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Colorado Piano Trio

Our 2024 Spring Chamber Music Series will explore some of the most beautiful repertoire in the intimate sanctuary of Greeley's First United Methodist Church.


We are excited to welcome back the one of best chamber ensembles of our region: the Colorado Piano Trio, with an exciting program of rarely performed music by women composers.

 Sunday, March 10, 2024 | 2:00 PM | First United Methodist Church Greeley



Lera Aurebach (b. 1973)

Piano Trio (1992/1994)

Kaija Saariaho (1952–2023)

Piano Trio “Light and Matter” (2014)


Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

Piano Trio (1921)


Clara Schuman (1819–1896)

Scherzo & Andante from Piano Trio, op. 17 (1846)

About the Artists:

The Colorado Piano Trio is an international ensemble based at the University of Northern Colorado. American violinist Jubal Fulks, Polish pianist Adam Żukiewicz, and Slovenian cellist Gal Faganel began their artistic collaboration in 2016. Since then, they have performed across Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, collecting enthusiastic reviews and invitations for future performances. Upcoming projects include the recording of a debut album, an east coast concert tour including a performance at Carnegie Hall, as well as performances in California. The trio is commissioning new music by Polish, Slovenian, and American composers. As enthusiastic teachers, members of the trio are involved in a variety of outreach, arts advocacy, and educational projects.

Jubal Fulks is an award-winning and critically acclaimed artist and teacher who performs music from every historical era through the works of today.  As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras across the United States and has been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” As a recitalist and chamber musician, he has appeared at numerous summer festivals and concert series in the United States and has toured extensively in Europe and Asia. Fulks is violinist of the Colorado Piano Trio, which has performed across the United States including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Orchestral experience includes GRAMMY-nominated performances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in the San Francisco Bay Area and, in New York City, at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Alice Tully Hall, in the Jazz at Lincoln Center series, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He is a leader of Sacramento-based baroque chamber orchestra Sinfonia Spirituosa, and performs regularly with Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Dr. Fulks has taught at the University of Alabama, Luther College (Iowa), State University of New York-Stony Brook and Michigan Technological University, and he continues to conduct master classes at universities throughout the country. During the summer months he teaches and performs in Burlington, Vermont at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and has been on the summer faculties at Kinhaven Music School, Montecito International Music Festival, and at Lutheran Summer Music Festival in Iowa. He is a leader of the Sacramento-based baroque chamber orchestra “Sinfonia Spirituosa,” and violinist of the Colorado Piano Trio, both of which groups maintain an active recording and national recital schedule. Dr. Fulks is currently Professor of Violin at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was named the 2022 College of Performing and Visual Arts Scholar of the Year. He lives in Greeley, Colorado with his wife, hornist Lauren Varley, and their children Patrick, Finnian, Oliver, and Flannery.


A native of Poland, Adam Piotr Żukiewicz has concertized across Europe, United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Macau, and his performances were broadcast in the USA, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, and Poland. Mr. Żukiewicz consistently receives critical acclaim, while his innovative programming - focused on exploring connections between the popular and the lesser known gems of the traditional and contemporary repertoire - continues to engage and inspire audiences around the world. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Adam Piotr Żukiewicz performs internationally in the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Hong Kong, and Poland. Highlights of recent performances include recitals at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London (UK), Royal Łazienki Theatre in Warsaw, and Chicago Cultural Center (Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series), concerts with the Loveland Orchestra, Greeley Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Sinfonietta, Toronto Concert Orchestra, and Celebrity Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Żukiewicz has performed in some of the most important concert venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Residenztheater in Munich, Goldensaal at the Musikverein in Vienna, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, KKL Luzern, and many others. He is also a frequent contributor to Colorado Public Radio, where his broadcast recordings can be heard on air and online in Colorado and beyond. Adam Żukiewicz holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Toronto and Masters of Music degree from Indiana University. He has also studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK, and was a music scholar at the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy. Mr. Żukiewicz is a founder and Artistic Director of the Intercollegiate Piano Competition of the West and Beethoven in the Rockies: Concert Series.


