Symphony in the Valley launches ‘Year of the Child’
At 28, violinist Heidi Curatolo could retire from her musical career.The Brooklyn, N.Y., native, who has lived in Aspen for the past 4 years, has already put in 25 years of work.”I’ve been playing since I was 3. It was decided before I was born,” said Curatolo, a violin and piano instructor and Symphony in the Valley chamber orchestra musician. “This is what my mom did in New York when I was little. She played for a community orchestra – my parents met in an orchestra as violinists.”Under the direction of Curatolo, nine students from her Suzuki violin and piano studio will perform in Symphony in the Valley’s “Classics for (and by) Kids” concerts Saturday in Glenwood Springs and Sunday in Aspen. One student, 7-year-old Harriet Pryor, will even use Curatolo’s childhood violin.
“As a teacher, I get to import my enthusiasm into them – it’s infectious enthusiasm,” said Curatolo, who started her studio in Aspen in 2002 after working as a teacher in public school systems. “I get to relive my childhood. I could be having a bad day and a kid will come in for a lesson and I can put my everyday issues aside. It’s a great distraction.”For the 2005-06 season, Symphony in the Valley has dedicated its four performances to the “Year of the Child.” This weekend’s concerts will include: Dvorak’s “Humoresque” (performed by Curatolo’s and Lorraine Curry’s violin students); Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from “Babes in Toyland”; Villas Lobos’ “The Little Engine Who Could” with Brazilian percussion instruments; Dukas’ “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Walt Disney’s “Fantasia”; and Haydn’s “Toy Symphony,” conducted by artistic director Wendy Larson and associate conductor John Bokram.”I am bringing this for the concert,” said Larson, as she plopped a large stuffed Easter bunny on the stage between two young violinists during Wednesday’s rehearsal. “This concert is for kids, so I want you to all bring something like this to put on stage. And wear light, bright colors.”Although many of the violinists playing “Humoresque,” have not performed with the Symphony in the Valley prior to Saturday, Curatolo said they aren’t too nervous.
“They are very proud of themselves,” she said. “They know they’re good.”Curatolo said playing the violin has helped form friendships between many of her students, who hail from across the valley.”A lot of them are friends through violin,” she said. “I’m told that when they have sleepovers they stay up to 11 p.m. playing violin.”Not so surprising for Curatolo, who has played nearly all her life.
“I was doing accompany work on concertos when I was 10,” Curatolo said. “I never get bored of it, and I always have a different experience with my music.”The “Classics for (and by) Kids” concerts are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Aspen District Theater. Tickets, sold at the door, are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (70 and older) and $5 for youths ages 3 to 18.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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