Breckenridge Music Festival presents a piano tribute to Anne M. Stonington | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Music Festival presents a piano tribute to Anne M. Stonington

Summit Daily staff report
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Breckenridge Music Festival presents their first chamber concert of the 2017 Festival, The Well-Tempered Clavier featuring guest pianist Robin Sutherland and Breckenridge Music Festival's Artistic Partners of Chamber Music, Michael Linville and Kate Hatmaker. They will be joined by BMF cellist, James Holland in this performance dedicated to the memory of key BMF supporter and community leader, Anne M. Stonington.

Anne Stonington, who passed away in January, was one of the major supporters of the Breckenridge Music Festival in its earliest days, providing not only financial support as one of the initial funders of the organization, but also by providing moral backing to friends and founders, Kenny and Dona Evans. Stonington was a gifted pianist and a lover of classical music, and it was her knowledge of classical music and her naturally generous spirit that made her an invaluable member of the team that ignited the Festival in 1981.

Robin Sutherland, who programmed this performance, says that he wanted to represent Stonington's personality and spirit in his selections. The Tchaikovsky Trio was originally composed to honor an influential mentor of Tchaikovsky's – pianist Nicolai Rubinstein. The piece's first movement captures Tchaikovsky's feelings of loss and grief while the second can be heard as celebrating the relationship. "These emotions can be shared by all in attendance as we remember Anne Stonington," says Sutherland.

The first two preludes and fugues that Sutherland selected from book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier share the same qualities as the Trio: it starts with a solemn movement followed by one more playful and vibrant. Sutherland reflects that he selected these particular movements purposefully as they are meant to serve as a memorial to Stonington by capturing the two sides of her personality.

Book II, explains Sutherland, is represented on the famous Golden Record aboard the Voyager I space probe, which is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth. This gives the performance special meaning to Sutherland as he says, "maybe [the piece] is closer to Anne than we are."

Sutherland, originally from Colorado, got his big break as a young man performing occasional solo gigs with the San Francisco Symphony. Sutherland explains that he could read music before he could read words, discovering a love of music at a very young age. He has even described music as a "friend" that has always stuck with him through the years.

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Sutherland says he is drawn to every piece he plays in different ways and hopes that he is able to "bring the audience with [him]."

A born leader, Anne rose to the top of a long list of community organizations and contributed in innumerable ways to each community where she lived. Anne was a gifted musician with a deep love of classical music, winning many distinguished awards in the field of piano. She studied at the renowned Oberlin Conservatory of Music and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in piano performance.

Anne was deeply involved with Breckenridge Music Festival and The Summit Foundation. She was the BMF's initial funder and remained a vital support in its development and growth for 37 years.

As best said by her family, "Anne leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and music that will live on through her many friends across Colorado and beyond."

Donations to Breckenridge Music Festival or The Summit Foundation have been encouraged by the family.

Contributions made to the Breckenridge Music Festival in memory of Anne will be matched up to $12,500 and applied to a reserve fund, held at The Summit Foundation, to help cover the costs associated with presenting a guest pianist each season. The piano position is to be recognized as the Anne M. Stonington Guest Artist.

A memorial service to remember Anne Stonington will be held at Father Dyer Methodist Church in Breckenridge on the same day as the concert, Tuesday July 18 at 3:30 p.m.

If you go:

When: Tuesday, July 18

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge

Cost: $25

Program: Mozart — Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448; Bach — Selected Preludes & Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier; Tchaikovsky — Piano Trio in A minor, op. 50

More Information: Find the full 2017 schedule, concert details, and pricing online at http://www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com or call the Riverwalk Center Ticket Office at (970) 547-3100.

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