Apr 06 2014
From Darkness to Light presented by Classically Alive at Classically Alive, Colorado Springs CO

From Darkness to Light

Presented by Classically Alive at Classically Alive

Classically Alive presents From Darkness To Light, music of Ofer Ben-Amots, the Chantilly Codex, Couperin, Vivaldi, Weber & Stravinsky, plus Sound Poems of Hugo Ball.

Andrew Stevens, clarinet
Colin McAllister, guitar
Abe Minzer, piano
Ofer Ben-Amots, composer, guest speaker

Come join us for a most unusual and memorable evening with Classically Alive. Our musical journey spans 750 years of music from late 14th-century French polyphony of the Chantilly Codex through a new exciting trio for clarinet, guitar and piano by local composer, Ofer Ben-Amots.

Highly regarded international composer Ofer Ben-Amots will discuss the trio and its Jewish Klezmer, Bulgarian and Ladino roots. Classically Alive is also delighted to have 2 new performers on the program- both highly distinguished artists: Andrew Stevens on clarinet and Colin McAllister on guitar (please see their most impressive bios).

Our program starts with a riotous Dadaist work by Hugo Ball performed by reader/actor Colin McAllister, which then segues into Three Pieces for solo clarinet by Stravinsky. Next, Colin McAllister will play 2 guitar arrangements from the 14th-century Chantilly Codex, and a work from French Baroque master, Francoise Couperin. Abe Minzer will then join Colin on the beloved Vivaldi Guitar Concerto. Closing the first half Andrew Stevens will dazzle the audience with the brilliant Romantic showpiece, the Clarinet Concertino by Weber.

After intermission, the second half will be devoted to the Ofer Ben-Amots “From Darkness to Light” trio for clarinet, guitar and piano. Ben-Amots always presents with warmth, humor and deep insight serving as a great introduction to his trio, which in itself will reach far within.

Please make your reservations promptly – our events do fill up, and often quickly.


Hugo Ball Sound Poems, Colin McAllister, reader/actor
Igor Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet
Chantilly Codex (late 14th Century Polyphony), arr. Colin McAllister
Puis Que Je Sui Fumeux
En Nul Estat
Francoise Couperin Les Barricades Mystérieuses, guitar arr. D. Russell
Antonio Vivaldi Concerto in D Major for guitar and piano
Carl Maria von Weber Concertino for clarinet and piano
Ofer Ben-Amots “From Darkness to Light” Trio for clarinet, guitar and piano.


Under the sponsorship of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Classically Alive, hosts over 60 musicians and other artists, and features diverse monthly at-home music/arts salons, in addition to programs at venues across Colorado. See Concert Schedule for all past and future events. Highlights of the 2010 season included a 5-concert Chopin 200th Birthday Festival with artists such as Lawrence Leighton Smith and Lei Weng, appearances by the Confluence String Quartet, South American guitarist/composer Marcelo Coronel, an all-JS Bach program and more. Highlights of 2009 included opera, jazz, and music from the US, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Japan and Argentina. The 2008 season included collaborations with American Cancer Society, and the Dos Americas guitar duo. The 2006 & 2007 salons featured the complete Schubert song cycles, Mostly Mozart, and 7 programs on Brahms and Schumann. Beyond the great food and camaraderie, the salons host many styles of music, including contemporary, and provides a venue for painters, poets and discussion.



Andrew Stevens:

Clarinetist Andrew Stevens, started the clarinet at age seven with his father Jack Stevens, long time Denver Public Schools music teacher and Director of the Denver Youth Musicians. Andy (as he likes to go by) later studied with Richard Joiner, former principal clarinet with the Denver Symphony and Donald Ambler former bass clarinetist of the Denver/Colorado Symphony.
As a junior in high school, he won the International Clarinet Competition after being named runner up the previous year in the same competition. After high school he pursued his Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of renowned clarinetist and pedagogue D. Stanley Hasty. He also studied the bass clarinet with William Osseck. While at Eastman he toured extensively with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on the East Coast in addition to the first EWE State Department tour of Japan and Southeast Asia with Donald Hunsberger. Several professional recordings of the Wind Ensemble were made during the years that he was a member of the clarinet section.

