High Country Sinfonia to perform Monday and Tuesday

Staff report

The High Country Sinfonia is giving two spring concert performances this offseason. The upstart chamber music group will perform Monday, May 8 at Aspen Community Church and at Basalt Community United Methodist Church on Tuesday, May 9. Both performances are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The musicians will perform Vivaldi’s “Spring” from “Four Seasons,” Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” for violin and viola along with four pieces by Benjamin Britten.

Soloists include Brittni Brown, violin; Erin Gallagher, viola; and, Gaia Vazquez, violin

The Sinfonia was founded after Aspen violinist Richie Zah performed in the annual Aspen Choral Society “Messiah” in 2014, which inspired the Juilliard and Aspen Music School alum and Aspen police officer to establish a chamber orchestra in the valley. After a “Messiah” performance, Zah turned abruptly to find Wendy Larson – the local conductor and former artistic director for Symphony in the Valley – standing nearby and said: “I want to start a chamber orchestra in the valley” and asked her to help.

By the next morning, Larson was already making phone calls and sending emails, contacting local churches for rehearsal and performance spaces and, of course, gathering the musicians. High Country Sinfonia quickly included 15 professional and semi-professional performers (including Larson playing cello and Zah violin).

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