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Friends and Family Series to feature internationally renowned pianist this weekend

Judith Lynn Stillman rehearses with cello player John Sant' Ambrogio at a home in Steamboat Springs Thursday. Stillman and Sant' Ambrogio will be featured in this weekend's Friend and Family Concert Series event "Bach to Rach"
John F. Russell

If You Go...

What: Friends and Family Concert Series Presents: “Bach to Rach,” featuring Judith Lynn Stillman

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

— Spanning more than four centuries of classical music, the Friday and Family Series performance “Bach to Rach” will take place this weekend with a guest appearance by renowned pianist Judith Lynn Stillman.

With the passing of each century throughout the night, audience members will be witness to the music that was created during times of tremendous challenge and turmoil by some of the most influential composers of classical music.

If You Go…

What: Friends and Family Concert Series Presents: “Bach to Rach,” featuring Judith Lynn Stillman



When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.



“A friend once said that when you have these incredible challenges, the art that you produce can be some of the greatest, because they’ve overcome these incredible challenges,” said John Sant’Ambrogio, the featured cellist for the Friends and Family performance. “The musical journey the program will go through is very interesting, and I think people will really enjoy it.”

The composers vary from Bach to Beethoven to Chopin to Rachmaninov and follow four distinct categories of music, baroque, classic, romantic and contemporary, each quintessential to the history of music.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the two musicians will take the stage of the Chief Theater. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $5 for students; they are available at Shoe Chalet and Boutique, online or at the door.

Not only will the composition of each piece be striking in and of itself, each musician will convey their depth of knowledge, experience and ability.

“She has an incredible ability to phrase and bring out this beauty that you wouldn’t normally see; it’s remarkable what she does,” Sant’Ambrogio said. “The first time we performed together, I could just hear it. My mother was a piano teacher, so I knew what was just good and what was great in a pianist.”

Stillman is known as a “poetess of the piano,” and nine-time Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis said she is “a rare find, a remarkable virtuoso, a consummate artist.” She started playing piano at the early age of three, and her passion for playing evolved into a career as a professional pianist.

She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and has garnered a number of awards and prestigious recognitions. In addition, she is an internationally renowned soloist, chamber musician, choral conductor, composer and artist-teacher. A number of albums, operas and symphony orchestras also feature her arrangements.

A few of the pieces in this weekend’s program will feature her compositions and excerpts from an opera she composed, also inspired by hardships.

Meant to be a performance for all ages, Stillman said “Bach to Rach” will be a performance with something for everyone to appreciate with each striking piece.

“I hope the audience will be touched and feel a deep connection in their hearts and that they will feel we are conduits of the great geniuses of the past, and hopefully, we will successfully deliver the messages of these great composers,” she said about the upcoming concert.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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