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Bridget Wingert: Happy to Be Here

Young composer makes his debut

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A Stockton, N.J., composer’s composition will have its premiere performance with the Hunterdon Symphony with “Music Déjà Vu” this weekend.
Along with Beethoven’s “Pastoral” and Stravinski’s Pulcinella Suite, the first movement of W.I. Mokriski’s Symphony No. 4, “Triumfante” is on the program.
The composer is 15 years old and a sophomore at South Hunterdon Regional High School, Lambertville, N.J. He is known to friends and family as Iggy, short for Ignacio, his middle name.
Iggy lives in Stockton Borough, next to the elementary school that closed its doors to students at the end of the 2018 school year. He attended that school until “it had only about 12 kids in the whole school.”
Born in Portugal – Iggy’s mother is Portugese – he lived in New York and attended the East Village Community School before moving to New Jersey. He studied “little kid piano” with his brother, Leo, for a few years but later moved on to jazz pianist Neil Podgorski, well known in the jazz world and a resident of Pipersville.
But Iggy is drawn to classical music and learning from computer software, he writes in a style reminiscent of Mozart.
His talent has not gone unnoticed. Robert Maggio, extensively published and performed Lambertville composer and professor at West Chester University’s Wells College of Music, has taken Iggy under his wing. “He’s helped guide me a lot,” Iggy said. “He came to meet me at a football game.”
And South Hunterdon Band Director Gabriel Stephens, Iggy said, is “super good, super encouraging.” Iggy plays saxophone in the school’s marching band and piano in the concert band and he is learning to play the oboe – “very difficult.” He was wearing a South Hunterdon Marching Band T-shirt the day I met him.

Iggy has been writing music in his free time using Sibelius software for the past two years. The website promises, “From couch to coffeeshop, work on scores anywhere with your favorite Sibelius tools at your fingertips – literally. With the new mobile version of Sibelius, you can seamlessly move between desktop and iPad – with nothing to slow you down.”
“It’s like video games,” Iggy said. Altogether he has written seven piano sonatos and four symphonies. He prefers the Romantic style of classical composers
The 4th symphony, he reflected, is his best piece yet. “Each piece evolves and as I move forward, there’s much more out there.”
Like a novelist, Iggy keeps moving and he wonders what can happen next. He listens to all kinds of music – Elton John is one of his favorites. “His music is almost in classical style,” Iggy said.
Iggy’s parents are Jordan Mokriski and Sara Pizarro. His mother is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Delaware Valley University and Rowan College at Burlington County. Iggy’s father is a television film editor in New York. Leo, Iggy’s brother, is a senior at Solebury School, a super math whiz who is applying to colleges, Iggy said.
Tenth grader Iggy hasn’t thought much about higher education but he thinks a liberal arts college with a music program will suit him.
The Hunterdon Symphony concert “Music Déjà Vu: Bringing Sounds of the Past into the Future,” Lawrence Kursar, conductor, is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at South Hunterdon Regional High School, 310 Mt.Airy-Harbourton Road, Lambertville. Tickets are $20, Seniors $15, Students $10, at the door. Masks must be worn.


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