Presidential Concert Series Continues With Claremont Trio

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 - by Christy Williamson, Lee University
Claremont Trio
Claremont Trio

Lee University will bring the acclaimed chamber group, The Claremont Trio, to Cleveland for the second of this year’s Presidential Concerts. The young piano trio, hailed as “chic,” “inspiring and forceful” by Los Angeles Times, is scheduled to play on the Lee University campus on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Center.

Consisting of three young women, the Claremont Trio produces a classical sound, showcasing masterpieces by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart along with a repertoire of 20th century sounds. They have toured all over the world in well-known concert venues like Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.

Twin sisters Emily and Julia Bruskin, who play the cello and violin, formed the trio with pianist Donna Kwong in 1999 at the Juilliard School. This configuration goes against the grain in the world of classical music, which has traditionally been dominated by string quartets and piano soloists. The group’s unique sound and style have garnered significant attention and drawn numerous rave reviews from music critics.

“The Claremont Trio is a rare combination of virtuosic talent well mixed with equal measures of youthful passion and a rare comprehension of the power of music,” says The Oakwood Register.

According to Joseph McLellan of The Washington Post, “The Claremont threesome plays with astonishing facility and ensemble precision. Beethoven would have beamed on their performance of his Op. 1, No. 1, which unfolded in velvety tones and featured extraordinary timing. I think their hearts must beat together.”

After winning the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremont Trio made its much celebrated debut in New York at the 92nd Street Y. In 2003, the trio received the first-ever Kalichstein Laredo Robinson International Trio Award, which led to a tour consisting of 20 major United States venues. The group was recently featured in Martha Stewart Living and their debut CD of the Mendelssohn Trios was released on the Arabesque label in 2004.

Highlights from past seasons include a debut at the Kennedy Center as well as performances at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mass., and the Alexander Schneider Series at the New School, N.Y. The trio had the opportunity to perform in the prestigious concert series at the American Academy in Rome. They also collaborated with Peter Martins, director of the New York City Ballet, on a ballet of “Café Music” by Paul Schoenfield.

“The Claremont Trio is on to something,” said The Cincinnati Enquirer after a performance at the University of Cincinnati. “The young group approaches 18th century chamber music with twenty-something energy. Their exuberant performance and gutsy repertoire, featuring works by Beethoven, Bedrich Smetana and Mason Bates, was the kind of fresh approach that keeps chamber music alive.”

According to their mission statement, The Claremont Trio is dedicated to constantly expanding their repertoire while engaging new audiences. Having a distinct mission to touch their audience, the trio states “We can't leave people to notice wardrobe, climate control, or merely speed. We want our performances to come alive so that the audience will notice more, feel more, and perhaps even live more.”

Thursday’s performance will convene in the Dixon Center, which is located at the corner of 11th and Church Streets. Tickets are $10 ($5 for students, seniors and children) and can be obtained at the Dixon Center Box Office, which will be open each weekday from 3-6 p.m. starting Thursday. On the day of the concert, the box office will stay open until showtime. The box office can be reached by calling (423) 614-8343 during these times.


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