He participated in the “Festival of Two Worlds” in Charleston, S.C. and Spoleto, Italy, and has held positions in the Denver Chamber and Colorado Ballet Orchestras. He also served as principal clarinet with the Central City Opera for most of his twenty year tenure with that organization.

A member of the Colorado Symphony's clarinet section since 1992, Andy is also very active in the Colorado Symphony's educational outreach programs that have enlightened thousands of children over the years. He has, on several occasions, performed with the “Up Close and Musical” ensemble throughout the region as well. More recently he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival as well as the Rochester Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Colorado Chamber Players and the Colorado Music Festival.

As a soloist, he has appeared with the Denver Symphony, the Rocky Mountain Symphony, Colorado Wind Ensemble, Denver Concert Band and the Denver Municipal Band, one of the oldest musical organizations in the United States.

He has taught at the Lamont School of Music, Metropolitan State College, C.U. Denver, Loretto Heights College, Colorado Academy and the Denver School of the Arts in addition to maintaining a private studio at home. He also has an affinity for re-facing and restoring woodwind mouthpieces

In addition, Andy enjoys fly fishing, amateur astronomy, hiking and camping with his family in the Rocky Mountains.

Colin McAllister:

Guitarist Colin McAllister enjoys a rich musical life as a soloist, chamber musician, conductor and educator. Past performance highlights include appearances at the Monday Evening Concerts, New Music Miami, San Francisco sfSound, SoundON Festival of Modern Music, New Music DePaul, CSU-Bakersfield Guitar Arts Series, CSU-Fullerton New Music Festival, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Darmstadt International Music Festival, Festival Hispanoamericano de Guitarra, Dallas Festival of Modern Music, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico City, Tijuana Innovadora, Seattle Transport Jazz, Bohem Ragtime Festival, Breda Jazz Festival, Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS), San Diego Opera, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

His repertoire spans the gamut of historical periods and styles: from the late fourteenth-century polyphony of the ars subtilior to recent modernist works as well as jazz. He is frequently in demand as a chamber musician and has worked with many groups including NOISE, soundSCAPE, Art of Élan and the Veronika String Quartet. Recent world and U.S. premieres have included works by Christopher Adler, Matthew Burtner, Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Lachenmann and Pamela Madsen.

Colin has recorded for the Innova, Albany, Old King Cole, Vienna Modern Masters, Carrier and Tzadik record labels. He has two publications with Productions d’OZ: The Vanguard Guitar and Fourteenth Century Counterpoint: Music of the Chantilly Codex. The Vanguard Guitar was praised by Soundboard magazine as “a great success… not only a primer of modern techniques, but also a library of current performance practices.”

He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and currently serves as the Coordinator of the Music Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and guitarist/conductor of the Peak Frequency Creative Arts Collective.

For over ten years, Colin has avidly pursued studies in Latin and history, particularly ancient Rome, Late Antiquity, Patristics and the development of Christianity. More recently, he has begun focusing on late antique and early Medieval commentators on the Apocalypse of St. John, including Tyconius (fl. 370-390), Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Primasius of Hadrumetum (s. vi), Apringius of Beja (s. vi), the Venerable Bede (672-735), Smaragdus of St. Mihiel (c. 760-840), Berengaudus (s. ix) and Haimo of Auxerre (s. ix).

In Fall 2013, Colin commenced a Master of Arts in History at my home institution, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. As a thesis, he has proposed a translation and commentary of portions of the above texts. His faculty advisors in this work will be Mssrs. Brian Duvick and Roger Martinez (Ancient and Medieval history, respectively) with outside help from Dr. Francis Gumerlock, a fine Latinist and a noted authority on eschatology and Medieval commentaries on the book of Revelation.

For more on Colin McAllister, please visit: http://ColinMcAllister.com

Abe Minzer:

Pianist Abe Minzer earned a master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, a doctorate in music at West Virginia University, and has taught at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He plays concerts throughout the US, and has appeared as piano soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Currently, Abe Minzer teaches piano, music history and music theory at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Also, Dr. Minzer is on the faculty at Pikes Peak Community College where he teaches Private Piano, Group Piano, Music Theory, and serves as staff pianist/accompanist.

Dr. Abe Minzer often performs works of living composers, including world premieres of compositions by Jorge Cardoso, Jim Bosse and Ofer Ben-Amots. For more information, please visit: http://ClassicallyAlive.com For more information on Abe Minzer – CDs, samples, reviews and comments, please visit: http://abeminzer.com

Ofer Ben-Amots:

Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1955, Composer Ofer Ben-Amots gave his first piano concert at age nine and at age sixteen was awarded first prize in the Chet Piano Competition. Later, following composition studies with Joseph Dorfman at Tel Aviv University, he was invited to study at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland. There he studied with Pierre Wismer and privately with Alberto Ginastera. Ben-Amots is an alumnus of the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany, where he studied with Martin C. Redel and Dietrich Manicke and graduated with degrees in composition, music theory, and piano. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Ben-Amots studied with George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Ph.D. in music composition. Currently on the faculty of Colorado College, Dr. Ben-Amots is a Professor of music composition and theory.

Ofer Ben-Amots’ compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and festivals Worldwide. His music has been performed by such orchestras as the Munich Philharmonic, ÖRF – Austrian Radio Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra, Zürich Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Moscow Camerata, Heidelberg, Erfurt, Brandenburg, the Filarmonici di Sicili, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Milan Chamber Orchestra, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Symphony among others. His compositions have been professionally recorded by the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony, the BBC Singers, and the renowned Czech choir Permonik. Ben-Amots has received commissions and grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Maurice Amado Foundation, Schleswig-Holstein Music festival, Fuji International Music Festival in Japan, Delta Ensemble from Amsterdam, Assisi Musiche Festival, and many others.

Ofer Ben-Amots is the winner of the 1994 Vienna International Competition for Composers. His chamber opera, Fool’s Paradise, was premiered in Vienna during the 1994 festival Wien modern and has become subsequently part of the 1994/95 season of Opernhaus Zürich. He is recipient of the 1988 Kavannagh Prize for his composition Fanfare for Orchestra and the Gold Award at South Africa’s 1993 Roodepoort International Competition for Choral Composition. His Avis Urbanus for amplified flute was awarded First Prize at the 1991 Kobe International Competition for Flute Composition in Japan, and a required composition at the 1993 Kobe Flute Performance Competition. In 1999, Ben-Amots was awarded the Aaron Copland Award and the Music Composition Artist Fellowship by the Colorado Council on the Arts. In 2004 he won the Festiladino, an international contest for Judeo-Spanish songs, a part of the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. Dr. Ben-Amots is a member of the Advisory Board and the Editorial Board of the Milken Foundation American-Jewish Music Archive. In addition, he is a Jerusalem Fellow of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity and its Artistic Director for North America since 1997.

Ofer Ben-Amots’ works have been repeatedly recognized for their emotional and highly personal expression. The interweaving of folk elements with contemporary textures, along with his unique imaginative orchestration, creates the haunting dynamic tension that permeates and defines Dr. Ben-Amots’ musical language. His music has been published by Baerenreiter, Kallisti Music Press, Muramatsu Inc., Dorn, and Tara Publications. It can be heard on Naxos, Vantage, Plæne, Stylton, and Music Sources recording labels.

For more on Ofer Ben-Amots, please visit: http://OferBenAmots.com

Under the sponsorship of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Classically Alive hosts over 60 musicians and other artists, and features diverse monthly at-home music/arts salon concerts which include dinner and drinks. Founder, director, and pianist, Dr. Abe Minzer performs along with many top musicians of the Pikes Peak region, as well as renowned visiting artists on the national and international scene. Classically Alive hosts a wide range of styles including classical, contemporary, popular styles, jazz, and world music.

Classically Alive is thrilled with the recent acquisition of a 9-foot Bechstein concert grand piano, an instrument of highest quality. A tremendous thank you goes to both Elvie Davis and Diane Petersen for making the opportunity possible. Also, a special thank you goes to Fisher Piano Movers and their caring team for their most expert and professional work in moving the Bechstein to its new Classically Alive home.

Admission Info

$30 includes dinner/drinks and concert, $10 Students. Please RSVP.

Email: aminzer@comcast.net

Dates & Times

2014/04/06 - 2014/04/06

Location Info

Classically Alive

8 Broadmoor Hills Drive , Colorado Springs, CO 80906