Schmitt Music presents a special series of concerts on Facebook Live
Zahari Metchkov is a pianist, organist and educator, currently the Associate Professor of Music Piano, Organ & Music Theory at Colorado State University Pueblo. He is Artistic Director of festivals and series, including the Piano Conversations Concert Series, and is the president of the Southern Colorado Music Teachers Association. Michael Schneider is a world-renowned classical pianist, active collaborator, educating artist, and composer. He has performed throughout North America and abroad in Europe and South America at prestigious venues, and has been teaching piano for over 30 years.
Please tune in to Schmitt Music Denver’s Facebook page on Thursday evening as Metchkov and Schneider present a special program:
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Suites for Two Pianos
Suite No. 1
The night… the love
Suite No. 2
Introduction (Ala Marcha)
Both a pianist and an organist, Dr. Zahari Metchkov has performed at such venues as New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center. He has concertized in Israel, Bulgaria, and the United States. Dr. Metchkov released his first CD in 2008 - a recording of works for piano and orchestra by Franz Liszt and Cesar Franck and a second recording project featuring solo works for piano and organ completed in the Spring of 2014.
Native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Dr. Metchkov holds BM in piano and organ performance, MM in piano performance, and DMA in piano performance with a minor in music theory from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010 he joined Colorado State University-Pueblo’s department of music in the capacity of Assistant Professor of Music, teaching applied piano, piano related courses, as well as music theory. He was the 2013 recipient of the CSU-Pueblo’s Outstanding Service and Transformative Leadership Award and the 2014 recipient of CHASS Outstanding Faculty of the Year. Dr. Metchkov has also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as Youngstown State University. He directed the Cleveland based Ensemble Secundum Silentium, serves as an artistic adviser for the San Angelo Piano Festival, and in May 2009 co-directed the Youngstown State University Intensive Piano Workshop.
Currently Dr. Metchkov is the Artistic Director of the Pueblo Keyboard Arts Festival and Piano Conversations Concert Series, Pueblo, as well as Rocky Mountain Music Alliance Concert Series, Colorado Springs. As a performer he has appeared in the Mostly Mozart Music Festival, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Bridgehampton Music Festival, Sofia Music Weeks, Varna Summer Music, Geneva Chamber Music Festival, New Year’s Music Days Festival, and San Angelo Piano Festival. He has appeared live on radio CPR-Denver, WCLV-Cleveland, Bulgarian National Radio, Radio Alma Mater-Sofia.
Placing high priority over the education of young pianists in Southern Colorado, Dr. Metchkov is the President-Elect for the Colorado State Music Teachers Association, a chapter of the Music Teachers National Association. He is a frequent guest adjudicator and clinician to numerous piano festivals in Colorado and strives to promote well structured study of music, specifically piano, to young people of all ages and their families. He maintains a private studio, whose members have garnered awards in state competitions and festivals.
Dr. Metchkov has been enjoying an active artistic life as a soloist, chamber artist, as well as church musician. He has been a guest artist with the Pueblo Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Colorado State University-Pueblo Orchestra, Colorado State University-Pueblo Wind Ensemble, Suburban Symphony, University Circle Chorale, University Circle Wind Ensemble, and Pleven Philharmonic. 2016-2017 projects include Brahms First Piano Concerto, Franck Symphonic Variations, Mozart Triple Piano Concerto, Brahms and Ligeti Horn Trios and others. Besides music, he also enjoys skiing and is steadily working on climbing Colorado’s fifty-four 14ers. Learn more about Zahari at zaharimetchkov.org.
Critics have hailed Michael Schneider as “a pianist with exceptional insight” and a “performer with great panache” in performances across the states and abroad. Michael has performed in legendary venues such as the château of George Sand in Nohant, France, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Library of Congress. He has been a featured guest artist at the International Chopin Festival in France, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, directed by Lukas Foss, ‘Pianotune’ Festival in Brussels, the Hungarian Festival in Cancun, Mexico, the American Liszt Society Annual Conference, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, CA, and for seven summers was an audience favorite at Pianofest in the Hamptons. On February 5, 2011, with one day’s notice, Michael gave a full length solo recital in place of the cancelled San Angelo Symphony Concert due to inclement weather.
In recent years, Michael has performed the Liszt E-flat Concerto with the San Angelo Symphony, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Irving New Philharmonic Orchestra, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F with the San Angelo and Plano Symphonies, the Brahms D minor Concerto with the Lewisville Lake Symphony, and the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos with the UT University Orchestra. Other concerto appearances have included the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Richardson Symphony Orchestra (TX), the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra (OK), the Harding University Orchestra (AK), and the Big Spring Symphony (TX).
Championing the music of Franz Liszt, Michael is quickly becoming known for his portrayal of Franz Liszt in his monodrama “Liszt and the Last Years”, which combines an original script based off of factual events with performances of works completed with a PowerPoint backdrop. This has been featured at the annual conventions of the Music Teachers Association of California and the Texas Music Teachers Association as well as performed at the University of Texas at Austin for numerous donor groups. Other lecture/presentations Michael has given include “Gottschalk: Life and Works”, “The Common Mistakes of Practicing”, and “Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue” – a children’s book by Anna Harwell Celenza read by Michael while providing soundtrack from the piano.
As a collaborator, he has performed recitals with violinists Frank Almond (concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony), Jun Iwasaki (concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony), cellist Boris Andrianov (3rd prize winner of Tchaikovsky Competition) and many others. He is a regular performer with Mélange Musical, a chamber series in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. In July 2010, with only a few days notice, he performed with several stars in the trombone world, including full recitals with Jorgen van Rijen (international recording artist), Ian Bousfield (principal trombonist of the Vienna Philharmonic), and Jacques Mauger (trombonist of the Paris Opera and teacher at the Paris Conservatoire). In 2014, Michael finished recording a CD entitled “Multiple Personae: The Family of Clarients” for clarinet and piano by Virko Baley with clarinetist Dr. Timothy Bonenfant on the TNC Classical Label.
Michael is the creator and artistic director of the San Angelo Piano Festival, a classical music festival in West Texas with an emphasis on the piano repertoire. Annual events include guest artist recitals, impromptu musicales, a composition contest, and a young artist program that includes a competition, master classes and a showcase recital. Michael is also a co-creator of the Austin Piano Festival, established in 2013.
Michael holds degrees from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Dr. Pamela Mia Paul, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Mr. Paul Schenly. After two years as adjunct Professor of Piano at Youngstown State University in Ohio, he returned to Texas to study with Anton Nel at the University of Texas at Austin where he received his Doctorate of Music in May 2011. In the fall of 2010, Michael guest taught in place of artist-in-residence Dr. Michelle Schumann at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He has also been adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and Concordia University-Austin. Learn more about Michael at pianomike.com