Classically Alive  

Classically Alive presents 


Solo Piano and Piano 4-Hands
“Walter Hautzig Memorial Series”

Robert Sacks, piano
Abe Minzer, piano

    Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017,  6:00 PM
    The Minzer/Schreuder Residence
     8 Broadmoor Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 

Our beloved teacher, pianist Walter Hautzig, passed away this past January, 2017 at the age of 95.  Walter Hautzig had an illustrious career and played thousands of concerts on every continent.  He was a US State Department musical ambassador, and was the first American musician chosen to play in China, his concert broadcasted to almost 1 billion Chinese people, at a time when diplomatic relations between the US and China were just starting to open up.  Mr. Hautzig joked “if I could have only collected a penny royalty from each person listening, I’d be a rich man.”  The stories about Mr. Hautzig are endless, but in short, his greatness as a musician is perhaps only eclipsed by his greatness as a human being.
He had a special relationship with each of his students, and cared for each of us like a parent.  When there were fires in Colorado Springs, his was the first call, “Abe, are you OK, I heard the terrible news.”  As musician/teacher he gave insight to the very essence of each composer- a smart, but not overly-intellectual approach, that always dealt directly on the emotional, human level of the music.  Hautzig’s students, and those that have come to know Mr. Hautzig’s performances, understand that Walter Hautzig especially had it seemed a direct connection to the music of the immortal Franz Schubert.
Hautzig had so much to say of Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms  and others, but if one composer comes to mind first when we think of Hautzig, it is Schubert.  So, it is fitting to begin this series with our All-Schubert offering.
Robert Sacks will open our Schubert recital with the Six Moment Musicaux.  These late miniature gems show Schubert at his most expressive.  Each piece as with Schubert has a directness, and an unrivaled gift for beautiful melody and magical harmonies.  The first piece is gentle, even pastoral, followed by the second, which is lilting but of a darker, sad, grieving nature.  Smile, the dancing third piece is the most famous of the set, you will know this one.  The fourth piece also on the lively side, has an elusive nature, followed by the fifth, a fiery, foot-stomping piece in the minor mode.  The set then ends with the sixth piece, a tranquil, heavenly piece, the most tender of the set.
After a short break, Abe Minzer with conclude the first half with the “Wanderer” Fantasy.  Unusually virtuosic for Schubert, in reference to especially the final movement, Schubert allegedly is quoted as saying “Let the devil play it!”  The entire work is based on the melody of Schubert’s earlier song “Der Wanderer”.  The piece is in four movements, and is unique in being the first composition where the movements are all played without pauses between movements.  The first movement is fast and with fire, following by the slow movement- a set of variations on the Wanderer melody, then the third movement is a playful scherzo in a quick 3, followed by the fourth/final movement which starts with a fugue and the devil takes it from there :)
After intermission, on the second half, we will have a single major work, the great Fantasy in F Minor for piano 4-hands.  This work is considered the supreme masterpiece of the piano 4-hand literature!  Written during Schubert’s last year of his short life of thirty-one years, the Fantasy is loosely made up of four continuous movements.  The work opens with a plaintive theme which makes several returns and the mood of the Fantasy in general is serious, reflective, sometimes monumental, but Schubert so wonderfully allows for sunnier sentiments to lift our spirits as well.  The performers felt that this Fantasy in particular would be a wonderful tribute to our teacher and friend, Walter Hautzig.                


Pianist Robert Sacks holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Master of Music from Syracuse University.  He is the pianist for the Spectrum Trio (piano/violin/cello), an ensemble that has performed extensively in the Chicago region, and throughout the US. He previously served as Assistant Music Director, Piano Coordinator and faculty coach with the OPUS Chamber Music Camp in Lisle, IL.  Robert Sacks is very active as a teacher of piano, and is in high demand as a collaborative pianist.  He frequently accompanies high-caliber students at recitals, competitions, festivals, and for college entrance auditions.  Robert is also currently a collaborative keyboardist (piano and organ) at Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, where he recently performed the Schubert f minor Fantasy for piano 4-hands, a performance that was also dedicated to Walter Hautzig's memory.  Robert and his wife, a violinist, and their two children make their home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, IL.  With their lifelong friendship and musical connection, it is always great when Robert and Abe have the chance to get together.  This is his third appearance on the Classically Alive series, having previously performed the Brahms Waltzes arranged for piano 4-hands, and later performing music of Chopin.

Pianist Abe Minzer earned a master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, a doctorate in music at West Virginia University, and has taught at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He plays concerts throughout the US, and has appeared as piano soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major with the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Abe Minzer teaches piano, music history and music theory at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Also, Dr. Minzer is on the faculty at Pikes Peak Community College where he teaches Private Piano, Group Piano, Music Theory, and serves as staff pianist/accompanist. Dr. Abe Minzer often performs works of living composers, including world premieres of compositions by Sylvia Hazlerig, Jorge Cardoso, Jim Bosse and Ofer Ben-Amots. For more information, please visit: For more information on  Abe Minzer - CDs, samples, reviews and comments, please visit:

Social Time - until around 6:30 then...


      Six Moments Musicaux
Fantasy in C Major (“The Wanderer”)
       Fantasy in F minor for piano 4-hands

General Admission: $10
~ Please bring any appetizer, light dish, snack or dessert ~

For reservations/info: Contact or 229-2239
Please RSVP early - Space Is Limited

For more information on the 2017 season, please click: 2017 season

Under the sponsorship of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Classically Alive features diverse monthly house concerts, which include food, drink, and time for guests to socialize, and mingle with the musicians. 

At the venue, founder, director, and pianist, Dr. Abe Minzer performs along with many top musicians of the Pikes Peak region.  Additionally, Classically Alive hosts world-class visiting artists of national and international reputation, often as part of the Piano Masterworks series and through collaboration with the German arts organization, Weltklassik.  

Since its inception in 2006, Classically Alive has presented over 130 concerts featuring over 100 musicians.  The eclectic offerings include a wide range of classical, as well as contemporary, popular styles, jazz, and world music. 
For more information, please visit:  
For Abe Minzer’s website including performance and presentations, Click:
Abe Minzer, Pianist

Want to learn to play piano, go check out:
Minzer Piano Studio

Music Series