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Trio Zimbalist’s Debut Album, “Piano Trios of Weinberg, Auerbach, & Dvořák”

Released on Curtis Studio, the album celebrates folk music and holds an aspiration for a world of freedom, peace, and individualism

 

Trio Zimbalist comprises violinist Josef Špaček, cellist Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin, and pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu; Piano Trios of Weinberg, Auerbach, & Dvořák marks their first album. 

A “heartfelt response to the enduring human struggle unfolding around the world,” this album involves works which were composed during troubled and traumatic political histories.

The program comprises Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Piano Trio, Op. 24; Lera Auerbach’s Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 28; and Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90, B. 166 “Dumky,” the album’s centerpiece. 

Dumka is a Ukrainian term meaning “thought,” and in classical music, it is a type of Slavic ballad that can involve thoughtful or melancholic lamentation. Dvořák used this form for the foundation of his “Dumky” Trio, which Trio Zimbalist played in their first program as a group.

While Auerbach’s Piano Trio No. 1 was completed straight after her defection from the Soviet Union in 1991, Weinberg’s Piano Trio in A minor reflects the composer’s trauma of losing his family in the Holocaust and enduring persecution from the Soviet Union.

Alumni of the Curtis Institute of Music (CIM), the members of Trio Zimbalist perform regularly across Europe and the U.S. as soloists, chamber musicians, and recitalists.

The group’s recent season highlights included appearances in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Athens, Bremen, Munich, London, and Paris, plus performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Greensboro Symphony and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky

This season, the trio has performed at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Friends of Chamber Music in Miami. 

Members of the trio have studied with faculty representing the Guarneri Quartet, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Chicago Chamber Musicians; additionally, the group is named for the violin virtuoso Efrem Zimbalist, who served as faculty and director at CIM for four decades. 

Trios of Weinberg, Auerbach, & Dvorak is based on the background of the composers — living freely despite some sort of oppressive conditions — and celebrates folk music, music of a place and people,” Trio Zimbalist wrote. “The works are beautiful and moving, filled with lovely tunes and thrilling moments; we could stop there and be happy.

“That said, if one is to delve deeper, we would suggest that the album emphasizes the spirit of the individual, and that recent world events were present in our minds when deciding on the program,” they continued. “Our music-making wishes to inspire listeners to think and act on their own terms and, above all, to celebrate the human act of creation: a very courageous thing that manages to persist, even in the most desperate of times.”

To purchase and listen to the album, click here.

The album trailer can be viewed below.

 

 

Špaček has performed with the Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, and more. He previously served as concertmaster and associate artist of the Czech Philharmonic, the youngest in its history.

Gavriilidis-Petrin is the principal cellist of the Athens State Orchestra and is the co-artistic director of the Samos Young Artists Festival. He has also performed solo with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Israel Camerata, and NEC Philharmonia, among others.

Xiaoyuan Fu has performed solo with orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. He has also appeared at international venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Seiji Ozawa Hall, and Teatro Municipal.

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