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A trio making musical waves

The Pharos Arts Foundation will present a performance by the Erato Piano Trio – considered to be among the UK’s leading young ensembles – on Wednesday at The Shoe Factory in Nicosia at 8.30pm.

For their first concert in Cyprus the trio will perform works by Joseph Haydn, Alfred Schnittke and Johannes Brahms. These are Piano Trio in C major, Hob.XV:27 by Haydn, which is the first of a set of three trios dedicated to the talented pianist Therese Jansen. The highly virtuosic piano trio was published in London in 1797, after the composer had returned to Vienna.

The programme will continue with a piano trio by Schnittke, which was arranged in 1992 from his String Trio of 1985. The arrangement carries a personal note, dedicated to Schnittke’s doctor, Alexander Potapov, who twice saved the composer from near-fatal strokes.

Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, Op.87 will also be performed. Written in 1882 when Brahms was 49, the Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, Op.87 is a mature work coming after the piano quartets, the piano quintet, the string sextets and all three string quartets. The work might effectively be regarded as Brahms’ first unequivocal masterpiece for the piano trio, unequivocal to Brahms himself, one of the most notorious and unrelenting self-critics in all of classical music history.

The Erato Piano Trio was formed at the Royal College of Music in 2005. They made an immediate impression and were soon invited to perform across the UK and abroad where, in the same season, they gave highly successful debut performances at the Martinu Hall in Prague as well as at Zurich’s famous Tonhalle, performing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time alongside the distinguished Spanish clarinetist Joan Enric Lluna. They were selected onto the Concordia Foundation Young Artists Scheme in 2008 and subsequently performed a series of recitals at prestigious London venues including St Martin in the Fields.

The three musicians comprising the Erato Piano Trio are highly esteemed soloists pursuing international careers. Violinist Yuri Kalnits was described by reviewers as “an interpreter of the highest order” and was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or award for his recording of Weinberg’s Violin Sonatas; cellist Julia Morneweg is the recipient of an EMI Music Foundation Award and made her London concerto debut in 2006 in Elgar’s Concerto at St John’s Smith Square; and pianist Jose Menor made his international debut at age 15, performing at Carnegie Hall as the First Prize winner of the World Piano Competition, and has gained an international reputation with numerous important engagements ever since.

The Trio’s strong commitment to contemporary music recently led them to launch a much acclaimed project with the composition faculty of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as well as giving several UK and world premieres of pieces written especially for the Erato Piano Trio. Two of these, David Braid’s Music for Dancers and his Sonata for Quartet (with clarinetist Peter Cigleris), have been released by Toccata Classics. Since 2013, the Trio has also been presenting their own concert series at the 1901 Arts Club in London, where they programme a mixture of trio and other chamber repertoire.

Erato Piano Trio
The Pharos Arts Foundation presents a live performance by the trio. February 17. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €15/10. Tel: 22-663871


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