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Neave Trio Makes Chicago Chamber Music Society Debut with music by Farrenc, Clarke, and Higdon

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 11:30am

Held at a private club just off Michigan Avenue in Chicago

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On Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 11:30am, the Boston-based Neave Trio makes their debut performance presented by the Chicago Chamber Music Society. Neave Trio’s program features works by three distinguished women composers spanning the Romantic era through the modern day, including Louise Farrenc’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 33 (1843); Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio (1921); and Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio (2003).

The Farrenc and Clarke trios are on Neave’s latest album, Her Voice (Chandos Records, 2019) along with Amy Beach’s Trio, Op. 150. The New York Times praises, “What excellent performances this trio gives here of works that deserve them,” and included the third movement of Clarke’s trio in the “Best 25 Classical Music Tracks of 2019.” Gramophone asserts that the album is “a splendid introduction to these three pioneering female composers.” The Guardian describes the three compositions by Beach, Clarke, and Farrenc as, “distinctive and distinguished chamber works.”

A virtuoso pianist and French composer from the Romantic era, Louise Farrenc’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 33 unifies the strings with the piano in a supportive, balanced setting of exuberant French elegance. The Classic Review wrote of the trio’s “harmonic sensitivity that manifests with changes in both dynamics and sound quality.” For this performance, the Neave Trio will perform the first, second, and fourth movements.

One of her most prominent pieces, Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio showcases her unique harmonic language, influenced by both the French and British styles of the early 20th century, as well as by folk music. According to Gramophone, the Neave Trio’s recording of this work is “a taut and vivid interpretation” and “sumptuously recorded.”

Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio is comprised of two movements: “Pale Yellow” and “Fiery Red.” Of the work, Higdon writes, “The colors that I have chosen in both of the movement titles and in the music itself, reflect very different moods and energy levels, which I find fascinating, as it begs the question, can colors actually convey a mood?” For this performance, the Neave Trio will perform the first movement, “Pale Yellow.”

About the Neave Trio: 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 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.”

In addition to Her Voice, 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).

During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the Neave Trio continued 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. Other 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 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.

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