'Great Works for the Violin III'

Aaron Moffatt is about to turn 18 years old and what he loves to do most is to celebrate life by playing challenging pieces on the violin. In front of people. Moffatt calls these performances "Great Works for the Violin" and on Thanksgiving Weekend he will play his third set of great works in three 90-minute concerts: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 and 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. The concerts will take place in the Black Swan Theatre, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

This year's program will include selections by Sibelius, Khachaturian and Ravel. Moffatt will be playing a Storioni violin which is more than 200 years old and dates from the time of Paganini. Moffatt says that the instrument was once owned by William Clark, an alias for the outlaw Jesse James.

In a press release Moffatt says he chooses pieces that are meaningful to him. "I think they describe many of the emotions everyone understands," he says, "They are about life, not just about music; about living life to the fullest. They're happy, they're sad, they're just bizarre sometimes &

all of them: the Sibelius, the Khachaturian and the Ravel. I love these pieces."

At home, Moffatt works on computer programming and occasionally picks up the violin to practice part of a piece he needs to work on. He spends time with his family backpacking and camping. It is a musical family. Moffatt's great grandfather played the violin; his grandfather played clarinet, his grandmother plays piano. His uncle played guitar, piano and saxophone, his father plays guitar, and his great grand uncle is 99-year old Bill Tapia of the Big Band era, also known as the "Duke of Uke," the oldest regularly performing musician in the United States. Moffatt also plays his grandfather's clarinet.

But the violin has been his instrument of choice since he was in the fifth grade. He wanted to play classical music and studied with Faina Podolnaya. Moffatt played his first "Great Works" concert at the Southern Oregon University Recital Hall in 2005 when he had just turned 16. He played "Great Works for the Violin II" the following year.

Tickets are $15 at the door.


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