The Kandinsky Trio Series

SALEM, Va.-For the second concert on its 2004-2005 series, the Kandinsky Trio has selected three contrasting masterpieces for piano trio. The concert will be held Saturday, December 4 at 8 p.m. in the Olin Theater on the Roanoke College campus. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $12 for senior citizens and students and can be purchased by calling the Olin Box Office, Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m., at (540) 375-2333 or online at www.roanoke.edu/events.

The program will open with the E Major trio of Mozart, composed the same year (1788) as his last symphonies. It is one of the masterworks of the Classical period and displays Mozart's genius for contrasting charm and graceful tenderness with brilliance and bravura.

Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio, Op. 70, No. 1, will follow. Composed in 1808, the work points ahead to Beethoven's "third period" in its striking use of dramatic effects, particularly in the middle movement, which gives the piece its title.

After intermission, the Kandinsky Trio will perform the radiant and luminous Trio in A Minor by Maurice Ravel. Composed at the outbreak of World War I, its striking originality is achieved through the use of brilliant string techniques and powerful and evocative piano writing, which the composer had developed previously (in his string quartet and solo piano works, respectively). Pushing the bounds of chamber music to the extreme, the orchestral effects, particularly in the Finale, mark the work as a tour de force for piano trio.

Now in its 17th season, the Kandinsky Trio has performed world-wide in more than 175 cities nationally and internationally. The Kandinsky Trio also has been heard at such venues as the Interlochen Festival, the Concert Society at Maryland, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, Cincinnati's Aronoff Center, and the Center for the Arts at Penn State. Its recordings are aired regularly on Boston's WGBH, Chicago's WFMT, and the Maine, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin and Minnesota Public Radio Networks. Live performances have been broadcast on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, numerous times on National Public Radio's Performance Today and WNYC's Around New York.

The trio's newest CD, In Foreign Lands (Brioso), released in 2003, was selected by WNED (Buffalo and Toronto) as one of the CDs of the year, and London's Music and Vision dubbed it "one of the year's best chamber music recordings." Described as "spirited and persuasive," American Record Guide, and "virtuosity, with spine-tingling precision," Cincinnati Enquirer, the trio draws in new audiences with both its passionate performances of masterworks and innovative ideas in re-defining chamber music.

In 2002, the Trio was in residence at the European/American Masterclasses at the Hindemith Center in Blonay, Switzerland and continues its annual residency at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach,
Fla.

The trio is one of only six piano trios ever to win the prestigious Chamber Music America Residency Award. In 1999, the Kandinsky Trio was honored to be chosen by Senator Charles Robb as the representative of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the Kennedy Center's "State Days" series. In addition, the ensemble has received awards from the Theodore Presser and Carpenter foundations to extend its artistry and visionary residency ideas to under-served communities.

The Kandinsky Trio regularly collaborates, both at home and on tour, with such artists as bassist James VanDemark, violinist/violist Ida Kavafian, cellist Steven Doane, soprano Dawn Upshaw, composer Gunther Schuller, storyteller Connie Regan-Blake, and jazz legend Larry Coryell. The trio's innovative projects have included Mike Reid's Tales of Appalachia for Trio and storyteller, commissioned for the trio by nine presenting organizations and performed on over 100 concert series, and John D'earth's Natural Bridge, for Trio, jazz bass and guitar with jazz great Kurt Rosenwinkel.