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Kandinsky Trio Presents “The Russian Experience”

Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College
Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College

Rachel Miles


On Jan. 24, the Kandinsky Trio performed their concert “The Russian Experience.” Along with the trio’s original musicians, two guest violinists joined members of the trio for certain sets.

The seats of Olin Theater filled quickly almost to capacity before the concert began. There was a buzz of conversation until the lights dimmed and the musicians filed out onto the stage, filling the piano bench and two seats placed in front of it, their music sheets already waiting in the stands.

The first piece played was “Trio in G major,” written by Mozart in the late eighteenth century. The piece featured Benedict Goodfriend on the violin, Alan Weinstein on the cello, and Elizabeth Bachelder on piano; the original trio. The song was a combination of playing in unison and separating to highlight each performer. After the first piece finished, the theater filled with applause and the three musicians rose and bowed for the audience before filing out to regroup. Along with the three was a young gentleman who worked with the group, sitting alongside Bachelder on piano to turn the pages of her music.

Before the second piece began, the chairs were cleared from the stage. “Sonata for Two Violins and a Piano” included just that, and Goodfriend introduced Hal Grossman as the second violinist, a musician they had worked with in years past joining them again for the occasion. Even though Goodfriend and Grossman played the same instruments, their styles were very different and watching them was a performance almost as much as the music they played was. At the end of their piece their eyes met, showing they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience who burst into applause.

There was a short intermission before the third piece began. This half featured all of the artists, including Esme Allen-Creighton on the viola and the other four who had taken the stage already that night. Allen-Creighton had not played with the group in performance before, but her permeation into the group was seamless. After their quintet was completed, each artist took their bow and was met with great applause from the audience.

Following the performance, there was an opportunity for a reception where it was possible to meet some of the musicians from the night. The Kandinsky Trio is in their twenty-seventh season and have performed over a thousand concerts in this time. They are among the six piano trios to ever have won the Chamber Music American Residency Award, a huge feat for the group. In addition to this, they have been recognized time and again for their performances, both individually and together. They believe strongly in the “union of music and art through the mission to send light into the darkness of men’s hearts.”