JUNE 21, 2008
7:30 PM

Claude Debussy
Reflets dans l’eau

Nick Drake
Introduction- Bryter Layter

Claude Debussy
Hommage a Rameau

Nick Drake

Claude Debussy

Nick Drake

Claude Debussy
La Siouree dans Grenade

Nick Drake
Hanging on a Star

Claude Debussy


Nick Drake
One of These Things First

Claude Debussy
Poison d’or

Nick Drake
Place to Be

Claude Debussy
Et la Lune Descend sur la Temple

Nick Drake
Three Hours

Claude Debussy
Cloches a Travers les Fuilles

Nick Drake
From the Morning

Claude Debussey
Jardin sous la Pluie


From his groundbreaking transcriptions of Radiohead to his powerful interpretations of repertoire classic and contemporary, pianist Christopher O’Riley has redefined the possibilities of classical music. He has taken his unique vision to both traditional classical music venues and symphonic settings, as well as to entirely new audiences on the radio, at universities and even clubs. As host of the most popular classical music radio show on the air today, National Public Radio’s From the Top, Mr. O’Riley works and performs with the next generation of brilliant young musicians, demonstrating to audiences, with humor and a lack of pretense, that these young artists are as characterful and diverse in their personal lives as they are in their music-making.

An interpreter and arranger of some of the most important contemporary popular music of our time, Chris lives by the Duke Ellington adage, “there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad.” His first recording of Radiohead transcriptions, ”True Love Waits” (Sony/Odyssey) received 4 stars from Rolling Stone and was as critically acclaimed as it was commercially successful. His second set of music from the British alt-pop outfit, entitled “Hold Me to This: Christopher O’Riley plays the music of Radiohead,” was released on World Village/Harmonia Mundi to a similarly enthusiastic response. In April 2006, his third set of transcriptions was released on the same label. Entitled “Home to Oblivion; An Elliott Smith Tribute,” Mr. O’Riley this time tackles the deeply emotional and complex work from the troubled singer/songwriter who died prematurely in 2003.

Just as his radio show and his contemporary classical recordings have created extraordinary buzz, so have his performances in traditional classical context. In November 2004, Mr. O’Riley toured the U.S. with the world-famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra visiting 10 cities in 2 weeks, playing Bach, Mozart and Liszt concerti. He appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Minnesota Orchestra, the symphonies of Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Baltimore. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes Marin Alsop, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, John Williams, Neeme Järvi, Bobby McFerrin, Hans Graf, Yoel Levi, Hugh Wolff and Andrew Litton.

From early in his career, Mr. O’Riley was honored with many awards at the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Busoni and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Among his many solo releases are a Scriabin disc for Image Recordings and an all-Stravinsky disc on Elektra Nonesuch, featuring “Three Movements from Petrouchka” and Mr. O’Riley’s first foray into transcriptions with his own versions of “Apollo” and “Histoire du Soldat.” Other recordings include an RCA Victor Red Seal release of French repertoire for flute and piano with James Galway; his audacious debut disc of music of Busoni including the monumental ‘Fantasia Contrapuntistica’, a disc of Ravel’s solo works; a recording of Beethoven Piano Sonatas; a collaboration with cellist Carter Brey entitled “Le Grand Tango”; and the premiere recording of P.D.Q Bach’s “The Short-Tempered Clavier” by the fabled composer-satirist Peter Schickele. He has also recorded Richard Danielpour, Robert Helps, Todd Brief, Roger Sessions and John Adams.

In addition to his own transcriptions, Chris has ventured into alternate territory on tour with other classical artists. He has developed programs with fellow pianists: “Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos,” with the jazz pianist Fred Hersch; and “Los Tangueros,” with the Argentinian pianist Pablo Ziegler, a program of two-piano arrangements that feature Astor Piazzolla’s classic tangos. In 1999 he collaborated with choreographer and director Martha Clarke, who staged several stories of Anton Chekhov set to the piano works of Alexander Scriabin, performed live on stage by Mr. O’Riley. This production, titled “Vers la Flamme,” and was presented by Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, among others.  As Chris continues to create new directions in which to take the solo piano recital, the demand for his work internationally has continued to grow. He has performed his transcriptions at major jazz festivals in Istanbul, London, San Francisco and Sicily,as well as on a tour of the U.K. He recently appeared at the Belfast Festival and,in January 2006, he debuted in Australia, at the Sydney Festival in a program entitled“Shostakovich meets Radiohead,” as well as with Pablo Ziegler in “Los Tangueros” followed by solo concerts in Adelaide and Brisbane. Chris’ next transcriptions project features the music of the British folk singer, Nick Drake who died in 1974after releasing 3 albums, and yet influenced two generations of songwriters in his wake. O’Riley studied with Russell Sherman at the New England Conservatory of Music. Christopher O’Riley makes his home in Los Angeles. His radio show can be found on-line at His personal website is at .
JUNE14, 2008

