Apollo Trio to open Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem season
Formed in 1997 after a music festival in the south of France, the Apollo Trio has performed at venues as varied as a barge under the Brooklyn Bridge to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In addition to frequent appearances at American music festivals from the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York to Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, the group’s members have performed recitals throughout Europe, Asia, and China.
On Friday, Sept. 13, the
Apollo Trio comes to Foy Hall on the Moravian College campus in Bethlehem for the opening concert of the Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem’s fall season. On the program is Haydn’s Trio in E Major, H.XV:28, Dvorak’s Trio in B Flat Major, Op. 21, and David Schiff ’s “New York Nocturnes,” composed in 2000.
It was only natural that the New York City-based group would give New York City-based composer Schiff ’s New York City-based piece its New York premiere, at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Great Day in New York” Festival at Alice Tully Hall. The piece received its world premiere, however, at Chamber Music Northwest in Oregon. Of that performance, critic David Stabler of The Oregonian wrote, “With Art Tatum solos driven by hammer chords, hailstorms of notes and mercurial syncopations, the joint was jumpin’ like a Manhattan rhapsody.”
Schiff, born in New York in 1945, frequently turns to his hometown for inspiration. A composer of both straight jazz pieces and straight classical music, he’s not above mixing the two together. In “New York Nocturnes” the two most obvious musical bedfellows are Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie. Again in the words of Stabler, “In the gorgeous last movement, ‘Gray Dawn,’ Schiff evokes a hazy Manhattan dawn after a night out. The pianist plays a slow Ravelian tune while the strings still the atmosphere with high, static notes.”
There’s also no question the Apollo Trio likes to mix it up as well. In 2011 the trio, joined by clarinetist David Krakauer, bass trombonist Dave Taylor, and drummer Michael Sarin, gave the world premiere of Schiff ’s “Borscht Belt Memories,” a conflagration of jazz, klezmer, and classical styles. In addition to premiering and recording works by contemporary composers such as Schiff and Bruce Adolph, he trio has recorded music by Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and most recently, the complete piano trios by Dvorak.
The Apollo Trio consists of founding members Curtis Macomber, violin; and Marija Stroke, piano, joined by Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica.
Apollo Trio, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, Foy Hall, Moravian College campus, Bethlehem. Tickets: Adults $27, age 25 and younger with ID free. 610-435-7611, www.cmsob.org
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The Apollo Trio consists of founding members, from left, Mihai Marica, cello; Marija Stroke, piano, and Curtis Macomber, violin.