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Franz Schubert, according to Biography.com, only had one public concert in his life. But thanks to Juanita Madland, Claudia Hilko, Susan Mendel and Alicia Solomon, he will be given a second.
The group of musicians will host a benefit concert to the Los Alamos Arts Council at 4 p.m. Sunday at Fuller Lodge. The concert is a tribute to the composer and is titled, “Schubertiad.”
Despite the fact that Schubert died in 1828, his music and the era he lived in will come to life during the concert. To accomplish this, the performers will wear period dresses to portray an actual Schubert Party, will perform as though Schubert was present and will transport the audience back in time to 1797-1828.
Schubert’s life was short, but he wrote 1,200 pieces in his life of 31 years. Weekly, his friends gathered with him to play the music he wrote during that week. Schubert hardly ever performed as he was so busy churning out music.
He said, “I wake up, I work on a composition until I am through with it, then I start another. That is what I do all day.”
“His ‘spirit’ will be with us as we converse with him about his singing Lieder and piano compositions,” Madland said. This is the first of three Schubertiads. The audience is invited to talk with the performers over refreshments.
Madland began piano at age three. Later, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance and music education. She was New Mexico Professional Music Teacher of the Year and earned Permanent Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. She taught kindergarten through grade 12 for 27 years and also at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos for 15years. At UNM, she created an international concert series that paid for the grand piano on campus. In June, she played in a YouTube Van Cliburn competition and performed in Minnesota.
Hilko is a local physical therapist for Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service. She has studied under Madland for the last eight years. She will be play three of Schubert’s waltzes for the performance.
Mendel has been playing piano since she was six years old. She was an accomplished musician through high school and studied music at Northwestern University. Though she chose to leave music for electrical engineering, Mendel has continued to play piano as a passion and as an accompanist. She recently began teaching piano part-time.
Solomon has appeared repeatedly over the past three decades with premier local arts organizations such as the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony and the Desert Chorale.
Since 2006, her performing group Opera Alta has presented programs of arias and ensembles from opera and musical theater, a condensed “H.M.S. Pinafore,” and an original sci-fi musical.
She is music director for the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos and teaches voice, piano and guitar.
Tickets for the concert are $20 and $5 for children 12 and younger. They are available at CB Fox, the LAAC office or at the door.