Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brand New Calderwood Hall

This past weekend we had the great honor of playing the very first public concert in the brand new Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Renzo Piano designed this truly unique space where the audience sits all around the performers in four stories of front row seats!

To celebrate the new hall, we gave the world premiere of an amazing new piece that Sean Shepherd just wrote for us. His "Trio" has three flavorful movements entitled "florid hopscotch", "Calderwood", and "slow waltz of the robots". We filled out our program with Mozart's sunny Trio in C Major, K 548 and Mendelssohn's rousing Trio in D Minor, Op. 49.

WGBH broadcast our performance live, and you can listen to all of it here.

(Photo by Michael Lutch)

Click here for the Boston Globe's review of the event.

This concert was the first in a series of three we'll be giving in Calderwood Hall this year. We will be back on April 22nd and September 30 playing more Mozart and Mendelssohn (Felix and Fanny) as well as world premieres by Helen Grime and Gabriela Lena Frank.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Big News

After 12 and a half amazing years, Donna has decided to leave the trio to spend more time with her young daughter Mila. Though we will miss her tremendously, we are happy for her and excited for this new stage of her life.

We are thrilled to introduce Andrea Lam, the new pianist of the Claremont Trio. Andrea was a semifinalist in the 2009 Van Cliburn competition and has performed around the world with ensembles like the Takacs Quartet and conductors including Alan Gilbert and Edo de Waart. Her debut recording of Mozart concertos with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra will be released shortly. We've been performing with Andrea periodically over the last several months, and the trio is stronger than ever with her at the piano. Andrea is truly a joy to work with, and we look forward to introducing her to all of you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Boise- Plenty of Bears, But No Suitcase

After an unfortunately cancelled flight last Thursday, we flew to Idaho extremely early Friday morning for a concert that same night at Boise State University's beautiful Morrison Recital Hall.

We were impressed with Boise's airport

(with its prominently displayed bears)

until we realized that Donna's suitcase had not made it to Boise, and the baggage department was completely unhelpful. Suffice it to say gate check limbo is a scary place, and Continental and United have a long way to go smoothing out their merger. Luckily Donna had the foresight to remove her music before letting go of the suitcase, but her concert dress was still inside... in Chicago? Newark??

We made a quick stop at Hotel 43 (named for its location on the 43rd parallel in Idaho, the 43rd state), which provides teddy bears in every room :-) :-) :-) (Teddy bears make everything better.)

Then we headed to Boise State to perform for the University Orchestra. After we played for the students, it was announced that Donna's suitcase was missing; if anybody had dresses they thought might fit her, they should bring them to the hall immediately.

And those Boise State kids delivered!!

Here is Donna in her lovely loaner (and fabulous flip flops)... thanks Riley!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Claremont on Performance Today

In February we performed in a 12 hour marathon concert celebrating the 50th Birthday of Young Concert Artists, the amazing organization that helped us launch our career more than 10 years ago. This coming Monday, May 9 Performance Today is broadcasting an hour of highlights from that marathon including our performance of the 2nd and 3rd movements of Paul Schoenfield's "Cafe Music".

For a nationwide list of Performance Today stations and schedules, check here.

Or listen online here any time during the week of May 9 - May 15.

Here's the complete program:

Segment 1

Schubert: Impromptu in A-flat Major, Op. 142, No. 2
Emanuel Ax,piano

Godefroid: Carnaval de Venise
Catrin Finch, harp

Segment 2

Gary Schocker: Three Dances for Two Flutes – No. 2: Moody
Eugenia Zukerman, flute; Gary Schocker, flute; Ran Dank, piano

Ligeti: Etudes, Book 1 – No. 2: Cordes a vide
Jeremy Denk,piano

Paul Schoenfield: Cafe Music (mvts II & III)
Claremont Trio

Segment 3

Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee (arr. Makoto Nakura)
Makoto Nakura, marimba

Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20 – IV. Presto
Elina Vahala, violin; Karen Gomyo,violin; Donald Weilerstein, violin; Lynn Chang, violin; Marcus Thompson, viola; Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola; Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello; Marcy Rosen, cello

Thanks to Junah Chung and Greg Smith for the photos!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A New Addition

For some of you who may have been wondering a little bit about my changing figure in the past months, your answer is here! On January 23rd at 4:45pm, I gave birth to my little daughter, Mila Dao-En Hsiung, at New York's Beth Israel hospital. She was 6 lbs, 5.4 oz, and 20 inches long. My husband and I are thrilled (and sleep-deprived). Here she is a few days old:

Meanwhile, my colleagues were playing a concert in Pasadena!!! I took some time off around my due date and found some excellent pianists to take my place. More on that later...

This little one has been hearing lots of classical music so I hope she enjoys it! Here is a more recent picture of her:


Friday, February 18, 2011

YCA turns 50 - Free Performances tomorrow at Symphony Space in NYC!

50 years ago, Susan Wadsworth created Young Concert Artists to help young musicians begin their performing careers. 10 years ago we were lucky enough to be chosen as winners of the YCA auditions and we are so grateful to Susan and the whole YCA family who helped us turn our love of chamber music into a viable career!

I remember how intimidated I felt, looking down the impressive list of YCA alumni on the day of our final audition back in 2001. With musicians like Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode, Shmuel Ashkenasi, and Donald Weilerstein as well as ensembles like the Tokyo String Quartet, the Borromeo String Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, this is an extremely illustrious group and we are honored to be amongst them!

This Saturday, Feb. 19, over 100 of YCA's alumni and current artists will be performing a free marathon concert at Symphony Space in New York to honor YCA's 50th anniversary. The music will go from 11am-11pm and we Claremonts will play at the end of the 8pm hour (probably around 8:30). For a full schedule of musicians and repertoire, go to the YCA website: www.yca.org.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CD Review from allmusic.com

Here's another review of our Beethoven & Ravel disc, this one from allmusic.com...

"Though their composition is separated by an expanse of more than a century, both Beethoven's Op. 1 Piano Trios and Ravel's Piano Trio sought to reinvent and revitalize the genre. Unlike his predecessors, Beethoven envisioned the piano trio as a nearly symphonic medium, freeing the strings from constantly doubling the piano and instead casting them as full partners in the chamber music-making. Ravel also had orchestral ambitions in his piano trio, incorporating a variety of textures, timbres, and extended techniques to expand the ensemble's sound capabilities. Performing the Beethoven Op. 1/3 and Ravel trios is the Claremont Trio who, interestingly enough, programmed the same two compositions for its first performance together at the Juilliard School. Claremont's exuberant, robust sound goes a long way toward emphasizing the orchestral visions of the two composers. They also prove themselves to be a highly diverse ensemble by contrasting Beethoven's clean, crisp precision with Ravel's softer hushed sonorities and more fluid tempo. The trio plays with an obvious sense of connection and communication in its nicely matched articulation, organic rubato, and careful management of balance. In addition to its keen interpretive sense, Claremont brings an impeccable technique and precise intonation to the studio. Tria Records' sound quality is warm, spacious, and clean."

by Mike D. Brownell