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One year ago: Felix Wurman

December 26, 2010 | 12:08 pm

Wurman Felix Wurman found inspiration in church one Sunday.

Wurman, a cellist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, wasn't religious, but playing with other musicians at a church in 2007 made him think about offering people a service with music as the main element.

He started the Church of Beethoven performance series in Albuquerque, recruiting other musicians from the symphony to play Sunday-morning concerts in an abandoned gas station off Route 66.

The crowds became big enough to move to another location in 2008. Wurman was diagnosed with cancer that year and others stepped in to keep the Church of Beethoven series going. Wurman died a year ago at age 51.

The concerts, which include poetry, will continue in 2011. The group's website calls the concerts "not church … more than Beethoven."

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Felix Wurman in 2008, asking for donations during a concert. Credit: Morgan Petroski / Albuquerque Journal