Gal Faganel is an award-winning cello performer and recording artist, and an acclaimed teacher. He has performed extensively as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout the United States and in Europe as well as in Asia. His performances and recordings have been praised in the press for “exceptionally sensitive interpretation,” his “powerful and beautiful tone,” and “brilliant virtuosity and youthful vigor.” He is a winner of numerous national and international competitions including the International Cello Competition “Antonio Janigro” in Croatia, the American String Teacher’s Association Competition, and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition in the United States. Faganel has been researching, cataloging, performing, and recording music for cello by Slovenian composers. He has recorded for many labels and radio stations internationally. With a doctorate from the University of Southern California under the mentorship of Eleonore Schoenfeld, he was previously the principal cellist of the Phoenix Symphony. Since 2010, he taught at the University of Northern Colorado where he has greatly enjoyed mentoring cellists, coaching chamber music, and collaborating with colleagues in the Colorado Piano Trio. He appears as a guest at numerous institutions around the world and most recently began teaching at the University of Ljubljana Academy of Music. In addition to being a devoted cello pedagogue, Faganel loves coaching chamber music, frequently trains musicians in preparation for orchestral auditions, mentors developing musicians, and leads career development courses and workshops.

Learn more about the trio, artists, and their mission at

Hanguang Wang


Lera Auerbach (b. 1973)

Piano Trio No. 1, op. 28 (1992/1994)


Lera Auerbach was born on 21 October 1973 in the city of Chelyabinsk in west-central Russia, close to the Ural Mountains. Something of a prodigy, at the age of 12 she wrote her first opera, which was performed in numerous cities of the former Soviet Union. As the winner of several piano competitions, Auerbach was invited on a concert tour to the USA in 1991. She decided to stay there and was one of the last artists to leave the former Soviet Union. Particularly in her early output she was inspired by the creativity of Shostakovich when faced with adversity: “Life is hard, but it has its wonderful moments. That’s what Shostakovich is like.”


She graduated from New York's Juilliard School in piano (under Joseph Kalichstein) and composition (under Milton Babbitt and Robert Beaser). She also studied Comparative Literature at Columbia University and earned a piano diploma at the Hanover Conservatoire. In 2002 she made her Carnegie Hall debut, performing her Suite for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra with Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica.


Since then Auerbach has composed more than 100 works across every genre. She gives concerts as a pianist and has created numerous literary works, including three Russian poetry volumes and a book of modern aphorisms in English. She has also recently appeared as a visual artist and conductor. (Biography sourced from Boosey & Hawkes website.)


"In 1991, at the age of seventeen, during a concert tour in America, six months before the fall of the Soviet Union, I decided to defect. The following year (1992), when the first two movements of this trio were written, was perhaps the most difficult of my life. I was alone, and did not know whether I would ever see my family again. Many of the works of that period were not completed until a few years later; this trio is one of them. The last movement, Presto, was written 4 years later, in 1996." (Program Notes by Lera Auerbach)

Kaija Saariaho (1952–2023)

Piano Trio “Light and Matter” (2014)


I have written many trios for different combinations, but have been hesitant to compose for a traditional piano trio, maybe because of its long and weighty tradition.

When I finally decided to approach this instrumentation, my first musical ideas were of light and rapid nature, and I started to imagine a one movement perpetual motion piece. During the composition, I developed the form into three continuous sections, including more varied tempi and textures.

The starting point for the music is light kinetic energy, which is then developed into more dramatic gestures and rapid exchanges among the three instruments.

The piece advances in spinning motion, moving from the original luminous fabric into more thematic patterns or towards the inertia of slow choral textures, before returning into the original weightlessness and starting a new flickering spin.

As a result, we hear three musical elements - kinetic texture, thematic motives and slowly moving choral material - in constantly changing combinations and orchestrations.

