GPO Welcomes Principal Keyboardist Joshua Sawicki

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Joshua Sawicki is a pianist based in Denver, Colorado. He appears regularly as orchestral pianist for the Colorado Symphony (highlights have included Bernstein’s Fancy Free, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Firebird, Symphony in Three Movements, and Shostakovich’s Symphonies no. 1, 5, and 11), as a member of the new-music group The Playground Ensemble (recently ranked one of the top five chamber groups in the state), and as Principal Pianist of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Denver Philharmonic, Grand Junction, Lakewood, Farmington Valley, and Lamont Symphony Orchestras, and solo appearances and competitions have taken him to Paris, Manhattan, Utrecht, Novi Sad, Granada, Cambridge, Tampa, and Aspen. He has received prizes from various international competitions and can often be seen around Denver in chamber music performances alongside principal members of the CSO. He teaches piano as adjunct faculty at the Community College of Denver and is the owner and director of a music school in Aurora, Colorado Music Quest. He has studied in Boston, New York, London, Tampa, and Denver; his principal teachers include Steven Mayer, Rebecca Penneys, John O’Conor, Anthony di Bonaventura, and Svetozar Ivanov.

Do you have a favorite composer? I usually find myself switching between phases of Ravel, Prokofiev, Ligeti, Beethoven and Chopin

What kind of music do you listen to for fun? Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Vulfpeck, Knower, Sufjan Stevens, Echo and the Bunnymen, Lou Reed, and Led Zeppelin.

When did you know you would spend your life as a musician? It happened gradually, but one of the more important moments was when I played my first concerto with orchestra (Rhapsody in Blue with my high school orchestra) and had a blast!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Bikram yoga, reading books by Knausgaard and Krasznahorkai and Krauss, and going to my favorite breweries!

What is something quirky about you? I’ve taken less than ten naps in my life.

What do you like best about the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra? 
That it seems like a little artistic enclave where people pride themselves on listening to and playing good music.

Do you have a favorite style of music to perform? I gravitate towards repertoire from the late-Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century eras, and I enjoy a healthy dose of extremely modern and avant-garde music too.

Do you have children or pets? 
I have a cat.

Who are they and what do they do? 
She’s a rescue cat named Luna, and she doesn’t show an ounce of gratitude.

How long have you lived in Colorado? 
About six years.

What do you like best about Colorado? 
Definitely the ocean.

Where did you go to school? 
After going to high school in Connecticut and doing my pre-college studies at the Hartt School, I studied at Boston University, the Royal College of Music in London, the University of South Florida in Tampa, and eventually doing an Artist Diploma at the Lamont School in Denver.

What advice, if any, would you give a young musician? If it’s something that you really love, and if it’s something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, you won’t have a problem dropping what you’re doing and committing your whole being to it. If you are open minded and you surround yourself with people who love music and other types of art as much as you do, you can learn to love and grow with every aspect of it: the practicing, the listening, the studying; the succeeding and the failing; the search for masters who can teach you and help you navigate along your journey. A lot of what you encounter during your musical life-journey will be help you become a stronger human being by improving your diligence, patience, appreciation of deferred gratification – all while enjoying the excitement of something that is mostly outside the realm of commerce and usually undervalued, yet which is still vital to life.

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