"'Neave' is actually a Gaelic name meaning ‘bright’ and ‘radiant,’ both of which certainly apply to this trio’s music making." – WQXR
"a delectable joyful surprise ... It is inconceivable to me that they will not soon be among the busiest chamber ensembles going." – The Boston Musical Intelligencer
"the ensemble’s balance was on point through the entire concert ... polished and energetic" – Palm Beach Arts Paper
"we are blessed to be living in a golden age of string playing and chamber music making, let me up the ante by saying that we have exceeded the gold standard and have now moved on to platinum. Yes, the Neave Trio is that good." – Fanfare Magazine
Since forming in 2010, Neave Trio – violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov, and pianist Eri Nakamura – has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-edge performances. WQXR explains, “’Neave’ is actually a Gaelic name meaning ‘bright’ and ‘radiant’, both of which certainly apply to this trio’s music making.” The group’s 2019 album Her Voice, on Chandos Records, was named one of the best recordings of the year by both The New York Times and BBC Radio 3. The Boston Musical Intelligencer reports, “it is inconceivable that they will not soon be among the busiest chamber ensembles going,” and “their unanimity, communication, variety of touch, and expressive sensibility rate first tier.”
Neave has performed at many esteemed concert series and at festivals worldwide, including Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 92nd Street Y, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music Series (United Kingdom), and the Samoylov and Rimsky Korsakow Museums' Chamber Music Series in St. Petersburg (Russia). The Trio has held residency positions at Brown University, University of Virginia, San Diego State University as the first ever Fisch/Axelrod Trio-in-Residence, and the Banff Centre (Canada), among many other institutions. Neave Trio was also in residence at the MIT School of Architecture and Design in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Richard Colton. In the fall of 2017, the Trio joined the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College as Alumni Artists, Faculty Ensemble‑in‑Residence.
Neave Trio strives to champion new works by living composers and reach wider audiences through innovative concert presentations, regularly collaborating with artists of all mediums. These collaborations include D-Cell: an Exhibition & Durational Performance, conceived and directed by multi-disciplinary visual artist David Michalek; as well as performances with the Blythe Barton Dance Company; with dance collective BodySonnet; with projection designer Ryan Brady; in the interactive concert series “STEIN2.0,” with composer Amanuel Zarzowski; in Klee Musings by acclaimed American composer Augusta Read Thomas, which was premiered by Neave; in the premiere of Eric Nathan’s Missing Words V, sponsored by Coretet; in Leah Read’s Cloud Burst for piano trio and electronics; in Dale Trumbore’s Another Chance; and in a music video by filmmaker Amanda Alvarez Díaz of Astor Piazzolla’s “Otoño Porteño.”
Gramophone described Neave Trio’s latest album Her Voice as, “a splendid introduction to these three pioneering female composers,” and as, “sumptuously recorded … a taut and vivid interpretation.” The Guardian describes the three compositions by Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, and Louise Farrenc as, “distinctive and distinguished chamber works.” Neave Trio’s other critically acclaimed recordings include Celebrating Piazzolla (Azica Records, 2018), which features mezzo-soprano Carla Jablonski; French Moments (Chandos Records, 2018); and its debut album, American Moments (Chandos Records, 2016).
While the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered concert halls around the world, the Neave Trio continues to find meaningful ways to perform safely. The Trio has performed virtual concerts for The Violin Channel's "Living Room Live" series, the “Notes of Hope: Music for the Frontline” series, and for Longy School of Music of Bard College's Virtual Benefit. Recent and upcoming livestream concerts include performances presented by the Asheville Chamber Music Series and the Auditorium Chamber Music Series at University of Idaho. Recent and upcoming outdoor, socially distanced concerts include performances at PS21 in Chatham, NY; the Walnut Hill School’s “Summer of Art, Six Feet Apart” festival; and Newport Music Festival.
The Neave Trio is pleased to announce new concert programming for future seasons, offered for 2021-22 and beyond.
Of Her Own
The Neave Trio performs works by three distinguished women composers, celebrating the voice "of her own" that each woman established. Ethel Smyth was both recognized and marginalized throughout her career as a composer and suffragist in the early-mid 20th century. She was the first female composer to be granted a damehood and today, her prominence has been restored as her works are being revived in concert halls all over the world. Although composed in 1880, Smyth's first piano trio did not receive a public performance in the US until 1985. Reena Esmail's Piano Trio highlights the composer's Indian-American heritage, incorporating tonal colors and textures influenced by Ravel with authentic Indian raags into each movement. Of her Four Folk Songs, composer Gabriela Lena Frank says the work "loosely draws inspiration from the melodic motifs and rhythms of my mother's homeland, Perú."
Shakespeare, the people’s poet, famously asks "What is the city but the people?" (Coriolanus). That question and how we choose to connect as communities - or not - provide the backdrop for this performance. This program seeks to explore the concept of what makes a community and features works by Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Germaine Tailleferre, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as well as the enduring vigor and profundity of Shakespeare's words.
Reena Esmail's Piano Trio incorporates tonal colors and textures influenced by Ravel with authentic Indian raags into each movement, fusing Eastern and Western culture. Of her Four Folk Songs, composer Gabriela Lena Frank says the work "loosely draws inspiration from the melodic motifs and rhythms of my mother's homeland, Perú." The four movements are "Canto para La María Angola" ("Song for the María Angola"), "Children's Dance," "Serenata," and "Chavín de Huantar," inspired by the pre-Incan archaeological site of the same name. French composer Germaine Tailleferre was the sole woman composer of Les Six. She composed her melodically captivating and boldly rhythmic trio between 1916-17, but did not publish the work until after she revisited it 60 years later around 1978. Excerpted and arranged from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's 24 Negro Melodies for piano, these five works are based on African and African-American melodies from several geographical regions. The melodies are "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child," "I was way down a yonder," "Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel?" "They will not lend me a child," and "My Lord delivered Daniel."