Presentation to

Jean-Michel Damase (1928-  )
Sonata No. 1
Allegro moderato
Andante con moto
Allegro vivo


Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
from Las Cuartro Estaciones Portenas
(Four Seasons from Buenos Aires)
III Invierno (Winter)
IV Primavera (Spring)

LESLIE CHEN,  violin


Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832)
Sonatina Op.55 No.2


Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
Malaguena Op. 165 No. 3

Margaret Goldston (1932-2003)


Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000)
Cortadera, plumerito…
Aromito, Flor de Tusca
(from Flores Argentinas)

Se equivocó la paloma

(from Pájaros)

La rosa y el sauce

John Duke (1899-1984)
Loveliest of Trees
Shelling Peas
Here in this spot with you
I ride the great black horses
I carry your heart

MARIA ELENA ARMIJO, mezzo soprano

*generously unwritten by Wilma Salzman


Melissa Colgin Abeln is Associate Professor of flute and music literature at the University of Texas at El Paso and principal flutist of the El Paso Symphony. She also directs the UTEP Flautistas. Her education includes the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alabama and Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, one year of private study in Paris, France, and a performance fellowship at Yale School of Music. Her major teachers include Sheryl Cohen, Raymond Guiot, Torkil Bye, Karl Kraber, and Bernard Goldberg.

Dr. Colgin has held positions with the Sinfonica Orquesta Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, she was a winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist Competition and subsequently performed for their series. In Europe, she has made recital appearances with the Atelier Series and Concerts Accueil Musical in Paris, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. (Radio Oslo), and the Haydn Festspiel in Austria. Orchestral tours include ten city performances in Germany with the EPSO in 1996, and in 2000, a summer tour of five cities in Turkey with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.
She has authored articles for the Flutist Quarterly, Flute Talk, and the Marcel Moyse Society Journal and has presented at the NFA Convention (2007). In May 2008, she will return to Paris, France, for recitals at the Atelier Series and the American Embassy’s Cultural Outreach

International  concert harpist, Grace Cloutier, trained at The Julliard School, Yale University and in France. She has performed solo, chamber and orchestral répertoire within the major concert halls of the United States and Europe in addition to performances in the Middle East. She gave her solo debut at Carnegie Hall in spring 2006. In April 2008, she returned to Carnegie Hall to perform the world premiere of Aeolian Ballade for solo harp by David Del Tredici.

A recipient of numerous prestigious awards, Miss Cloutier's solo performances have graced the World Harp Congress in Prague 1999 and Geneva 2002. She has appeared as a soloist with both the Biava and the Calder String Quartets, holds a performing residency at UCLA and regularly appears in recital for the American Harp Society. Miss Cloutier, guest soloist for the Ukrainian National Music Festival, recently co-founded the first international harp competition based in the Ukraine.

As featured principal harpist on tour with the United Nations' Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, 2000-2002, Grace recorded for German national television's Stars von Morgan. The publication Saarbrücker Zeitung described Miss Cloutier's performances as possessing "...inspiring artfulness.“

Privileged to serve under the baton of many respected maestros including Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Julius Rudel, Andrew Litton, Alexander Vedernikov, and others, Miss Cloutier is an advocate of new music and has appeared numerous times as principal harp for the New Juilliard Ensemble, New Music New Haven, Continuum, Look and Listen Festival and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. She has recorded with composer Paul Halley at Tanglewood, performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall and has served since 2002 with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In April 2008, she played the world premiere of David Del Tredici’s Aeolian Ballade in a Carnegie Hall recital.

