posted January 11, 2011

Great Performance Series to Present Claremont Trio on January 27

The Hope College Great Performance Series will feature the Claremont Trio on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

First winners of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award and the only piano trio ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremonts are consistently lauded for their "aesthetic maturity, interpretive depth, and exuberance," as the "Palm Beach Daily News" has said.

The Claremonts celebrated the release of two CDs in 2009 spanning music from Beethoven to Mason Bates. "American Trios" on Tria Records is the first disc to present both of Leon Kirchner's piano trios. The disc also features Paul Schoenfield's "Café Music," Ellen Zwilich's "Trio," and Mason Bates' "String Band" (written for the Claremont Trio in 2002). The group's other recent release, on Ongaku Records, is a collaborative project with clarinetist Jonathan Cohler, including works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dohnanyi. The recording garnered a glowing review in "Fanfare" magazine and received "Music CHOICE" designation from "BBC Music Magazine," which cited the "splendidly enjoyable" disc's "real intensity through eloquent phrasing and responsive teamwork."

Believing that education on all levels is essential to the future of classical music, the Claremont Trio is extensively involved in teaching the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Sought after for their effectiveness in the classroom as well as on the concert stage, the Claremonts regularly conduct educational outreach activities and master classes, most recently at the Peabody Conservatory's Preparatory Division, where they conducted a mini-residency, and at the University of Washington, where they led a series of master classes. Other recent master classes have been at Eastman School of Music, Duke University, Boston Conservatory, Purchase College at SUNY, and Middlebury College.

Deeply committed to expanding the trio repertoire, the Trio works actively with composers on new works including a piece by Howard Frazin the group will premier this year. The Trio has also commissioned works from Nico Muhly, Daniel Kellogg, Mason Bates, and Hillary Zipper, and has an ongoing collaboration with innovative composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

The Claremont Trio has been featured on Japanese and American television and is heard on radio stations throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Australia's ABC, New York's WQXR, Boston's WGBH, Chicago's WFMT, Salt Lake City's KBYU, and Columbia University's WKCR.

Twin sisters, violinist Emily Bruskin and cellist Julia Bruskin, formed the Trio with pianist Donna Kwong in 1999 at The Juilliard School. The Bruskins both play old French instruments, Emily's violin a Lupot from 1795 and Julia's cello a J.B. Vuillaume from 1849. Donna Kwong is a Steinway Artist. The Claremonts are based in New York City near their namesake: Claremont Avenue. Kwong is not able to tour with the Trio during the first part of 2011, and is being replaced by the highly regarded Robert McDonald, an award-winning professor at The Juilliard School and one of Kwong's former teachers.

Individual tickets for the performance are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under, and are available at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and may be called at (616) 395-7890.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.  Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.

Additional information about the Claremont Trio may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps.