Music among friends

In July, Xpress announced the arrival of Classicopia, a chamber music organization founded a decade ago in New England by pianist Daniel Weiser, who moved to Asheville in 2009.

Classicopia calls itself “Asheville’s newest chamber music organization,” which is an apt description of the group’s originality, as much as a measure of how long it’s been in town.

Pianist Daniel Weiser … forged the organization with a distinct, if iconoclastic purpose. “I try to avoid ‘sophistication,’” he says in a phone interview. “From the time I started Classicopia, I made it clear that you can come and be informal. I understand why people think [classical concerts] are boring and stuffy, because you see some of this stuff and it is boring and stuffy. I get tired watching it.”

On the heels of Classicopia’s Summer Sonata Series, which saw a month of performances in decidedly non-stuffy venues such as The Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville and White Horse Black Mountain, Weiser has christened his austral relocation with a new name: AmiciMusic. “I decided to start AmiciMusic after the tremendous success of my concerts I performed with Classicopia, Weiser tells Xpress. “When I first moved here, I had thought I would just do a few extra chamber music concerts under the Classicopia name, but once I began doing programs in this region, I realized there was a tremendous interest and excitement for these kind of concerts.”

According to Weiser, the name is shorthand for the organization’s broader goals. “AmiciMusic comes from the Italian for ‘music among friends,’ which is one of the definitions of chamber music and is what we strive our concerts to be — filled with a spirit of camaraderie and synergy between musicians and performers that brings out the interpersonal,” Weiser says.

With its new-found identity, AmiciMusic can now go beyond situating itself and begin to enact its performance and educational aims in Asheville and throughout Western North Carolina. “I felt that this region needed and deserved to have its own chamber music organization thoroughly committed to performing our intimate concerts specifically in WNC and to bringing our educational outreach programs into schools in this area,” Weiser says. “Now that we are AmiciMusic, all the proceeds from concerts here will stay in the region, and I will have better control over the development of the organization as it grows and expands in the upcoming years.”

AmiciMusic will retain the daring spirit of Classicopia, especially with regard to concertizing. “By playing in non-traditional spaces, I hope to expand the audience that would see this kind of music and highlight its popular and often folk-influenced spirit,” Weiser says. “By keeping our concerts more informal and relaxed, I hope to encourage more young people to try it out and to help demystify the ‘classical music’ experience so that it is just one more possible type of music to listen to on a long continuum stretching from rock ‘n’ roll to bluegrass to jazz, tango and other folk musics.”

AmiciMusic’s fall schedule:

“Let’s Dance,” four-hand piano dances with Daniel Weiser and Philip Liston-Kraft. Music of Grieg, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.

Two concerts:
Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Altamont Theatre Company
$20 adults; $18 seniors; $10 students, $5 children

Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.
White Horse Black Mountain
$15 for adults; $5 for students/children

Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.
“Two Piano Panache,” Music for two pianos by Rachmaninoff, Busoni, Poulenc and Liszt with Dan Weiser and Philip Liston-Kraft
House concert at Loomis home in Biltmore Forest
$35, includes wine and refreshments (proceeds to benefit AmiciMusic outreach programs). Reservations required. Seating limited. Call Dan Weiser at 505-2903 or email at

Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
“Let’s Dance,” house concert at Weiser home at 75 Edwin Place
$35, includes wine and refreshments (proceeds to benefit AmiciMusic outreach programs). Reservations required. Seating limited. Call Dan Weiser at 505-2903 or email at

Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
“Divas and Drafts,” with Tony-award winning baritone Eugene Brancoveanu and soprano Crystal McDaniel
White Horse Black Mountain $15 for adults; $5 for students/children

Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
“A Short History of the Piano, Part 2 (the Romantics)” with Daniel Weiser, piano.
Music by and stories about Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and more.
White Horse Black Mountain
$15 for adults; $5 for students/children

Sunday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m.
“Serenade” with soprano Amanda Horton and pianist Daniel Weiser.  Lieder, opera, spirituals and musical theater.
The Altamont Theatre Company
$20 adults; $18 seniors; $10 students, $5 children

Monday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
“Wind Power” with Arundo Donax, reed quintet and pianist Daniel Weiser. Music by Poulenc, Mendelssohn and more.
The Altamont Theatre Company
$20 adults; $18 seniors; $10 students, $5 children


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