An active proponent for increased public awareness concerning the intrinsic value of music for all people at every stage of life, Grace Cloutier regularly gives workshops for the young and has received the Gluck Fellowship from The Juilliard School for her work with victims of AIDS, the elderly and children in the NYC metro region. In addition, she has been honored with a Presidential Point of Light Award for her contribution of musical inspiration at CT Hospice. Her outreach has extended to the El Paso Border region where she has worked with children and hospice where she is currently the principal harpist for the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and a professor with the University of Texas El Paso music department. She supports the El Paso Summer Music Festival as an advisor.

Miss Cloutier gratefully acknowledges Nancy Allen, Dr. Carrol McLaughlin, Isabelle Perrin, Susann McDonald, Sarah Bullen and Letizia Belmondo for their support and insight. Grace maintains an active concert schedule worldwide and celebrates her recording "Radiant" which was released by HIP Records in 2004. For more information about Miss Cloutier, please visit her website at

Lesley Chen, violin, Benjamin Vickers, cello, and Oscar Macchioni, piano, joined forces in 2007 to establish the Mesa St. Trio. Hailing from all parts of the world, their goal is to inspire audiences through creative and eclectic programs. In its short life, the Mesa St. Trio has been featured at the El Paso Conservatory, Las Cruces Friends of Chamber Music, and UTEP.

Born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts, violinist Lesley Chen enjoys a diverse musical career. For three years, she was a member of the Young Artists String Quartet at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Also an active performer and advocate of new music, she has collaborated with and premiered works by many contemporary composers, and performed with the Peabody Camerata in Baltimore as well as the Ensemble for Contemporary Music and the Current Sounds New Music Consortium in Santa Barbara. Her orchestral experience has included positions with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Her principal teachers include Yuval Yaron, Shirley Givens, Marylou Speaker-Churchill, Magdalena Richter, and Melba Sandberg. Also a composer, she has studied with Rodney Lister and Chen Yi. Lesley holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma in violin performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music in violin performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Currently, Lesley teaches at the El Paso Conservatory of Music and performs with the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. She is also Administrative Director of the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras.

Benjamin Vickers is a cellist in the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and is staff conductor of the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras. He is also a member of the faculty at the El Paso Conservatory of Music, teaching cello and music theory. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Benjamin holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of New Mexico; the Master of Music degree from Arizona State University; and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. He has performed with the Santa Fe and Roswell Symphony Orchestras in New Mexico; collaborated in performances of the works of George Crumb with the composer in attendance; and played in the pit for Ballet Arizona and the Bolshoi Ballet on a U.S. tour in Phoenix, Arizona. Benjamin was featured as continuo player in several scenes from Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppea, presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. by the University of Michigan; and performed on the multiple-Grammy winning recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Oscar Macchioni, a native of Argentina, is an active teacher, pianist, lecturer and adjudicator. He has performed extensively in his native Argentina, Italy, Poland, Mexico, and in the USA, which has included such notable locations as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, Steinway Hall in New York, and at the esteemed Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series in Chicago (broadcast available in YouTube). He has been sponsored by many prestigious national and international organizations including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Polish Government, the Organization of American States, and most recently he received the "StAr" award by the Music Teachers National Association

“The mind, the voice, and the commitment of a true singer…”

Maria Elena Armijo is a rising young performer whose colorful and unique sound has attracted many audiences. Her voice has been described as "beautiful, rich, and powerful" while her "sense of phrasing and detail is exquisite." Ms. Armijo’s commitment, honesty, and integrity on stage allow the audience to be swept up into the life of the character she is portraying. Fans in the know eagerly anticipate Ms. Armijo’s performances and always leave satisfied.

While earning a BM in Music Education at New Mexico State University in 2003, she was seen as Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Ms. Lily in Annie, and Dona Elvira in Don Giovanni. Ms. Armijo then studied vocal performance at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she completed her Master of Music degree in 2005. While there, she performed the roles of Enfant in L’enfant et les Sortiléges, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Venus in Orphée aux Enfers, and covered the role of Elmire in Tartuffe. Additional training included studies at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) and Operaworks.

Ms. Armijo made her professional debut to the opera stage in 2005 with Off-Center Opera as Aminta in Il Re Pastore. She then moved on to sing with the Tacoma Opera Next Generation Artist Program as Marianne in The Cat That Turned into a Woman, following this at Bellevue Opera with Angelina in La Cenerentola. Recently, Ms. Armijo completed her first Mercédčs in Carmen with Tacoma Opera and another stunning Angelina with the Bay View Music Festival. Concert appearances for Ms. Armijo include the alto solo in Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with New Mexico State University. She has also sung Bach’s Cantata 156 with several churches in the Seattle area.

