The program will begin with Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel's Trio in D Minor, Op. 11. A virtuoso pianist and sister of Felix, she composed over 500 works but obeyed her brother's wishes and withheld them from publication. In the last year of her life, Fanny defiantly began to publish her music under her own name. She was the pianist for the first performance of her Trio in D Minor, Op. 11, composed and premiered a few weeks before her death.
The middle piece is Virginia composer John D'earth's "made-for-Kandinsky" adaptation of a score he created for Mernau's 1926 silent film masterpiece "Faustus." D'earth, composer, trumpet player, jazz musician and arranger, began playing music professionally at age 14 in and around his hometown of Holliston, Massachusetts. As a teenager he studied with a gifted saxophone player named Boots Mussulli, who started a youth jazz band, The Milford Area Youth Orchestra, which played at the Newport Jazz Festival and opened for Duke Ellington at the Globe Jazz Festival in Boston. D'earth has appeared on over 40 CDs, records and film scores, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and mainland China, and has appeared on television. He has performed with or written music for such artists as Buddy Rich, Bruce Hornsby, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Mel Torme and Lionel Hampton. He also has written for the Kronos String Quartet and the Dave Matthews Band. His teaching experience includes the University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Anne's Belfield School and the Tandem School.
The final work on the program will be the Trio in C minor, Op. 66, by Felix Mendelssohn. Written in 1845 when the composer was fully developed as a musician, it is a serious work, revealing the influence of Robert Schumann, who was a close friend and colleague.
Now in its 17th season, the Kandinsky Trio (Benedict Goodfriend, violin; Alan Weinstein, cello; and Elizabeth Bachelder, piano) 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 Kandinsky 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, Florida.
The Kandinsky 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.