Popular Piano Trio Returns to Brookings

November 27, 2016


Trio 180, the piano trio-in-residence at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music, will return to Brookings for the next Friends of Music concert, to be held on January 8, 2017.  The concert will feature music by Haydn, Dvorák, and Piazzolla.


Trio 180 performs a wide range of music from the Classical era to the present, and is an active advocate of new music. They have premiered a number of new compositions, many of them commissioned by and written for the trio.


The Trio mentors young musicians and chamber music groups at the University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music, where all three members are on faculty.  In addition, they frequently perform at elementary and high schools throughout California, presenting varied and interactive programs designed to challenge and engage young students. They will be conducting an outreach program at Azalea Middle School during their Brookings visit.


Trio 180’s concert seasons have included performances in San Francisco and Berkeley, a concert tour to Vancouver, Canada, and performances across California, including concerts at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento and the Los Angeles County Museum. They have conducted a master class at the Baltimore School for the Arts.  They recently released their first CD of works by Dvorák, Suk, and Schumann.



Pianist Sonia Leong has performed in Canada, the United States, England, Romania, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.  She was a prizewinner at the Concours Piano 80, in Switzerland, and a finalist at the Concorso Pianistico Nazionale “Città de Cesenatico” in Italy.  She appears regularly on the Sierra Chamber Society concert series, both with the trio and in other chamber music combinations.   


Dr. Leong studied at the University of British Columbia, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Université de Montréal, as well as at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) on a Commonwealth Scholarship.


Celebrated violinist Ann Miller has appeared in concert halls throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  Ms. Miller made her New York debut as a soloist with the New Juilliard Ensemble in Alice Tully Hall.  She has performed in Mongolia and Ukraine as well as New York City. In addition, Ms. Miller participated in an exchange program between the Juilliard School and the Lucerne Festival Academy that culminated in performances in Switzerland and New York under the direction of Pierre Boulez. 


Ms. Miller is an associate professor of violin at the University of the Pacific. She holds her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School, and she received her Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude, from Rice University. Her teachers have included members of the Juilliard and Tokyo string quartets.


Cellist Nina Flyer has toured, recorded and taught throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and America. She has been Principal Cellist with the symphonies of Jerusalem, Bergen (Norway), and Iceland, the Women’s Philharmonic, and the Bear Valley Orchestra, and has held the post of acting Principal Cellist with the San Diego Symphony.  She is presently Principal Cellist of the Pacific Chamber Symphony, as well as cello and chamber music professor at the University of the Pacific.  She records frequently for the TV and Motion Picture Industry, and performs on a regular basis with the San Francisco Symphony. Two of her recent CD’s have been nominated for Grammy awards.


The concert will open with Trio No. 43 in C major, one of the finest of the 45 piano trios by Franz Josef Haydn.  Haydn was instrumental in the development of chamber music, in general, and the piano trio, in particular.  By 1797, the year in which this Trio was composed, Haydn had completed his triumphant visits to London and returned to Vienna as a very famous and wealthy figure.  He now had the luxury of taking the time to compose works with depth and polish that had been absent when he was basically a servant required to produce works on command, and the superiority of his late trios, including this one is readily apparent.


Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 3 in f-minor was his first complex chamber music masterwork. It is uncharacteristically serious, stormy and fraught with tragic conflict, unusual for a man generally regarded as sanguine and uncomplicated.  In it, Dvořák moved beyond his obsession with folk-oriented Slavic nationalism in music, to achieve a more cosmopolitan European style and a reputation beyond provincialism. The work is said to be more like that of his long-time advocate Johannes Brahms than any of his previous compositions.


Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is a work that is extraordinarily appealing to concert audiences.  It combines Piazzolla’s tango-inspired but classically formulated music with easily recognizable quotes from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  Trio 180 will perform two movements, Invierno porteño and Primavera porteño (Winter and Spring in Buenos Aires, respectively.)   Slow, sultry, yet intensely rhythmic, Winter gives both the violinist and the cellist memorably beautiful solo passages.  Since winter and summer are reversed in Argentina and Italy, quotes from Vivaldi’s Summer section are seamlessly woven into Piazzolla’s Winter section.  In contrast, Spring in Buenos Aires is filled with excitement and a rhythmic electricity that propels the work to its brilliant conclusion.



 The concert will take place at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 102 Park Avenue, in Brookings, at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 8, 2017.  Single tickets cost $15, and discounted season tickets will also be available.  Students under 18 are admitted free and are encouraged to attend.  Tickets may be purchased at the door, or at Wright's Custom Framing and Art Supplies.  For further information  call (541) 412-2957, or visit www.brookingsharborfriendsofmusic.org.


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