Martha Rowe received the B.M.E. and M.M. degrees in both voice and accompanying from the University of New Mexico, and the D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona. She has soloed with such groups as the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Musica Antigua de Albuquerque, and has also served as pianist for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Four-Corners Opera Company. She has accompanied vocal and instrumental soloists in national and international competitions and performances. Dr. Rowe has been a faculty member at New Mexico State University since 1990, serving as Vocal Area Coordinator as well as teaching studio voice, foreign language diction, and vocal pedagogy.

Caitlin Huizar is a talented young pianist who recently placed as first alternate in the MTNA Texas Division 2008 Competition. She is a native El Pasoan, currently attending the 8th grade at Eastwood Knolls Middle School, and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Caitlin believes that she is blessed with a musical talent and shares this with her community through holiday recitals, fundraisers, and performances at El Paso Public Libraries. Her repertoire includes the Sonatina Op 55 No. 2  by Friedrich Kuhlau, Sonatina Op. 36 No. 3 by Muzio Clementi, and Malagueña Op. 165 by Isaac Albeniz



Wilma Salzman (nee McCool) grew up in Pembroke, north of Ottawa, in Canada. She attended a girls' convent school where she studied piano. In high school she served as the Cathedral organist and choir accompanist. It was during her last year of college that she was exposed to the Carl Orff method of teaching and her life took a radical turn as she subsequently made the decision to work with young children. In June 1963 she won a scholarship to attend the Orff Institute in Salzburg. While in Salzburg, Dr. Herbert Zipper asked her to work in a pilot program at the Middlefork Elementary School in Northfield, Illinois. She was later recognized by the Orff foundation as "the first graduate of the Orff Institute to be given a permanent position in the United States." This was a prestigious milestone.

Wilma met Michael Salzman in Northfield and in 1967 they were married. Five years later they moved to Monticello, Arkansas where Michael was the Dean of Music and Wilma was the Orff music teacher in a federally funded mobile music academy. Soon after, the Salzmans moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where Michael took a position on the University Faculty of Music. Wilma entered graduate school, completing a master's degree in early childhood in 1973. Following graduation, she became director of the kindergarten program at the lab school in MTSU. The couple moved to El Paso in 1975. Michael became Vice President of Kurland-Salzman Music Company. Wilma taught kindergarten at Loretto Academy and became an ESL teacher in the El Paso Public School District. She returned to her original music-teacher role in the El Paso Public Schools, and continues to present workshops throughout the U.S. and in her native Canada. She is also a published author with 31 titles and a recording, Sing To Read. When Michael's health began to fail, Wilma spent the majority of her time as a loving and devoted caregiver. During Michael¹s final months, the two of them completed "Nursery Rhymes and Songs for Singing and Reading," which includes 33 melodies, meticulously set on the computer by Michael and beautifully illustrated by Alejandro Salas. A year later, Wilma completed recording the CD to accompany the book. She and Michael also started "Table Top Press"

A full-time supporter of the Arts in El Paso, Wilma is on the boards of Pro-Musica Guild, El Paso Opera (she chairs the Education Outreach Committee and is the incoming chair of El Paso Opera Guild), and the El Paso Youth Symphony. She has lobbied to introduce opera into the schools to counter the deteriorating music education in the El Paso public schools. She has organized shortened versions of traditional operas like Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute for 3rd and 4th-grade students. For 1st grade students, she created the Hansel and Gretel puppet show. This has been featured in El Paso's Public Libraries. Her most rewarding project is mentoring the UTEP Music Major who holds the Michael Salzman Excellence Endowment in piano performance.

Music education is a fundamental part of every school curriculum for Wilma. At the 2004 AOSA (American Orff-Schulwerk Association) National Conference, she said,"When looking at the growth of AOSA over the past 30 some years, and at the quality of teachers here at this conference, I have hopes that we'll be able to overcome the barriers that are being put up -- such as monetary problems in the school districts, or administrators who don¹t understand the value of what we do. If we just persist, we'll have a decent music education program in the schools.

El Paso is a richer community for Wilma's and Michael's contributions, and we continue to be enriched by all of the energy and life Wilma Salzman breathes into the Arts.

2007 - 2008 Season