505-426-6768



ActYourAge! Beth Urech

Beth the columnistBeth Urech is serious about her comedy and serious about her work, but you would not get that impression upon meeting her. A vivacious and engaging woman of “a certain age” who doesn’t pay much attention to the stereotype of how an older woman should act or live. She’s a bundle of energy on speed, but not the drug, she is on the speed of life and light. She smiles easily, laughs often, uses her God-given talents to enlighten and entertain, and makes the people around her feel like they are important. In addition to a very busy life of traveling, performing and teaching, she writes Beth Speaks for Herself, a column in the Las Vegas Optic, in which she covers a variety of topics. Her next live performance of ActYourAge! will be on Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m., in Kennedy Hall. Tickets to this fundraiser for Samaritan House are $12 for adults, $8 for students.

Q. What brought you to Las Vegas?
Serendipity! Mark and I did Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica and on our way home we came to that proverbial fork in the road and took it.

 Q. You’ve had a busy and interesting life. In thinking about your accomplishments, what are you most proud of and why?
Sarah Elizabeth and Thomas Daniel: my two brilliant and delightful children.

Q. What are the three characteristics that define who you are?
I’m able to speak up, reach out, and bounce back.

Q. Apart from your response to the previous question, what would you most want people to know about you and why?
When I returned to Chicago after 30 years living in Switzerland, I decided to shed my corporate blazer to blaze a creative life. I couldn’t find any challenging roles in theater, so I started writing for myself. The result is my 55-minute solo show. I premiered ActYourAge! three years ago in Chicago and have since performed 40-plus times around the country as well as in Switzerland and  Ireland.

Q. You do a lot of writing but your venue is performance. Talk about that and what kicked off your career.
I always loved theater but never allowed myself to pursue it as a career. Then one day I realized that three of my favorite friends were no longer with us. I decided not to wait any longer to do what I really wanted to do.

Q. When you started were you operating outside your comfort zone, or did you jump right in without breaking a sweat?
Whether it’s performing or speaking or coaching, when we stop thinking about ourselves and focus on our audience the fear floats away.

Q. What do you want from an audience when you perform?
I’ve been told by many that my show is inspiring and that inspires me.

Q. What gets you down?
I have a low threshold of boredom.

Q. What gets you going?
Waking up every morning next to the man I adore who then brings me a hot cup of coffee and a hug.

Q. You hardly seem the type to have had a broken spirit, as you say in your bio. Talk about how you got past feeling broken to becoming the upbeat and creative person you are.
As I say in ActYourAge!, when I was 17, I received some invaluable advice from my mother. I was the new girl in town, it was my senior year in high school, I was miserable. I decided I’d have to become a bookworm and a wallflower. My mother said, “Beth don’t hang back! Find someone in a new group who looks as miserable as you feel, go up and start a conversation. You will both feel better.” I took my mother’s advice and it worked. IBeth at the helmn other words, stop feeling sorry for yourself and start thinking about others.

Q. In the journey we call Life, what are the things you don’t want to miss along the way?
I love daffodils, water lapping against the side of my sailboat, sunsets in New Mexico and sunrises over Lake Michigan. Especially when I’m next to the people I love.

Q. What challenges lie ahead for you creatively, or have you done it all?
A. At this age, I’m at the helm of my life. I just need to stay on course, appreciate the smooth water and tackle the choppy water when it comes. Now that I’m living most of the year in New Mexico I need a new metaphor for my life.

Q. Talk about your family and their reactions to your creative spirit and high energy.
Come see ActYourAge!  Wednesday, April 20 at the Kennedy lounge 7 p.m. and you’ll find out!

 Q. If you could make one difference in the world, what would it be and why?
Where your talents and the world’s needs meet, there you will find your destiny. My special talent is helping people communicate effectively using the spoken word. This week I trained The Breitling Jet Team: seven former French Air Force pilots who are magnificent in the sky and can now express themselves eloquently on the ground! Here in Las Vegas, I’m helping young international students at UWC-USA speak for themselves. For me, it’s all about communication!

For more about Beth, check out the links below:

Marcos Vigil Concert: Words and Music

Marcos Vigil

On Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m., tenor Marcos Vigil will perform the first of a series of “Words and Music” concerts here in Las Vegas. The March 11 concert is at Immaculate Conception Church.

Marcos is a singer and musician who grew up in Las Vegas, went to school here,
studied music at Highlands University, then left for New York City to launch a
career as a successful tenor.

He will be returning to Las Vegas occasionally to perform in and produce a variety
of musical events for the people of his home town. He has been drawn back by the
exciting news of many good things happening here and wants to contribute to
the creative spirit that is re-energizing the town.

Marcos is a model for the kind of talented individuals who are creating the future
of Las Vegas. Like others, he is originally from here, but has made a conscious
decision to return to (or stay in) Las Vegas produce important work here.

Be prepared to be astounded.

Join Marcos Vigil as he is accompanied by pianist Linda King for an evening of
beautiful Words and Music.

When: Friday, March 11, 7pm
Where: Immaculate Conception Parish
811 6th Street, Las Vegas
Admission: Adults $10, Students $5

Used by permission of Roy Montibon who distributed this information through his network and graciously allowed me to post it here.