A blazing musical season

Marathoner Joshua Mietz knows how to take a deep breath and run the long distance.

Mietz has qualified for the Boston Marathon six times, completed the Hardrock 100, the Leadville Trail 100, and summited nine of Colorado’s Fourteeners – on the run with an eye to them all. He’s also professor of clarinet at Fort Lewis College and can sustain a long musical phrase.

On Monday evening, Mietz opened the 2012-13 recital season with a crisp performance of two clarinet trios, one by Gordon Jacob, the other by Mozart. Mietz was joined by two of his former doctoral colleagues from Arizona State University: violist Katherine Shields and pianist Andrew O’Brien. The free concert slipped by most music lovers, but fortunately many students on campus for the first rehearsal of the Durango Youth Symphony filled the seats in Roshong Recital Hall.

If you haven’t heard Mietz, you will have a chance to hear him Sunday in a chamber ensemble. At 3 p.m. the FLC music faculty will present its now annual group recital, “Faculty Collage.” You’ll see a few new faces and hear works by A. Scarlatti, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Bernstein.

Upcoming recitals include weekly student performances, faculty recitals, artist-in-residence programs and all the ensemble events. Mietz will give a full faculty recital Oct. 28, followed a week later by Marc Reed, trumpet, on Nov. 4.

St. Mark’s and the Unitarian Universalist Series have each published their yearlong concerts. Each mixes familiar faces with some surprises.

The first St. Mark’s recital will begin today. “An Evening of Classic Jazz” features two well-known local musicians: guitarist Chad MacCluskey and FLC percussion studies director Jonathan Latta. They will be joined by pianist Lee Bartley, flutist Rochelle Mann and the ubiquitous C. Scott Hagler, organizer of the series and multitalented musician about town.

Hagler also created a new/old style vocal concert with Durango’s Dueling Divas on Nov. 2. The question is: Will Gemma Kavanagh, Veronica Turner and Linda Mack Berven perform in Western costume with pistols? Native flutist James Pellerite will perform Feb. 22, and pianist Lisa Campi Walters will close out the series in April. You can buy single or season tickets.

The Unitarian Universalist Recital Series will begin Oct. 12, with the Mangold Duo playing works by Kodály, Pergolesi, Mendelssohn and Debussy. Pianist Marilyn Mangold Garst and her sister, cellist Bonnie Mangold, have performed together as professionals for 30 years. A particular treat will be Ernest Bloch’s “Méditation Hébraique,” dedicated to the great cellist Pablo Casals. The hauntingly beautiful work contains many Hebraic themes and is full of passion, longing and splendor. If you have not heard this duo perform in the UU series over the last six years, don’t let this opportunity pass.

The second Unitarian Universalist recital will feature soprano Ruth Wilson Francisco. She will present classical songs and arias as well as show tunes Nov. 30. In the new year, FLC’s Latta will focus on works for solo marimba, “my violin,” he’s famous for saying, on Jan. 18. And to conclude the series on April 5, Marilyn Garst will give a recital on her principal solo instrument, the harpsichord, playing works by Bach, Couperin and D. Scarlatti. Like the series at St. Mark’s, individual and season tickets are available.

The San Juan Symphony Orchestra will open its season Sept. 29 at the Community Concert Hall with a jaunty theme: “Lollapalooza.” Israeli cellist Inbal Segev will return to perform Friedrich Gulda’s Cello Concerto. For an Austrian composer known intimately as Fritz to his friends in the twin worlds of jazz and classical music, Gulda was a contemporary phenomenon, a modern match of sorts to the Romantic era’s Ludwig von Beethoven.

Gulda lived an intense and colorful life. He died in 2000 and left behind a modern legacy of crossover performances, compositions and recordings with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

Making good on the Lollapalooza theme, conductor Arthur Post plans to combine Gulda’s rousing Cello Concerto with Beethoven’s equally rousing Symphony No. 7.

Post will explain it all at his usual pre-concert lecture Wednesday at Toh-Atin Gallery.

Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at jreynolds@durangoherald.com.