I wrote this piece in New York, while watching from my window the changing light and colors of Morningside Park. Besides providing me with the name for the piece, perhaps that continuous transformation of light on the glinting leaves and the immobile trunks of the solid trees became the inspiration for the musical materials in this piece.

Light and Matter was commissioned by the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Library of Congress, Britten Sinfonia and Norrbotten NEO.


Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. She studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her studies and research at IRCAM have had a major influence on her music and her characteristically luxuriant and mysterious textures are often created by combining live music and electronics.

(Program notes and biography sourced from the composer's official website and related articles.)

Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

Piano Trio (1921)

Rebecca Clarke, a British-born musician and composer, is widely acclaimed as one of the most prominent female figures of her era. She entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1903 as a violinist but withdrew two years later when her harmony teacher proposed marriage; then joined the Royal College of Music began taking composition classes, where her talent earned her the distinction of becoming Sir Charles Villiers Stanford’s first female pupil. Encouraged by Stanford, she transitioned from violin to viola, studying under the esteemed British violist Lionel Tertis, a pivotal figure in establishing the viola as a solo instrument. However, the good times were short-lived, as Clarke’s studies were once again interrupted. This time, her father banished her from the family home during a dispute, cutting off her means of livelihood.


To support herself, Clarke embarked on a career as a performing violist, freelancing in London. In 1912, she made history as one of the first women selected for membership in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood. Praised by both professionals and the public, one review commended her viola playing, stating, “We have seldom heard a more beautiful tone and phrasing from a viola player.” Her teacher, Lionel Tertis, remarked after a performance, “Rebecca, you’ve saved the viola!”


Beyond her prowess as a performer, Clarke gained recognition as a composer in the late 1910s and 1920s. Aware of the gender bias in the music industry that limited opportunities for women, she wrote two remarkable works under the pseudonym “Anthony Trent” – the Viola Sonata (1919) and the Piano Trio (1921) – both of which won second places at the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival’s competition sponsored by American patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. Some Judges even mistakenly identified the Viola Sonata as the work of Ravel. Clark’s compositional repertoire encompasses chamber music, choral pieces, and solo songs, amounting to approximately 100 works, although only 20 were published in her lifetime. Her music echoes the themes of both waves of the feminist movement, providing a profound reflection of their ideals. Primarily composed during the first wave of feminism in England, her works experienced a resurgence in recognition and appreciation during the second wave of feminism in the United States.


The Piano Trio, comprising three movements, exhibits a style that navigates the musical space between late Romanticism and early atonality.  Infused with the influences of French music, particularly Ravel and Debussy, the piece is adorned with an impressionistic vocabulary and exotic elements like pentatonic and whole tone scales that weave in and out of the composition. In the first movement, a momentous announcement emanates as the piano initiates with the deepest bass C, followed by a succession of sixteenth-note dissonances. Notably, the subtlety of its arrangement transcends its role as merely the theme of the first movement; it resurfaces as a recurring motif throughout all three movements, each time presented in distinct variations. The slow movement introduces a softer and more soothing ambiance compared to the first. Strings mournfully hover over the shimmering piano part. The Finale introduces modernist irony, punctuated by heartrending outbursts. Much like many compositions from the 1920s, this piece is considered a reaction to the panic that ensued after the First World War. The immense physical devastation and mental anguish caused by this unprecedented conflict in human history are echoed in the profound tones and complex emotions embedded in the music.


Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964)

Moon Jig (2005)


Traditionally, a Jig (or Gigue) has been a lively dance with leaping movements, comprised of two sections each repeated.   Somewhat of a cross between "Jazz" (Monk, Coltrain, Tatum, Miles, etc.) and "Classical" (Bartok, Brahms, Stravinsky, etc.) MOON JIG can be heard as a series of outgrowths and variations, which are organic and, at every level, concerned with transformations and connections.  The piano serves as the protagonist as well as fulcrum point on and around which all musical force-fields rotate, bloom and proliferate.


The piano part starts with (and returns four times with) a low register jig, which is an earthy, punchy, rhythmic, asymmetrical walking bass.  The second, contrasting section (which is also repeated 4 times) is always led by the strings who play long animated, expressive lines.

