Competition winners highlight Mother’s Day concert |

Competition winners highlight Mother’s Day concert

Marice Doll
Special to the Post Independent

The top three performers of Symphony in the Valley’s winter Concerto Competition will play their winning pieces at the symphony’s Mother’s Day Concert 2 p.m. Sunday, in the Glenwood Springs High School Auditorium.

The same concert will be performed in Aspen District Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at the Aspen Middle School.

Little did Concerto Competition’s judges know last January that the first two winners in the symphony’s Concerto Competition would belong to the same family. Yale and Victoria Work placed first and second place respectively, with Michael Zimet coming in third place. This was the Symphony’s first-ever competition for all Roaring Fork Valley musicians ages 3 to 18.

The judges, from Grand Junction, were given only the musicians’ first names. But Yale, who performed Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, First Movement, said he was sure his sister would place, just as Victoria was confident of Yale.

This is not the first time Yale, 13, has won with the Grieg piece. He performed it April 2003 at the Wells Music Yamaha Piano Competition in Denver, which earned him the right to perform it at the Breckenridge Music Festival last summer. Yale also won first place in the Colorado State Music Teachers Association piano competition at Silver Creek in June 2003 and in the First Plymouth Congregational Church in Denver piano competition.

The handsome seventh grader, home taught, easily admits, “I’m serious about music.” He practices more than an hour a day on the piano, and his other instrument, the cello. He began lessons in both instruments seven years ago. He’s played the cello with the symphony for five years and with Denver Youth Artists for one year.

Victoria, 17, is college-bound to Colby College in Maine after graduation from Aspen High School this spring. She hopes to pursue biology and French, while continuing her studies in music.

For her senior recital, Victoria played G. Ph. Telemann’s Concerto for Viola in G for the symphony’s Christmas Concert. For the symphony competition, she played Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, Second Movement.

Victoria had already played the piano piece for the Colorado State Music Teachers Association in June 2003, receiving the highest ranking in the Honors Division. In two school competitions at Aspen High School, Victoria earned highest ranking in her sophomore year on both piano and viola and in her junior year on piano.

She is currently preparing for two more competitions: the Wells Music Yamaha Piano Competition in Denver and the Colorado State Music Teachers Association competition in Silver Creek.

Their home in Snowmass Village is filled with the sounds of music: Brother Nathan, 15, and father, Horace, play the violin, and all four are members of the symphony. Yale and Victoria study piano with Crystal Lee in Boulder, and Victoria is with Nancy Thomas in Aspen for viola and Yale is with Carol Tarr in Denver for cello.

Third-place winner Michael Zimet is somewhat new to music study and new to competition, but, at age 9, he has already found success in both. For the competition, Michael played Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor.

Michael makes up for playing the violin for only three years by practicing six times a week. “Michael’s got it all going for himself,” says his mother, Susan. “He’s his own inspiration.”

Michael admits, “I enjoy it (performing). I don’t get nervous.”

A fourth grader at Aspen Elementary School, Michael says he has lived in Aspen “since I was born.” He’s wanted to play with his mother, also a violinist, but observes: “Mom and I don’t play together because it sounds kind of boring with us both playing the same thing.” As a result, both are practicing Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, and Michael is insisting he’ll play the first violin part.

The love of violin is part of the family history: Susan, an internist in private practice and on staff at Aspen Valley Hospital, played violin with the Harvard Radcliff Orchestra, as did her parents before her, where the couple met.

Michael studies with Heidi Curatolo in Aspen. And when he’s not studying, he can be found playing just as hard on his snowboard or bicycle.

During the same Mother’s Day concert, Richard Lyon, a minister with Aspen Community United Methodist Church, will conduct the orchestra in M. Mussorgsky’s Gopak. Lyon won the opportunity at the symphony’s fund-raiser, The Symphony Swing, in February.

Wendy Larson is the symphony’s conductor and artistic director, with John Bokram as associate conductor. Symphony in the Valley is a 60-member, nonprofit, volunteer community orchestra.

Marice Doll of Glenwood Springs is the publicity director for Symphony in the Valley.

What: Mother’s Day Concert

Where: Glenwood Springs High School, Aspen Middle School

When: 2 p.m. Sunday at the GSHS auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Aspen Middle School.

Tickets: $10 adults, $25 family, $5 for ages 3-18, $8 for seniors (70+).

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