(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) — Trio con Brio Copenhagen, one of today’s most exciting young chamber ensembles, performs an eclectic program featuring works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Frank Martin at The Clark on Tuesday, August 9 at 8 pm. Korean sisters Soo-Jin and Soo-Kyung Hong and Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer created the trio in Vienna in 1999 with the concept of two pairs coming together. The sisters had played together since childhood, and Jens Elvekjaer and Soo-Kyung Hong (who are now married) had played piano and cello duos together for years. According to Elvekjaer, “We have always felt that this ‘two and two equals three’ dynamic provides a uniqueness and intensity to all of our performances.
“The strong personal bonds among the three of us greatly affect the way we conceive music together,” says Elvekjaer. “We can be one hundred percent honest with each other in rehearsal and performance, and our different cultural backgrounds have provided an unusual perspective that shapes all that we do. It is a process of thinking without boundaries, cultural or otherwise, while staying within the great traditions that the music needs.”
The members of the Trio say that they create their programs to include “the core well-known repertoire as well as contemporary compositions from Scandinavia. We often commission pieces so that our repertoire is dynamic and constantly changing. Our performances and interpretations benefit from a constant curiosity about repertoire as well as new ‘angles’ – cohesive themes – in programming. This opens new perspectives for both the players and the audience. Ideally, a program should provide an enriching and exciting journey for listeners, with contrasts, moods and colors. For example, one really listens to Beethoven differently after having been immersed in the sound world of Hans Abrahamsen’s pieces. With truly ideal programming, even we are occasionally surprised.”
For its performance at The Clark, Trio con Brio Copenhagen will perform Beethoven’s Piano Trio, Opus 70, No. 1 “Ghost”; Frank Martin’s Piano Trio on Irish Folk Tunes; and Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Opus 99.
The Trio’s sound benefits from the superb instruments all three play: Soo-Jin plays a violin built by Andrea Guarneri from the 17th century, Soo-Kyung plays a Testore cello from 1731, and Jens is the first Steinway Artist from Denmark.
Trio con Brio Copenhagen first commanded international attention with a performance that took the highest prize at Germany’s prestigious ARD-Munich Competition in 2002. Since then, it has won first prize in Italy’s Premio Vittorio Gui (Florence), Norway’s Trondheim Chamber Music Competition, and the Danish Radio Competition. The ensemble also won the “Allianz Prize” for Best Ensemble in Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Second Prize in the Vienna Haydn Competition, and the Premio Trio di Trieste in Italy. The trio was the recipient of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award in 2005. This biennial award, one of the most coveted in the world of chamber music, encourages and enhances the careers of extraordinarily accomplished “rising” piano trios. The prize carries with it appearances on twenty major concert series across the United States, including Carnegie Hall. Trio con Brio Copenhagen has performed at major concert halls in Europe, the United States, and Asia.
The Clark’s chamber music series continues with the celebrated young musicians of The Caramoor Virtuosi, who will perform on August 16; one of the world’s most esteemed chamber ensembles the St. Petersburg String Quartet will perform with special guest Gilbert Kalish on piano on August 23; and young rising artists Kristin Lee and Alexandre Moutouzkine will conclude the series on August 30. Tickets for Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Caramoor Virtuosi, and the St. Petersburg String Quartet are $25 ($20 members and students with ID). Tickets for Kristin Lee and Alexandre Moutouzkine are $17 ($12 for members and students with ID). Tickets may be purchased online at The Clark or by calling 413 458 0524.
The Clark’s soaring acoustics and intimate auditorium offers one of the best performance venues in the region; the galleries will remain open until 6 pm. Before each concert, enjoy a delicious three-course fixed-price dinner in the Clark Café for $27 per person (does not include beverage, tax, or gratuity). Reservations are required; space is limited. For reservations, call 413 458 0524.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit The Clark.