It’s always a pleasure to anticipate appearances by violinist Steven Moeckel and pianist Paula Fan at the Arizona Senior Academy, knowing that the performance will be exciting and sublime. Their concert on Tuesday (June 12) at 11:30 a.m. will be even more special because it is presented in honor of Phyllis Koffler’s 97th birthday! Phyllis was married for 71 years to ASA and Academy Village founder Henry Koffler, who died earlier this year.
The program will include Beethoven’s Violin Sonata Op.96, the last of his 10 sonatas for violin and piano, plus the Serenade Melancolique Op. 26 by Tchaikovsky and Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 No. 1 by Sarasate.
Both Moeckel and Fan’s ties to the ASA run deep. Moeckel’s early association began during his tenure as concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra over 15 years ago. Academy members, inspired by his talent, helped fund the purchase of his current violin, crafted ca. 1840 by the celebrated French maker, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
Although Moeckel left Tucson some years ago to become concertmaster of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, he regularly returns to Tucson to perform at the ASA.
Fan, University of Arizona Professor Emerita of Music, frequently appeared at the Academy during her tenure at the university and as principal keyboard with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. She has continued to fit the ASA into her international performance schedule since retiring from those positions. Among Fan’s many interests and activities, she is a Senior Fellow of the UA Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry.
Moeckel and Fan will return to the ASA in October as well with a preview of Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, which Steven will perform with the Phoenix Symphony in the fall.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer