Performer to feature a few personal favorite tunes at concert

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By Kirsten Laskey

Similar to musicians who release albums with covers of popular songs, pianist Ron Grinage is hosting an entire concert featuring his favorite classical pieces.

He will perform during the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Brown Bag show, at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.

The program throws the spotlight on Russian composers. Grinage said four movements from “The Seasons,” by Tchaikovsky, “Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, Op. 87, No. 24,” by Shostakovich and three preludes from Op. 32 by Rachmaninov are his favorite pieces by these composers.

“They’re just beautiful. Really beautiful music,” he said.

Although Grinage is no stranger to the Brown Bag show, it has been some time since he has performed in the noontime concerts.

Grinage said his last performance was seven to eight years ago.

However, he is eager to return to the stage at Fuller Lodge.

“The Los Alamos audience is always so knowledgeable and supportive. They are a really great bunch to play for because they know so much about music and they are highly educated … and of course Fuller Lodge is a great place to play,” he said.

He encourages local music enthusiasts to come to the lodge to hear this music.

“It will be a chance to hear things they don’t often get to hear by these very well-known composers,” he said. “I tried to choose interesting pieces that are not done a lot.”

Grinage himself brings a lot of experience and knowledge of music to the table.  He earned a degree from Arizona State University in 1976 and a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1982. Both degrees are in piano performance. In 1983, he participated in the Taos School of Music in New Mexico and eventually settled in Santa Fe, where he is a performer and private pianist instructor.

Music was something Grinage was exposed to at an early age. In fact, it was a family affair. He explained his mother played piano and many aunts and uncles had pianos while he was growing up in the 1950s.

Grinage said he was always attracted to the instrument. In fact, he asked his parents for lessons, which is kind of unusual. Grinage joked that most of the time it’s the parents making the kid take piano lessons.

Despite any reluctance students may have about learning music, Grinage’s teaching seems to have an impact on them.

Grinage became a member of the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico in 1983. He was selected as the New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 2003. He also became nationally certified in 2004.

The Brown Bag show is a free concert and everyone is encouraged to attend.