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January 28, 2010
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Summit High graduate performs Sunday in Dillon

Two amazing musicians - Luke Fatora and Len Rhodes - meet Sunday to perform a concert at Lord of the Mountains Church.

"I believe this will be a major mid-winter music event for Summit County," said Breckenridge resident Elmer Koneman.

Fatora is a graduate of Summit High School, who earned Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival's scholarship last year to study music at Oberlin University, one of the most prestigious music schools in the nation, said Suzanne Lanuza, Alpenglow board member.

"He is a stunning performer, a young man with enormous talent ... and a presence and personality that comes forth in his playing," Lanuza said. "(He) makes an instrument speak or sing - it comes from the heart."

Fatora began studying violin in second grade but didn't become enamored with it until freshman year in high school, when he heard the great violin concertos and decided he wanted to play them. Now, as a freshman at Oberlin, he's discovering more inspiration from older peers, whom he wants to fashion his playing after. Though his degree concentrates on performance, he hopes to place himself in a position where he can both perform and compose.

He will be playing two of his own compositions - the first one he ever wrote at age 15 and another, which is his latest piece. They differ in that the first time he ever penned a piece, he wrote what came to his head, whereas the most recent piece is based off a poem about a walk in the woods.

"I wanted to portray a sunny day in Summit," Fatora said, adding that the first one is more of a gypsy fiddle piece that relies solely on emotional merit, rather than being conceptually based.

Fatora met Rhodes a couple years ago by gaining Rhodes' attention at the Pikes Peak Young Composers Competition.

"Len has inspired me," Fatora said. "He's one of the nicest people I've ever met."

Rhodes has an impressive history as a musician: He earned diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music and the London College of Music and studied composition with a protege of Oliver Messiaen at Morley College, University of London. He then stacked up plenty of composing and arranging credits, from BBC Radio to the Virginia Shakespeare Festival. CBS Records also signed him as a keyboardist for the band Key West. Now, he's the director of music and organist at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church.

Sunday's program features pieces by Bach, Fritz Kreisler and Max Bruch.

"The program itself is really exciting," Fatora said. "I find them really engaging from an audience perspective."

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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 28, 2010 05:52PM Published Jan 28, 2010 05:50PM Copyright 2010 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.