UNM-LA Hosts Annual Regional Piano Competition Saturday And Winners Recital Sunday Oct. 12-13

Four of the prize winners with judges in 2018, from left, Astrid Groth, Betty Kang, Philippa Fung, Yeanwoo Park and Kirsten Ditlow. Courtesy photo

UNM-LA News:

The UNM-LA campus will once again host the annual regional piano competition of the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico (PMTNM) 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, where 26 contestants ranging in age from seven-to-16 will converge on the campus.

The Los Alamos public is cordially invited to attend both the competition and then hear the winners of the competition when they present a Winner’s Recital at 2 p.m. Sunday.  

As part of UNM-LA’s continuing public service mission, both events are FREE and open to the public.

Saturday’s Honors Competition is sponsored annually each fall by PMTNM with First Place Winners in each age category advancing to the State Finals set for Nov. 9 at the Albuquerque Academy. The competition is the major youth piano competition in New Mexico and held state-wide throughout six different geographical divisions. 

Students in Los Alamos belong to the Northeast Division of PMTNM, which encompasses Santa Fe, Taos and Las Vegas.

Competing students must study with a private teacher who is a member of both PMTNM and of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), as well as of their local city affiliate.

Saturday’s contestants will be competing in five different levels, delineated by age, from 9-and-under through 17 years old. Students and their teachers freely select what repertoire each entrant will perform in the competition, restricted only by set time limits for each level, ranging from six minutes through 10 minutes. All competition pieces must be performed from memory.

A wide spectrum of classical music can be heard throughout the day, ranging from Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovsky, to name only a few, as well as contemporary composers.  

The Sunday Winners Recital will feature the First, Second and Third Prize Winners from each of the levels.

The Los Alamos Music Teachers Association (LAMTA) will have volunteers helping throughout Saturday’s competition and at Sunday’s Recital and at reception following the recital. LAMTA also provides added financial support by sponsoring the tuning of the Grand Piano and the prizes awarded to winners. All printed materials have been provided by the Santa Fe Opera.

Two distinguished judges from Santa Fe and Albuquerque will be adjudicating:

Amy Greer holds master’s degrees in both piano performance and educational psychology, and frequently gives workshops exploring the intersection between the psychology of learning and music. In addition to her work as a teacher and clinician, she is an active performer, both as a soloist and as a collaborator with other musicians and has performed with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Philharmonic. Together with composer Dennis Alexander, she is the author of Repertoire by Rote and has a large private piano studio in Albuquerque.

Sergio Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in Miami, Florida.  He obtained degrees in piano performance from Florida State University and UCLA, with additional studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Aspen Music School in Colorado.  He has performed solo piano and collaborative concerts in Southern California and throughout Northern New Mexico.  He has been orchestra pianist with the Santa Fe Symphony and Santa Fe’s Musica de Camara Orchestra, soloist for the Santa Fe Symphony Club Musicale and Beethoven “Sonatathon”.  He has also performed solo and chamber music for the Soundscapes Music Series in Taos, New Mexico, Movable Music Series in Las Vegas, New Mexico, concerts with The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. Mr. Rodriquez maintains a private piano studio in Santa Fe and has been on the faculties of Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico School for the Arts and Northern New Mexico College.

Both the competition and Winner’s Recital will be in the UNM-LA Student Services Building. There is ample parking available in the lot below the building (with stairs), or the building is wheelchair accessible from the large parking lot through the courtyard above the building.

The public may attend any part of the Saturday competition, beginning at 10 a.m.  The Sunday Winner’s Recital starts promptly at 2 p.m. and will conclude at 3:30 p.m. 

For further information, contact the Northeast District Competition Chair and Vice President Dr. Madeline J. Williamson and leave a message at 505.929.4693 or email abiquiumusic@gmail.com.