Colorado Young Sinfonia returns
Basil Vendryes loves orchestral music so much, he wants to share the magic with young musicians statewide. He performs as principle violist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and founded the Colorado Young Sinfonia in 1999, in hopes of offering serious young musicians a venue to learn and perform repertoire they usually don’t have an opportunity to play in other orchestras. He completely volunteers his time, and any donations he receives from shows support the group’s venues, recording archives, music rentals and other related costs.”The Colorado Young Sinfonia is my pride and joy – perhaps my favorite of all projects, not because I started it from the ground up, but because we work hard, have fun and, in the end, bring great music to the communities in the Denver region, and now to Summit County,” Vendryes said.Sunday, the sinfonia returns as part of the Concert Series at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church. The performance features works by Claude Debussy, Henry Purcell, Antonin Dvorak, Franz Schubert, Sir Hubert Parry, Alberto Williams and Michael MacLean.Last year, the sinfonia impressed locals when it performed in Summit.”They really do a fine job,” said attendee and music lover Elmer Koneman. “Len Rhodes (world-renowned musician and the artistic director of the series) has been announcing that this is one of the better musicians of that particular age group, and Len has his bar raised pretty high, so if he says it’s good, it’s good. This is going to be a really superior concert.”The sinfonia allows young musicians to play more detailed and delicate music from the likes of Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn. The small group of 24 string players demands that each musician listen intently to the others to create a cohesive whole. Ages in the sinfonia vary, from 12 to 30, and a half dozen of the players have been involved in the ensemble since its inception. The older musicians mentor younger ones, giving them tips on how to listen and follow, yet still treating them as colleagues. “We work a lot on the sound of the group – color and character,” Vendryes said. “They have an amazing dynamic range and a wonderful artistic sense … It’s wonderful to have young people within the ranks that are as passionate about the ensemble as I am. They all have fantastic ideas about pieces to play, venues and soloists. It would be hard to make the Colorado Youth Sinfonia work without them.” Yet, Vendryes obviously plays a critical role.”With his guidance, the sinfonia has just gained a remarkable reputation,” said Suzanne Lanuza, who helps promote the concert series. “They’re considered one of the top ensembles for young musicians.””Everyone is accountable to bring their A-game to every rehearsal,” Vendryes said.
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