The Neave Trio seeks to create, with audience participation, the cycle of a full day, from the pre-dawn sounds of nature and the early morning sunrise to the “red moon” of the late evening.
Before the concert begins, a QR code will be distributed and each member of the audience is invited to scan this code on their electronic device. This enables the audience to access “morning sounds,” comprised of soundbites taken from nature, that will be cued to start playing before the house lights come up, as the Neave Trio is seated on stage and the hall is dark. As the house lights come up, the Trio begins to play, signifying the sunrise, as the audience ceases their “morning sounds.” Through the use of lighting and projected image/backdrop, various visual elements related to the stages of one day are on display during the remainder of the performance. Once the performance is complete, the house goes dark and the audience is, once again, encouraged to play their nature sounds, signifying the end of one day, and the beginning of a new cycle.
The Neave Trio performs Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio, Eric Nathan’s Missing Words V, and Elena Ruehr’s Winter Night.
What does it mean to rise? This program, comprising timeless and timely repertoire paired with visual and audio prompts, seeks to answer the question in all its complexity. The program begins with a wide variety of definitions of what it means “to rise,” and then explores, through both the repertoire and multimedia sources, each definition one by one and asks the audience to consider how the specific definition might impact the way the musical performance is experienced.
To rise means to come into action. To rise means to become active in opposition or resistance. To rise means to prove oneself equal to a demand or emergency. And it means so much more. As the audience explores these evocative meanings, they are asked: How will you rise?
The Neave Trio performs Gabriela Lena Frank's Four Folk Songs, Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8 or Lili Boulanger's D'un soir triste and D'un matin de printemps, Joan Tower's Big Sky or Jennifer Higdon's Piano Trio, and Ravel's Piano Trio in A minor. The group is currently developing an additional presentation of Rising with dance.
This program pairs remarkable piano trios with timeless love letters written by some of history’s most iconic figures, from Beethoven and Nabokov to Oscar Wilde and Elizabeth Taylor. These letters, while all referring to romantic love, describe the various stages of a love story, from lust and elation, to longing and frustration, and even despair over a relationship’s end.
Love Letters features optional multimedia components. Between the performed works, the letters can be “written in real time,” as the words appear one by one as a projected image and are spoken by voice-over. These projections focus on key words, as other words from the letter disappear. These key words can be left on display during the musical performance as a focal point.
The Neave Trio performs Rachmaninov’s Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor, Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8, Amy Beach’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 150, and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.
This program commemorates three master composers; Rachmaninov, Brahms, and Ravel. Rachmaninov was inspired to write Trio élégiaque No. 1 after hearing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor, which was composed in memory of Tchaikovsky’s deceased friend Nicolai Rubinstein. Though Rachmaninov composed his trio when he was just 19 years old, it is completely characteristic of his compositional brilliance which would continue to develop in his adult life. Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 was the first of the composer’s chamber works to be published. The work is notably grand in both scope and sound, often emulating an orchestral symphony within its organization and harmonic structure. Ravel composed his only piano trio after nearly six years of sketching and planning. But following the beginning of World War I in 1914, Ravel was motivated to quickly complete the work before enlisting in the French army. In a letter to Igor Stravinsky, he wrote, “The idea that I should be leaving at once made me get through five months’ work in five weeks! My Trio is finished.” Neave will record this masterful program on Chandos Records during the 2020-2021 season.
Her Voice: Farrenc, Beach, Clarke, Higdon
The Neave Trio performs works by four distinguished female composers spanning the Romantic era through the modern day -- Louise Farrenc’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 33; Amy Beach’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 150; Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio; and Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio. Neave released a corresponding album to critical acclaim on Chandos Records in fall 2019. Gramophone asserts that the album is “a splendid introduction to these three pioneering female composers,” and praises the Clarke as “sumptuously recorded … a taut and vivid interpretation.” The Guardian describes the three compositions of the album as “distinctive and distinguished chamber works,” while The Strad writes of Beach’s Trio, “The dreamy cello melody of the opening Allegro - luxuriously played by Mikhail Veselov - blooms into tender interplay between the strings. Violinist Anna Williams echoes Veselov’s delicate touch, underpinned by eminently sensitive pianism from Eri Nakamura. It’s a finely etched and persuasive performance…”
Her Voice also features an optional visual element. Projection artist Ryan Brady has developed captivating projections that pair the four musical works with the works of four women visual artists: Ellen Thesleff, Helen Frankenthaler, Lyubov Popova, and Alma Thomas.
Honoring Astor Piazzolla with Carla Jablonski, mezzo soprano
The Neave Trio honors distinguished Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla in this program for piano trio and mezzo-soprano, featuring Metropolitan Opera singer, Carla Jablonski. Works include Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, arrangements of five Piazzolla songs for piano trio and voice by Argentine arranger Leonardo Suarez Paz, a piece for piano trio and mezzo-soprano composed by Paz, and classic Piazzolla works. Neave and Jablonski recorded a corresponding album, which was released on Azica Records in fall 2018. Of the album, Gramophone raved, “The harmonically sophisticated arrangements by Leonardo Suárez Paz (son of Fernando, violinist in Piazzolla’s second quintet) are superb.” Celebrating Piazzolla was included on The Arts Fuse’s list of the Best Classical Recordings of 2018.
Photo by Jacob Lewis Lovendahl