This very short work alternates 5 times total between these two sections: PIANO JIG — TUTTI — PIANO JIG — TUTTI — PIANO JIG, and so forth, yet as the repetitions proceed, the two musics eventually blend together. One clear-cut example is when the string pizzicatos blend into the low-register, jazzy piano rhythms.   A multifaceted merging process finally results in one long sweep of music rushing to the end in the highest registers of the trio, as if the Jig leaped skyward and moonward.


Moon Jig, commissioned by the Music Institute of Chicago, was premiered by The Lincoln Trio on May 5, 2005 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago at a private party and is most often performed with its companion trio ...a circle around the sun...


Augusta Read Thomas, born in 1964 in Glen Cove, New York, was the Mead Composer-in-Residence for Pierre Boulez and Daniel Barenboim at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 through 2006. In 2007, her Astral Canticle was one of the two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. The “Colors of Love” CD by Chanticleer, which features two of Thomas' compositions, won a Grammy award. Currently, she holds the position of a University Professor of Composition in Music and the College at The University of Chicago.


(Program notes and composer’s biography retrieved from the composer’s website.)


Clara Schuman (1819–1896)

Scherzo from Piano Trio, op. 17 (1846)


The well-known Clara Schumann, whose image was once printed on the 100 Deutsche Mark, is an idealized figure in the public eye. As a pianist, she reached the pinnacle of her time, setting performance standards that continue to this day, including playing recitals and concertos from memory. As a wife, she not only took care of her husband but also, with her exceptional playing ability, greatly spread Schumann’s musical ideals and piano works. As the mother of eight children and the primary breadwinner for the family, she did not give up on her own music pursuit, touring and giving concerts virtually her entire life, proving that even in that era, she could overcome various difficulties while balancing career and family. Of course, the hardships involved are self-evident.


However, as a female composer, Clara had long harbored many self-doubts about this identity. In her diary, she often expressed such self-doubts, stating, “I once believed that I had creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not wish to compose—there never was one able to do it… May Robert always create; that must always make me happy.” Thankfully, Schumann was always very supportive of Clara’s composing career. The two as the term coined by themselves, “creative partnership”, were not only like-minded musicians, mutually relying on each other physically and emotionally, but also complemented each other in music and creativity. Clara’s works exhibit learned and innovative compositional techniques demonstrating both her understanding of past masters and of the new romantic sound, although, some may think “the marriage, all but disrupted the uniquely creative relationship between Clara and Robert.”


The Piano Trio, Op. 17, was composed in 1846 when Clara was 27 years old. Unable to travel due to Robert’s health and her duties as a mother, the musician had to cancel her concert tour and she composed this piece amidst household chores and Robert’s assisting jobs. In the preceding years, she had immersed herself in practicing and studying works by composers such as Bach, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, alongside her husband, providing Clara with an expansive knowledge of symphonic and chamber music unlike any other concert pianist of the time. This Piano Trio, as a result of studies in fugues and daily exercises in counterpoint and also can show how Clara’s musical models influence on her music. Historians highly praise this trio, considering it her greatest compositional achievement. The famous nineteenth-century violinist Joseph Joachim wrote to Clara: “I would rather have heard your trio. I recollect a fugato in the last movement and remember that Mendelssohn once had a big laugh because I would not believe that a woman could have composed something so sound and serious.”


Serving as the Trio's second movement, the “Scherzo” adheres to the stylistic framework set by other chamber works of the early nineteenth century, manifesting itself in the guise of a minuet and trio. The minuet is a rustic and spirited dance, defined by the violin's playful dotted rhythms. Meanwhile, the interjected trio exhibits a more lyrical nature, not devoid of metrical intricacies across the bar that lend a stretchier quality to the music.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the door prior to the start of the event.
Free Tickets available at the door for active military personnel, veterans, individuals with disabilities (ADA), children, and students with a valid Student ID card. 
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