By David Steinberg
Music is in tenor Gabriel Liboiron-Cohen’s blood.
His paternal grandparents were both singers. His grandfather was a cantor in Oakland Calif., and his grandmother sang with the Robert Shaw Chorale.
“On my father’s side of the family everyone is a musician. My mother was a ballerina and she teaches ballet in the Bay Area,” Liboiron-Cohen said.
He will take the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, kicking off the New Mexico School of Music’s Faculty Concert Series. The concert is at the 136 Washington SE, Suite J.
“It’s mostly a song recital with a few favorite arias of mine,” Liboiron-Cohen said.
Arias include “Lunge da Lei…De Miei Bollenti Spiriti” from Giuseppe Verdi’s “La traviata,” Lensky’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” and the aria “Pourquoi me Réveiller” from Jules Massenet’s opera “Werther.”
The art songs are by different composers spanning the 17th through the 20th century.
Accompanying Liboiron-Cohen in the recital will be pianist Lawrence Blind, chair of the music school’s Piano Department and assistant director of the school.
Liboiron-Cohen teaches voice at the school.
His stage experience includes the role of Il Contadino in the Opera Southwest production of Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci,” the role of Rinuccio in the UNM Opera Theatre production of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” and soloist (Archangel Uriel) in the New Mexico Philharmonic’s performance of Haydn’s “The Creation.”
Liboiron-Cohen will be covering the role of Ruodi in the OSW production of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” this fall.
“Since we opened in 2005 we have always offered a single recital each year. But I wanted to expand it to show the community and the students the quality of our teachers as performers,” said Tatiana Vetrinskaya, the New Mexico School of Music’s founder and director.
“This year finally my dream came true – that this is the time to show these talented teachers who are also performers.”
Vetrinskaya said she remembers when she was a student in Moscow, “and I listened to recordings of pianists, but the most important thing was when my piano teacher gave a recital.
“That made me decide to become a musician and more important I wanted to play like my teacher.”
She became a teacher herself but she also has been performing solo recitals, soloing with orchestras and playing with chamber ensembles.
Teaching and performing are her twin passions.
“I can’t imagine myself as a performer without sharing my knowledge with students. It’s important to be a teacher if you are a performer. The students can hear that we also practice, that we like music and that we perform,” Vetrinskaya said.
The genres of music to be performed in the Faculty Concert Series include classical, jazz, rock, popular broadway songs and songs from films.
The school has more than 600 students at two Albuquerque locations – at 136 Washington SE and at 10701 Montgomery NE.
Here are the other concerts in the series.
-Oct. 8. The duo of flutist Lauren Harris and pianist Sam Jacobs.
-Nov. 19. Four pianists at two grand pianos – Vetrinskaya, Blind, Marina Magazinnik and Steve Wiseman.
-Feb. 4. A lecture-recital with pianist Fred Kronacher.
-March 4. A chamber music concert with violinist John Yuan, violist Andrea Rutan, cellist Zachary McGee and pianist Gabriel Landstedt.
-April 15. A jazz piano recital with Jim Balagurchik.
The above-mentioned concerts are at the school’s location on Washington SE.
However, the May 6 grand finale concert with various faculty members will be held at the University of New Mexico’s Keller Hall, Center for the Arts.
All concerts are at 3 p.m.
Admission is $20 general public, $15 seniors, $10 children. New Mexico School of Music students 12 and younger are free. Tickets are available in advance at the school’s Washington SE location or at the door.