Pianist Cendejas to Raise Funds for Fire Department
What do you get when you bring together a concert pianist, a fire chief, an opera house and 100 miles of trail? An evening of incredible music, for an alarmingly good cause!
On Thursday, July 31 accomplished concert pianist Javier Cendejas will perform a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Tabor Opera for the Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue.
While Cendejas makes his present home in Kentucky, his accomplishments as a pianist are internationally renown. If you enjoy classical music, you are familar with the name Javier Cendejas. And if the renderings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18 by Robert Schumann, and Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, are to your musical taste, then don’t miss this special performance. For Cendejas’ full biography see below.
Now semi-retired, Cendejas is presenting this benefit concert to share his love for music and to support Leadville friend, Fire Chief Dan Dailey.
“I have known Javier for almost a decade now,” explains Chief Dailey. “He has become a good family friend,” often visiting with the Dailey family during his training runs, and races.
And yes, that’s where the trail part of the story comes into the picture. Cendejas will be attempting his tenth Leadville Trail 100 Run on August 16 -17.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t finished it,” says Cendejas quietly, as he plays the piano during the publicity photo shoot at the opera house. So will his tenth attempt seal the deal with a famous LT100 Belt Buckle?
“Who knows? We’ll see! I just like coming here and running. I just have fun,” he joked.
In fact, it was during one of his recent “fun” running visits, over lunch with Chief Dailey, when Cendejas offered to do a benefit concert for the fire department. From there, things came together quickly, and the benefit efforts to purchase a new fire engine were underway. Of course, it’s just the beginning of securing funds for new equipment, but any time the burden can be taken off the taxpayers, it’s a good thing, recognized Chief Dailey.
Of course, the concert’s venue and instrument should also be noted. If you have not attended a performance at the historic Tabor Opera House, or it’s been a while, DON’T WAIT! Owners Bill and Sharon Bland recently announced that this will be their last summer. Of course, the opera house remains on the market and they are still hopeful that the right buyers come along, but for now, this could be the swan song summer.
As for the piano that Cendejas will be playing, it’s pretty special. The Knabe Grand Piano which was originally purchased for the opera house by Horace Tabor, was recently returned to its rightful home through a donation of the most recent owners. It’s a one-of-a-kind and its sound throughout the opera house is nearly pure!
But this won’t necessarily be the first time Cendejas will be playing this Knabe. In fact, he has often been found “keeping his fingers in shape,” and thrilling afternoon tour visitors to the opera house.
Tickets for the July 31 benefit concert are $15/per person or 2 for $25 and can be purchased at the Leadville fire house on the corner of 9th and Harrison Ave. or at the Tabor Opera House. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the performance.
More About Javier Cendejas
According to online biographies, Cendejas was born in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico. Before coming to the United States, he studied at the National Conservatory in Mexico City. His initial studies in the U.S. were with Angelica Morales von Sauer, at the University of Kansas.
His career and continuing studies took him to New York City, where he studied with Dora Zazlavsky at the Manhattan School of Music. He completed his Bachelor of Music Degree at The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Adele Marcus and Jacob Lateiner.
While living in New York, he served as both performance and rehearsal pianist with New York’s Joffrey Ballet Company, and participated in both capacities on several national tours with The Joffrey II ensemble.
After moving to Louisville, KY with his wife, Nancy, he worked with The Kentucky Opera Association, and served as a pianist in the Affiliate Artist program, traveling throughout Kentucky.
Javier continued his formal studies, earning a Master of Music Degree from the University of Louisville. His formal studies were completed earning a Doctor of Music Degree at Indiana University, where his major field of study was piano performance. He also served as a graduate assistant/opera coach to Indiana’s opera department. In 1976, he began 20 year association with the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, serving as staff accompanist, opera coach.
Javier’s career as a performer includes numerous performances, with orchestras and as a recitalist, in Mexico, as well as in USA. He has performed with orchestras in Morelia Michoacán, in Monterrey Nuevo Leon and in Mexico City where he performed Rachmaninof’s First Piano Concerto which was nationally televised. He has participated in Piano Festivals in Monterrey and in the city of Querétaro.